Pet food products affected by supply chain crisis

MISSION, Kan. Some pet food brands are in short supply, and now people are turning to convenience stores for help.

“There is a bit of a shortage of pet food with the biggest manufacturers, so fortunately like smaller companies, we haven’t seen that often,” said Kristen Harter, director of Go Pet Go. “We work with a different kind of supply chain where brands are independently owned and family owned and our brands actually come in easily.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released data in May of 2021 indicating that one in five American families have had a cat or dog since the start of the pandemic.

Harter noted the slight increase in pet ownership and said this is also contributing to increased demand and shortages of some products.

“There is a massive influx of pets in the United States,” Harter said. “But it can also be a little difficult for the industry.”

The Pet Food Institute released a statement to KSHB 41 News claiming that several factors were contributing to the shortages, including changes in ownership caused by the pandemic.

“Multiple factors can affect the manufacturing, distribution, and immediate availability of pet food for retail sale. As with other industries in consumer goods, demand for pet food has increased, and perhaps larger-than-normal purchases of pet food have also increased.

Availability of transportation and drivers, as well as weather incidents, can affect the movement of components and finished products across the country. This can be exacerbated by regulatory and commercial developments that ripple the supply chain, such as government incentives for renewable diesel affecting the pet food ingredients market and delaying cargo ships in America’s ports.

“Finally, it is important to note that more people are spending extra time at home with their pets. This can lead to more feeding and more treatment than usual, as pet owners look for more ways to bond with their pets.”

“Pet Food Institute (PFI) strongly encourages shoppers to regularly purchase only the amount of food they need. Ensure that pet food manufacturers in America are working to produce food safely for your pets, and we recommend contacting the individual company for assistance with a specific food product for dogs or cats.”

Dana Brooks, President and CEO of the Pet Food Institute

If you can’t find some pet food products, you can go to local stores where the staff can help you find other options.

Some places offer perks or discounts and will let you return the pet’s food if it doesn’t work out. Products also differ on price points.

“The price point is really comparable if not lower, so a lot of people, that’s a misconception. They’ll come and be afraid to look at the brands on our shelves because they think they’re going to be out of budget,” Harter explained.

Consumer demand also affects the way food is made, shipped, and sold.

A Pet Food Forum is scheduled for May in Kansas City where companies can learn more about the changes and meet other industry leaders.

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