Top 10 most-read pet food stories of 2021

Kansas City, Missouri. The general consensus among pet industry experts and market researchers is that pet ownership and buying behaviors have been forever changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the dynamic and challenging supply chain environment, retail turmoil amid acceleration of e-commerce and multiple channel options, tight labor markets and a myriad of other obstacles, the industry continues to grow. Emerging products and formats that support the ongoing shift towards humanization and characterization are fueling the market. Sales of dog and cat food alone are expected to reach $37.1 billion in 2021, up 6.4% from 2020, according to Packaged Facts.

Throughout 2021, pet food processing It covered over 100 new product releases, a slew of private equity investments and acquisitions, news and innovations from startups and veterans alike, transformational product trends, sustainability journeys and achievements, updates on the changing retail landscape, and everything in between.

Here are our top 10 articles from 2021:

Dilapidated infrastructure and other supply chain issues affecting US pet food manufacturers

In June, the Pet Food Institute (PFI) submitted public comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) detailing supply chain constraints noted by pet food manufacturers and processors, including those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association cited several issues in transportation and supply chain infrastructure, price inflation of key components, long lead times for equipment, and how the interconnected nature of the pet food industry’s relationship with other U.S. markets caused supply shortages and other disruptions in 2020 that led to continued in 2021.


Martha Stewart Launches CBD Dog Treats

The lucrative pet treat market presents an attractive opportunity for human food brands looking to expand their portfolios to include cat and dog companions. Another notable trend shaping the pet treatment market is the incorporation of hemp and CBD ingredients to deliver functional benefits.

Between the lines of these two trends emerged Martha Stewart’s range of CBD-infused dog treat products, adding to her lifestyle and pet products empire. Share Stewart with Bob Minardi, DVM, Director of Technical and Educational Veterinary Services at Canopy Animal Science, for product development.


Blue Buffalo launches wet cat food line to replace healthy food line

In March, Blue Buffalo announced the official release of their newest wet cat food, BLUE Tastefuls™. The new line will replace premium pet food and treat the brand’s healthy gourmet products, becoming Blue Buffalo’s new food offering for wet cats. BLUE Tastefuls is currently available in three forms: BLUE Tastefuls Patés, Flaked Entrées and Tender Morsels.

The company cited the growing market for value-added pet food products, including those focused on overall health and wellness, daily hydration and offering a variety at mealtime, as reasons behind its refreshing wet cat food.


Update: ‘No causal link’ has been established between UK cat food recall and cases of pancytopenia

In June, the Royal Veterinary College (RCV) began investigating the slight increase in cats with symptoms of pancytopenia, a low blood cell condition, which was initially linked to one of the UK’s hypoallergenic cat food producers. In September, the UK’s Food Standards Agency released an update to the investigation. Extensive testing of hypoallergenic cat food revealed that there was no causal relationship between pancytopenia and the recalled cat food products. “The investigation is underway.


Purina reports that 92% of large dog owners aren’t sure when to stop feeding their puppies

In a survey published in late August, Nestlé Purina PetCare highlighted inconsistencies and misunderstandings among pet owners when it comes to buying and feeding puppy formulas, showing that many pet owners are unaware that dogs’ maturity varies with breed size.

According to Purina, pOwners are more likely to select an appropriate diet based on the size of their dogs (46%), but not take into account differences in breeds and their effects on size and development. This provides an opportunity for manufacturers to help pet owners gain a better understanding of age-appropriate formulations through product marketing and education.


Target launches Kindfull pet food brand

in the middle of August, Target has debuted its new private label pet food range in stores and online. The leading general merchandise retailer now sells over 50 dry and wet dog and cat diets, pet treats and premium meal products.

The font reflects many industry-wide trends, including the use of Pasture-raised beef and wild-caught fish, recyclable packaging for many of the products in the line, offering premium food products at affordable prices.


Tyson’s Pet Company Sold to General Mills for $1.2 Billion

In May, General Mills announced plans to acquire Tyson Foods’ pet products business — including Its brands Nudges, Top Chews and True Chews – for $1.2 billion. The deal also included the sale of Tyson’s manufacturing facility in Independence, Iowa. The two companies closed the acquisition in July, and General Mills said on its second-quarter earnings call that Tyson’s previous pet treat brands had already started paying off the company’s dividend in terms of sales.


Bobby Flay launched a cat food brand inspired by his feline companion Nacho

in April, Bobby Flay and his Maine Coon cat companion, Nacho, first started their own cat food portfolio focused on providing delicious, high-quality diets to modern cats.

The new line, made by Nacho, is the result of two years of developing, testing, and tasting recipes. Products inspired by culinary experts and cats. Celebrity American chef Bobby Flay worked with Katia Lang, DVM and Veterinary Consultant at Made by Nacho, to design a complete, balanced range of delicious and nutritious cat diets.


Mars Petcare UK launches the first 100% insect-based cat food

in early April, Mars Petcare has announced the upcoming launch of the world’s first 100% insect-based cat food exclusively in the UK. The brand, Lovebug, does not contain any traditional protein sources such as beef or poultry ingredients.

This amazing cat feeding solution is in line with the rise of insect protein processors, pet food and processing companies that are adopting a protein alternative to feed the world’s growing pet population in a more sustainable way.


Kinderhook acquires Primal Pet Foods, and combines a pet purse to create the Primal Pet Group

In August, Primal Pet Foods, a Fairfield, Calif., pet food, processing and supplement company, announced that it had been acquired by private investment firm Kinderhook Industries, LLC. Kinderhook currently owns Prairie Dog Pet Products, Himalayan and Holistic Hounds, and plans to combine all four brands under the new name, Primal Pet Group.


Walmart releases ‘super-quality’ private label pet food

In early May, Walmart announced the launch of several vet-made pet food products under its own Pure Balance brand. The new products, PRO+, include four cat formulas and five dog formulas.

Emerging trends in pet food label lawsuits

Over the past 10 years, the number of individual and class action suits based on alleged mislabeling has continued to rise. The types of lawsuits range widely, from those based on specific words used on labels such as “natural” and “real,” to the stated origin of ingredients, to disputes over the images used on a food label. This article discusses the types of lawsuits that frequently arise, as well as the trends that appear to be developing in the way courts handle those lawsuits.

Only online retailers dominate the emerging pet e-commerce market

Online pet product sales now make up 30% of the total market, according to market research firm Packaged Facts, a number that has grown significantly from just 8% in 2015, accelerated by changing pet owners’ preferences and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Some companies stand out in this fast-growing retail category, including the purely online as well as traditional stores platforms that have added strong online ordering capabilities in recent years. However, online retailers continue to dominate this space.

State of the Industry 2021

Our annual State of the Industry reports have been widely read and shared throughout the pet food processing industry since the opening of pet food processing In 2018. So far, the State of the Industry Report 2018 is the fourth most-read article we’ve ever had. Read the latest State of the Industry Report by clicking the button below.

Find the top 10 articles of 2020 here, and stay up-to-date with the latest pet food treats and industry news on our homepage.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *