A deep dive into pet food product development

Petfood Essentials 2022 took place the day prior to the commencement of Petfood Forum on May 2 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Innovation and pet food product launches have been a key driver for the pet food market’s ongoing growth—yet developing a new product is not always easy or straightforward. Pet food product development teams need to consider many factors, moving parts and competing interests to achieve a successful launch.

Petfood Essentials offers information, insights and tips on the most important stages and considerations for creating new pet food products, with industry experts providing an overview of the key steps and best practices for winning in the pet food market. Participants in Petfood Essentials will get to practice these learnings during group exercises and a friendly competition throughout the day. Perhaps your team will come out on top!

Sessions at a glance:

  1. 8:30-9:15 a.m. | Welcome and opening session: How to spur innovation and generate new product ideas in your company
    Speaker: Steven Lerch, founder and president of Story Arc Consulting, former Google executive
  2. 9:15-10:15 a.m. | Setting the new product strategy. What type of product, including format? Who is the target audience? What are the main distribution channels?
    Speaker: Renee Streeter, DVM, DACVN, principal nutritionist, BSM Partners
  3. 10:45-11:45 a.m. | Managing expectations, timelines and competing priorities. Who should be involved, and when? How do you handle marketing vs. regulatory requirements and requests?
    Speaker: Leah Lambrakis, vice president, research, development and innovation, Simmons Pet Food
  4. 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. | Ingredient, processing and packaging considerations. Do you need new vendors, equipment, processes? How do you factor all into the total cost of the product launch?
    Speaker: Amanda Dainton, Ph.D., project leader strategic quality and process development, Freshpet
  5. 1:45-2:45 p.m. | Tinker and test: Online focus groups, interactive platforms and survey research. What are the options—and best practices—for trying your new product on the market before launch and getting feedback from consumers?
    Mark Golde, principal, Strategies for Growth, and Jenny Mays, customer insights consultant, Climate Corp.
  6. 2:45-3:45 p.m. | Going to market—developing a marketing and distribution plan. How to determine the best retail/distribution channels for your new product, and top marketing tips for each (including e-commerce).
    Speaker: Billy Frey, director of field marketing and director of marketing-cat portfolio, Champion Petfoods

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