David Sprinkle

Research director for Packaged Facts

Terry Schroff

CEO of Quiet Light Communications

Opening Session

The pet parenting mindset is most influential in the most elemental of categories in our industry: pet food.  This impact is readily apparent in pet nutrition product claims and formulations such as grain-free, organic, exotic meat protein, paleo, limited ingredient, antioxidant- or probiotic-rich, and grass-fed. A varying combination of palatability, nutritional, environmental, and pampering issues are front-of-mind for pet parents in their pet food and pet treat choices, which are essential to the all-important bond between human and pet.

Drawing on new data from Packaged Facts National Pet Owner Surveys and other sources, this kick-off presentation sets the stage for exploration of the critical product purchase drivers of pet owners who define themselves as pet parents, beginning with an analysis of their usage patterns for dry vs. wet pet foods and relative interest levels in fresh, frozen, and freeze-dried pet foods as alternative formats.  The exploration of pet parents’ impact on the evolution of the pet food market will continue in the Pet Family Feud workshop station at K-State Olathe.

Pet Family Feud Workshop Activity

There’s not much feud over pets as family:  nearly two-thirds of dog or cat owners “strongly agree” that they consider their pets to be part of the family, and another fourth at least “somewhat agree.”  What is critical is how the new pet parent mindset is playing out across the industry—recasting consumer needs and expectations, product purchasing rates, and purchase drivers.

Adapting the Family Feud game show “survey says …” format (complete with buzzers, scoreboards, group competition, and prizes), these workshops will solidify your understanding of how pet parenting is reshaping demand for pet nutrition products across various pet owner demographics, and especially the rising and trend-setting tide of Millennials. Specifically, Pet Family Feud will present lively and data-rich discussion of the market implications of today’s pet parent in relation to:

  • Special ingredient formulations and the market for organic-certified and natural-positioned pet foods
  • Pet food and treat product safety concerns and “Made in the USA” priorities
  • Use of pet food mix-ins and nutritional supplements
  • Perception of special pet health and wellness needs, including dental/oral health concerns
  • Pet food packaging preferences and storage practices