Agenda & Speakers

Petfood Forum & Petfood Innovation Workshop 2019 Tentative Schedule of Events

Monday - April 29, 2019

7:00 am – 7:30 pm

Petfood Forum registration and check-in
Lobby 2300, Kansas City Convention Center

10:00 am – 5:30 pm

Petfood Forum exhibitor move-in
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Petfood Forum and Petfood Innovation Workshop opening reception
Grand Ballroom D, Kansas City Convention Center

Tuesday - April 30, 2019

7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Petfood Forum registration desk open
Lobby 2300, Kansas City Convention Center

7:30 am – 8:30 am

Grand Ballroom D, Kansas City Convention Center

8:30 am – 9:15 am

Welcome and opening keynote: Dr. Katy Nelson – How  nutrition and health can nurture the human-pet bond
Katy Nelson, D.V.M, host and executive producer of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” and associate veterinarian at the Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, Virginia, will share some of the latest research on the human-animal bond and its benefits to both parties. Passionate about pet nutrition and its importance as the foundation for good health, she will address its role in developing and strengthening this bond. In addition, she will provide insights for pet food brands on the questions and concerns she hears from her pet owner clients.
Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center

9:15 am – 9:45 am

General session: Premiumization: the evolution of pet food’s most important growth driver
Jared Koerten, head of pet care for Euromonitor
Over the past decade, premiumization has been the primary growth engine for dollar sales in pet food, yet at the same time, the underlying drivers of premiumization as a megatrend are shifting across industries. In the past, premiumization in pet food has focused on the betterment of owners and their companions, with a distinct focus on health and safety. The future, however, is being shaped by new frontiers in premiumization like curation, partnership and personalization. Sociodemographic trends are also creating entirely new frontiers for premium-led growth in pet food, as new markets and pet owners look for opportunities to trade up. This presentation will examine premiumization as a global consumer megatrend, exploring the drivers, motivations and sociodemographic shifts behind it.
Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center

9:45 am – 10:15 am

General session: Pet food lawsuits: recent trends and the future of labeling litigation
Michael Annis, partner at Husch Blackwell
Over the last five years, there has been a steady proliferation of lawsuits challenging the marketing practices and labeling claims of pet food products, with the majority relating to usage of so-called trigger terms like natural, wholesome or healthy. These terms are largely undefined by any agency, state or federal, regulating the pet food and feed industries. Absent bright lines and clear regulatory direction regarding these triggers, prior litigation in related areas – such as fruit-juice wars between POM Wonderful and Coca-Cola – could provide a basis for the Federal Trade Commission, industry competitors and class action plaintiffs to challenge such use, particularly when the products in question have any artificial or synthetically created ingredients.
Amid heightened consumer activism and growing interest from the plaintiff bar, pet food labeling is a fast-evolving area of law that presents significant risks that have not been adequately explored. Annis will unpack recent case law and pending litigation to reveal industry vulnerabilities, while offering a look ahead to the likely direction future disputes will take. He will also provide guidance on how to address litigation risks if claims of false advertising arise, plus how to best protect against claims being initiated in the first instance.
Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center

9:30 am – 5:30 pm

Exhibit hall open
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

10:15 am – 10:45 am

Coffee break
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

10:15 am – 1:00 pm

Time in exhibit hall – including Product Presentation Showcase, Virtual Processing Demo
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Paws for a break (visiting pet charities)
Lobby 2300, Kansas City Convention Center

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Petfood Forum Student Program paper presentations, part 1
Student Career Center, Lobby 2300, Kansas City Convention Center

11:45 am – 1:00 pm

Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Concurrent sessions (see list below)
2500 rooms, Kansas City Convention Center

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Coffee break
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center 

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Exhibit Hall networking reception
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center 

4:30 pm – 5:15 pm

Industry research poster reception and student mixer
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

Concurrent session tracks:

Nutrition – room 2502

Ingredients – room 2503

Market & Packaging – room 2505

Processing and Safety – room 2504

1:00 – 1:30 pm

Pet food energy calculations: are inaccurate equations contributing to feline obesity? – Natalie Asaro, nutrition assistant at Petcurean Pet Nutrition

New pet food ingredient? What you need to do to use it legally in the U.S. – Susan M. Hays, executive director of AAFCO

Pet food on Amazon and beyond: a playbook for e-commerce success – Bradley Keefer, senior account manager for Profitero

Evaluating commercial pet treat digestion and safety – Fei He, Ph.D., research assistant professor at University of Illinois- Champaign

1:30 – 2:00 pm

Glycemic index of different starches in dogs and cats – Lynn Weber, Ph.D., professor at University of Saskatchewan

Evaluation of black soldier fly larvae as a protein and fat source in pet foods – Ryan Yamka, Ph.D., founder of Luna Science and Nutrition; Alejandra McComb, animal nutritionist for Enviroflight; and Liz Koutsos, Ph.D., president of Enviroflight

Packaging for the digital world – Stefan Hartung, co-founder/creative with Kick

How storage time and antioxidants affect oxidation measures in frozen and freeze-dried meat patties – Megan Morts, graduate research assistant at Kansas State University

2:00 – 2:30 pm

The role of beta-1,3/1,6 glucans in pet nutrition and health – George Fahey, Ph.D., professor emeritus at University of Illinois

Protein from wood: nutritional, economical, safe and sustainable ingredient for performance dogs and cats – Ricardo Ekmay, Ph.D., animal nutrition director, and Emily Glenn, business development director, for Arbiom

AAFCO pet food label modernization: what’s ahead? – David A. Dzanis, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.A.C.V.N., CEO of Regulatory Discretion

Innovation in pet food stabilization: selecting the right natural antioxidants for rendering meals and stabilizing pet foods from the beginning – Liyun Ye, Ph.D., scientist with Diana Pet Food

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Learnings from the livestock industry that could potentially benefit pets – Karen Wedekind, Ph.D., manager, comparative animal nutritionist with Novus

Ancient grains: what’s old is new again – Gary Davenport, Ph.D., companion animal technical manager for ADM Animal Nutrition

Pet food product claims that matter: 2019 pet parent survey results – Lisa Demming, marketing director, and Kathleen Crossman, vice president of regulatory, for FONA International

Efficacy of specialty animal proteins for grain-free and limited ingredient diets – Will Henry, director of technology and research for Extru-Tech Inc.

3:30 – 4:00 pm

Measuring cat food enjoyment: beyond intake ratio – Jill Villareal, Ph.D., director of applied behavior research for AFB International

Novel probiotic freeze-dried products as functional pet treats or pet food ingredients – J.J. Lin, Ph.D., chief scientist for Imagilin Technology

New recyclable structures for pet food packaging – Nancy Conley, technical service and application development specialist for NOVA Chemicals

Oxidation and its challenges: making sense of animal protein meal oxidation values for pet food – B.J. Bench, Ph.D., director of food safety/quality assurance for Tyson Foods Ingredient Solutions Group, and Namal Senanayake, Ph.D., scientific manager of Shelf-Life Solutions for Camlin Fine Sciences N.A.

Wednesday - May 1, 2019

7:30 am – 3:00 pm

Registration desk open
Lobby 2300, Kansas City Convention Center

7:30 am – 8:30 am

Grand Ballroom D, Kansas City Convention Center

8:30 am – 9:15 am

General session: Omnichanneling: where and how today’s pet owners shop for pet food 
David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts
For pet owners, spending management leads to strategic retail behavior including channel choice — or rather choices, with many shopping across multiple channels and retailers for bargains, brick-and-mortar and online, as well as trading up for priority products such as pet food. Thus, the channels that claim double-digit shares of pet food retail sales not only span the mass versus class divide — supercenters/discount stores led by Walmart, pet specialty chains and grocery stores — but now include the internet, which accounts for at least 11 percent of pet sales, according to Packaged Facts’ data. Sprinkle will provide a deep-dive and analysis of that and other data on factors influencing pet owner channel choices, including generational demographics and metropolitan versus rural shoppers.
Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center

 9:15 am – 9:45 am

General session: Choosing dog food: survey results of dog owners’ purchasing decisions
Maria Cattai de Godoy, assistant professor at University of Illinois-Champaign

Despite increasing diversification of pet food products to satisfy the high demands and expectation of pet parents, there still is a gap in knowledge of the interrelationship among pet food purchasing decisions with pet owners’ personal beliefs and their selections pertaining to pets’ nutrition needs and daily care. Godoy and her team conducted an online survey to gain a deeper understanding about the behaviors that dog owners associate with their dogs in terms of nutritional needs and lifestyle. More than 4,100 dog owners completed the survey, which was available in four languages: English, French, Portugese and Spanish. Most of the respondents reside in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin American, including Brazil – all important pet food markets. Overall, the survey’s findings depicted similarities and unique attributes of pet parents and their relationship with their dogs that may assist pet food companies in creating tailored solutions to address pet parents’ diverse beliefs, demands and expectations for their pets’ nutritional needs and lifestyle.
Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center

8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Exhibit hall open
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

9:45 am – 1:45 pm

Time in exhibit hall – including Product Presentation Showcase, Virtual Processing Demo
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

9:45 am – 12:00 pm

Petfood Forum Student Program paper presentations, part 2
Student Career Center, Lobby 2300, Kansas City Convention Center

10:00 am – 10:30 am

Coffee break
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Dessert stations and announcement of Student Program paper award winners
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

1:45 pm – 2:55 pm

Panel discussions
2500 rooms, Kansas City Convention Center

Science vs. marketing: what’s driving pet food product development?
Pet food is a consumer goods business, largely driven by consumer needs and demands, as well as other market factors. It is also the sole source of nutrition for our companion animals, so prevailing science about their nutritional needs is key. Different pet food companies interpret and apply known science and research to their product development and marketing in different ways; that is one important factor in achieving a competitive advantage. Yet such differences can sometimes cause consumer or retailer confusion, not to mention tensions between various functions within a company.

This panel will address different approaches and factors in balancing pet nutrition science with marketplace demands to help you consider and understand possible new ways to achieve the right balance within your own organization and enhance your marketplace success. Panel members include:

  • Jeff Alix, global pet nutrition marketing manager for DSM Nutritional Products
  • Serge Boutet, founder and president of SBNutrinnov Consultants
  • Brent Mayabb, D.V.M., chief veterinary officer and vice president of corporate affairs for Royal Canin

Update on canine DCM investigation: lessons learned, insights for the future
In July 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was investigating cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in breeds not typically associated with the disease, and that many of the dogs had been fed grain-free pet foods high in pulses, legumes or potatoes. Is there really a link between those ingredients or these pet food formulations and the cases of DCM? This panel will provide the latest updates on the FDA and other investigations, and discuss any lessons learned and insights for the industry going forward. Panel members include:

  • Greg Aldrich, Ph.D. (moderator), research associate professor at Kansas State University and president of Pet Food Ingredients & Technology
  • Jennifer Adolphe, R.D., Ph.D., nutrition manager for Petcurean Pet Nutrition
  • William Burkholder, D.V.M., Ph.D., veterinary medical officer with the Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration
  • Chris Marinangeli, Ph.D., director of nutrition, scientific and regulatory affairs for Pulse Canada
  • Anna Kate Shoveller, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Animal Biosciences, at University of Guelph

The future of pet food and its consumers
What will the pet food industry and market look like in 10 to 20 years? What influences will consumer demands for transparency, authenticity and provenance have on pet food formulation, ingredient sourcing and sustainable production? Will ingredient supplies be available to meet these demands, and will consumers come to accept novel ingredients like insect protein or traditional ones like animal by-products? Will newer formats like raw, freeze-dried, air-dried and baked gain larger market shares? What will the retailing scene look like as e-commerce continues to rise? How will technology impact pet food production and other areas? This panel will share their predictions and insights on these questions, plus more. Panel members include:

  • Marcel Blok, owner and founder of Change Stranamics
  • Maria Lange, business group director, pet care, for GfK POS Tracking/Nielsen
  • Paul D. McKeithan, head of digital services for the Buhler Group
  • Tom R. Willard, Ph.D., founder and owner of TRW Consulting Services

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Pet food, retailer and e-commerce execs: the new world of selling pet food
Join executives from top pet food companies and leading pet retailers to learn how to navigate today’s disruptive, continually morphing world of distributing and selling pet food. Pet owners have more choices than ever for finding and purchasing their pet food, from burgeoning e-commerce options to “click and mortar” to customization to traditional neighborhood pet shops, superstores and grocery/mass market outlets. Distributor consolidation is also playing a role. With this explosion of market changes and options, how can pet food brands figure out the best channels and retailing strategies for their products? Panel members include:

  • Ed Yuhas (moderator), managing director of Kincannon & Reed Executive Search
  • Nathan Marafioti, group director ecommerce for Nestle Purina North America
  • Brock Weatherup, executive vice president of strategic innovation and digital experience for Petco

Grand Ballroom A, Kansas City Convention Center

3:00 pm – 12:00 am

Exhibitor tear-down
Exhibit Hall E, Kansas City Convention Center

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Closing cocktail reception
Grand Ballroom D and patio, Kansas City Convention Center

Petfood Innovation Workshop Agenda - Monday, April 29

Petfood Innovation Workshop details and agenda will be released soon.