Agenda & Speakers

Petfood Forum CONNECT schedule of events

** Times listed in Central Daylight Time (CDT)

Wednesday, Sept. 9

9-9:30 a.m.

Welcome and opening keynote: Bonin Bough
Bonin Bough, CPG brand expert, presents “Hackonomy,” explaining how to create value for your business by breaking things.

“Most think that the word ‘hacker’ sounds negative, but not all hackers are bad,” Bough said. “Hackers and hack-thinking are the source of a monumental, positive shift in business, technology, startups and culture all over the world. Hackers can create immense value by breaking things, whether it’s breaking from tradition, process or simply ‘the way we’ve always done things.’”

9:30-9:45 a.m.

Moderated Q&A with Bough

9:45-10 a.m.

Live chat room with Bough, other virtual meetings

10-10:30 a.m.

General session: Emerging trends in a changing pet food industry landscape

An update and overview on the state of the pet industry and emerging trends in a changing pet food industry landscape will be presented. This session will look back at recent years and highlight what impact these trends and factors had on the industry overall, the effects of the pandemic on the market, plus what other trends are worth watching in 2020 and beyond. Are raw alternative feeding options the fastest growing categories for pet foods? What do we know about insect protein being used in pet food? And what is the CBD craze all about?

10:30-10:45 a.m.

Moderated Q&A

10:45-11 a.m.

Exclusive chat room, other virtual meetings

11-11:30 a.m.

Pet food customer perceptions of product attributes: Implications for marketing and product strategy
Lonnie Hobbs, Ph.D. student in agricultural economics, Kansas State University

Hobbs applies an economic approach to analyzing the current product differentiation strategies used in the pet food industry. He examines the ability of pet food companies to effectively communicate value through product marketing. In addition, the session attempts to highlight new ways of analyzing customer perceptions of product attributes in pet food utilizing online customer reviews.

11:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Pet Food Tech Talks, virtual meetings

Plus:

ePosters of new student, industry, sponsor research

Thursday, Sept. 10

9-9:30 a.m.

General session: Tracking pet food priorities: why consumers switch products
David Sprinkle, publisher and research director for Packaged Facts

Sprinkle provides data and insights into which consumers have changed their pet food type, brand or product choices in the past 12 months – and why and to what new choices. A recent consumer study also provides insights on the impact of COVID-19 on pet food choices and retail channel patterns.

9:30-9:45 a.m.

Moderated Q&A with Sprinkle

9:45-10 a.m.

Exclusive chat room with Sprinkle, other virtual meetings

10-10:30 a.m.

Key success factors for a winning clean label pet food strategy
Cécile Saint-Paul, marketing director, North America, Diana Pet Food

Saint-Paul provides an overview of the possible paths pet food manufacturers can take to join the clean label movement, covering natural claims and many more. Clean label is becoming a major catchphrase to satisfy the numerous and various expectations of mindful consumers, without any legal definition. The presentation shows a large spectrum of pet food brands’ initiatives that address pet owner values and concerns such as transparency, safety and healthiness. The analysis highlights some of the challenges to balance “clean” hopes with other purchase triggers, facing the risk of asking trade-offs to the consumer

10:30-11 a.m.

Live sponsor chat room(s), virtual meetings

11-11:30 a.m.

A path to pet food personalization: A direct-to-consumer scientific experience
Justin Shmalberg, DVM, DACVN, DACVSMR, chief nutrition officer; and Ryan Honaker, Ph.D., director of microbiology, NomNomNow

Shmalberg and Honaker describe how a direct-to-consumer individualized fresh diet subscription service captured consumer data, built a scientific team and collaborations to evaluate the impacts of such information, and leveraged increasing knowledge of the pet microbiome to assess variability in pet response to different diet and nutraceutical choices with the aim of personalizing nutritional recommendations.

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Pet Food Tech Talks, virtual meetings

4-5:00 p.m.

Roundtable sponsored

Plus:

ePosters of new student, industry, sponsor research

Tuesday, Sept. 15

9-9:45 p.m.

Panel discussion: Pet food trends post-pandemic: What’s the new normal?
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life as we know it, for businesses and consumers alike. As countries and societies start to emerge from lockdowns and economies open back up, what consumer trends are driving the pet food market, now and going forward? A panel of experts will provide their projections and insights on market, ingredient, product and packaging trends that will influence pet food product development, marketing, production, retailing and other areas. The experts include: Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight, Mintel; Amy Patterson, general manager, Petsource by Scoular; and Max Davis, Waldner North America sales manager, PTI.

9:45-10 a.m.

Moderated Q&A with panelists

10-10:15 a.m.

Exclusive chat rooms with panelists, plus other virtual meetings

10:15-10:45 a.m.

Pet food safety culture lessons from COVID-19
David Rosenblatt, DVM, director of learning, Sher Consulting and Training

Rosenblatt explains the most current science on employee motivation and how this new knowledge can be applied immediately, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosenblatt will present a case study of an organizational learning experience program that replaced an establishment’s traditional training program and delivered remarkable measurable results. In addition, he will share lessons from immediate behavioral changes imposed by the coronavirus outbreak and how these lessons can be applied as part of an organizational culture.

10:45-11 a.m.

Live sponsor chat room(s), virtual meetings

11-11:30 a.m.

COVID-19 to pet food product recalls: Dos and don’ts of crisis response from theory to practice
Paola Cane, Ph.D., CEO, Mia Solution

Cane assesses the critical factors of effective crisis management for pet food. Companies are facing an increasing number of crises, from employee health to product recalls and often consisting of new threats. All can have serious aftermath for public health, reputation, sales and finance, up to putting at risk the survival of the firm itself. Moreover, such crises can severely affect consumer trust and spread their consequences through the entire sector, as safety inadequacy can be perceived as an industry-wide problem. Some industries are more sensitive to pre-alarm signals and equipped with solid crisis plans, but the majority often find themselves unprepared. In this session, learn how to design an effective crisis management system to minimize negative impact.

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Pet Food Tech Talks, virtual meetings

4-5 p.m.

Roundtable sponsored

Plus:

Posters of new student, industry, sponsor research

Wednesday, Sept. 16

9-9:45 a.m.

Roundtable discussion: The microbiome and its importance to pet nutrition and health

The microbiome has been receiving a lot of attention, and rightly so, as researchers discover its many connections to an animal’s entire body and physiology. Discover the latest research on microbiome research in pets and what it might mean for how we feed them. Specific topics and speakers include: Feeding trillions of bacteria: Bridging the gap between nutrition, the microbiome and pet well-being — Juan Gomez Basauri, Ph.D., global director for companion animals, food ingredients and human health technologies, Alltech; Keeping the microbiome in mind: Best practices for diet trials — Jessica Jarett, Ph.D., computational biologist, AnimalBiome; and The effect of complex and diverse sialylated oligosaccharides on simulated dog gut microbiome and metabolites — Yemi Adesokan, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, Gnubiotics SA.

9:45-10 a.m.

Moderated Q&A with panelists

10-10:15 a.m.

Exclusive chat rooms with panelists, plus other virtual meetings

10:15-10:45 a.m.

Animal co-products and rendered ingredients’ role in pet food today
David Meeker, Ph.D., senior VP, scientific services, North American Rendering Association

Meeker explains the latest research and information on rendered ingredients for pet food, including any impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The rendering industry collects and safely processes approximately 60 billion pounds of animal byproducts each year in the U.S. Rendering plants process the byproducts from food animal production into high-quality ingredients well-suited for dog and cat diets. While rendered pet food ingredients enjoy a dominant position as protein and energy ingredients for pets, this advantage is not guaranteed into the future. The rendering industry has embarked on research programs and partnerships with pet food interests to make rendered ingredients to better fit the needs of pet food customers.

10:45-11 a.m.

Live sponsor chat room(s), virtual meetings

11-11:30 a.m.

Optimizing proteins to achieve holistic sustainability in the pet food industry
Caitlyn Dudas, executive director and co-founder, Pet Sustainability Coalition

Dudas shares new data from collaborative research efforts between the Pet Food Industry Working Group, under the administration of the Pet Food Institute, and Iowa State University. A holistic, four-part model for sustainable pet food ingredient selection, developed by the Pet Sustainability Coalition, suggests that proteins be evaluated by their ability to maximize their value related to their impact on the environment, animal welfare, social impact and nutrition.

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Pet Food Tech Talks, virtual meetings

4-5 p.m.

Roundtable sponsored

Plus:

ePosters of new student, industry, sponsor research

Thursday, Sept. 17

9-9:45 a.m.

Roundtable discussion: CBD craze: Update on usage, legality, research in pet food

CBD products are everywhere on the pet scene, but is this substance legal to use in pet food or treats? Is it safe for pets? How much can the CBD pet product market grow? Join experts in these areas to find out if this is just a passing fad or a major category in the making. Specific topics and speakers include: Top trends in natural and specialty pet: focus on CBD — Amy Kerr, director of business development, SPINS; Green rush: Making and marketing pet foods and treats with CBD — Emily Lyons, attorney, and Michael Annis, partner, Husch Blackwell; and New research on CBD: safety and efficacy — Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, DACVSMR, professor, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

9:45-10 a.m.

Moderated Q&A with panelists

10-10:15 a.m.

Exclusive chat rooms with panelists, plus other virtual meetings

10:15-10:45 a.m.

Black soldier fly ingredients for cat food: New digestibility results, regulatory update
Laura Metcalf, customer care manager, Enterra

Metcalf shares new digestibility results and a regulatory update on black soldier fly ingredients for cat food. Insects are one of the newest ingredients to be used in pet food in North America and Europe. Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) products are becoming the go-to insect species in pet food manufacturing due to their ease of use, affordability, nutritional profile, high digestibility and palatability, functional benefits and sustainable production methods relative to commodity-based ingredient sources. Information on the performance of black soldier fly products in pet food, especially cat food has been lacking, until now.

10:45-11 a.m.

Live sponsor chat room(s), virtual meetings

11-11:30 a.m.

4 essential pieces to a modern e-commerce fulfillment and technology strategy
Luke Helm, VP of distribution, eShipping Distribution Services

Helm educates pet food manufacturers on what a modern e-commerce fulfillment and technology strategy looks like, how to operationally meet customer buying behaviors, which tools and programs are needed to drive efficiencies and what immediate steps can be taken to improve their own service models. Big-box retailers have changed the way consumers think and behave when it comes to shopping — specifically online. But it turns out that this radical shift in consumer behavior has not only reshaped expectations by e-commerce shoppers and pet owners but has forever changed the standards and expectations of pet food manufacturers too.

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Pet Food Tech Talks, virtual meetings

4-5 p.m.

Roundtable sponsored

Plus:

ePosters of new student, industry, sponsor research