The pet food market and marketing innovations discussed at Petfood Forum 2024

Photo by Andrea Gantz

How is sustainability impacting pet food packaging? Does your brand align with the values of your consumers? What purchasing trends should you watch? Many forces influence pet food purchasing and consumer decisions, and understanding these forces is key to a pet food brand’s success.

Petfood Forum 2024 speakers outline the latest consumer insights and research on the pet food market and marketing innovations.

Tuesday, April 30 | Concurrent session: The pet food market and marketing innovations

  • 1:30-1:55 — Strategic insights for the pet food and pet care markets — Ingrid Chu, vice president of research and insights, American Pet Products Association
  • 2:00-2:25 — Tracking pet consumer and retail trends — Claire Obertin, market research associate, Cleveland Research Co.
  • 3:00-3:20 — Pawsitively purpose-driven: Crafting a visionary business model for pet food — Cindy James, founder and CEO, Crafty Beasts Brewing Co.
  • 3:25-3:45 — New, industry-driven pet food rating system — Neil Thorneycroft, head of marketing and new product development, Sapphire Nutrition
  • 3:50-4:10 — Identifying and avoiding greenwashing in packaging sustainability — Katie Ireland, CRB, and Mary Jo Werlein, Adept Packaging

What significance does the concept behind your presentation have on the pet food industry?

Claire Obertin

Our team works with hundreds of brands in the pet industry across retail channels (Pet Specialty, Mass, eCommerce, Dollar, Grocery, etc.), allowing us to glean best practices, key inflection points and insights in the pet food space in real time. Our partners use our relationships and subsequent data as a pulse check to ensure they are allocating resources correctly, engaging in effective promotional strategies, and forecasting in line with the industry.

Learn more about Claire’s presentation >

Cindy James

With the emergence of global climate change realities and the rise of the conscious consumer the opportunity to give back as a business is at its peak.  What was once a “nice to have” is moving towards an obligation to be part of the solution contributing to the 17 UN Sustainability goals leading up to 2030.

Learn more about Cindy’s presentation >

Neil Thorneycroft

It is my hope that this system will set a higher standard, encouraging companies to demonstrate their commitment to their products through meaningful investments. This could involve improvements in processes, enhancements to quality systems, fortification of scientific credentials, validation of claims, or optimization of product performance.

In embracing this approach, we advocate for a greater level of respect for our customers’ needs, urging companies to adopt a stance that is characterized by honesty, openness, transparency, and genuine commitment

Learn more about Neil’s presentation >

Katie Ireland

The pet food industry, like food and beverage and CPG sectors, are setting sustainability goals, many by 2025. Packaging protects the pet food’s shelf life and taste characteristics. Planning your packaging options with awareness of the packaging material’s lifecycle and circular recovery path will give the producers and the buyers environmentally sound choices that will help them avoid options that are considered greenwashing, or materials that will end up in a landfill vs. more sustainable options like recycling or composting to reuse the material(s).


Mary Jo Werlein

Environmental Impact: Packaging in the pet food industry contributes to a significant portion of waste. Adopting sustainable packaging helps reduce the industry’s environmental footprint by minimizing plastic use, promoting recyclability, and decreasing overall waste generation.

Consumer Awareness: Modern consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious. Sustainable packaging aligns with the values of pet owners who seek eco-friendly products. This can enhance brand image, attract a broader customer base, and foster loyalty among environmentally conscious consumers.

Regulatory Compliance: As governments and regulatory bodies focus more on environmental regulations, adopting sustainable packaging can help the pet food industry stay compliant with evolving standards. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of legal challenges and ensures long-term viability.

Learn more about Katie and Mary Jo’s presentation >