Petfood R&D Showcase highlights industry trends, leveraging science into product innovation

According to Natasha Davis, strategic client partner with Nielsen, 16 pet food brands named most prominently in June 2019 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its investigation into cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) are now experiencing sales declines. Davis presented the data as keynote speaker during Petfood R&D Showcase held Oct. 15-17, 2019 at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.

Looking at the brands’ grain-free dry dog food sales from mid-July 2019 through the first week of October, in aggregate they decreased about 10%. At the same time, other dry dog food sales were increasing, rising from a down period in mid-2018 to slightly positive growth by early October 2019, Davis said.

Davis was among the speakers who presented during Petfood R&D Showcase. The event also featured scientific presentations that have a direct connection to ideas pet food manufacturers and suppliers can incorporate into their product offerings. Topics included behaviors as biomarkers for animal health and welfare, pathogen contamination, strategies to prevent mite infestation and factors influencing starch digestibility.

“Science and technology have been key to a host of new pet food products over the past several decades. Learning about new discoveries and how they can be integrated into products are key to new product success,” said Greg Aldrich, PhD, research associate professor and coordinator for the pet food program at Kansas State University.

In addition to the presentations on cutting-edge scientific research, attendees participated in six interactive sessions and lab demonstrations that emphasized product innovation. These activities included: leveraging microencapsulation technology for pet nutrition; reducing the risk of Salmonella contamination in pet food; using naturally sourced colors in pet food; producing a specialty treat using single screw extrusion; enhancing pet food and treats with flavors; and formulating pet products with fruit to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. The demonstration sponsors included Balchem, Chr.  Hansen, Extru-Tech Inc./ Milne Fruit, FONA International, Pet Food Solutions and Tree Top Ingredients.

Save the dates for these upcoming events:

Petfood Forum Asia | March 25, 2020 | Bangkok, Thailand | Registration opening soon

Petfood Forum | April 27-29, 2020 | Kansas City, Missouri | SUPER Early Bird registration now open

Petfood Innovation Workshop | April 27, 2020 | Kansas City, Missouri | SUPER Early Bird registration now open

Petfood Forum China | August 2020 | Shanghai, China