The pet food industry is booming – it’s an industry that makes over $20 billion annually according to market research.
Pet food companies have been trying for years to squeeze into every niche of the pet food market, even going so far as to reach out on social media like Facebook and Twitter to bring in and educate potential customers. It’s with that added push to get your attention that pet owners are also now paying more consideration to what’s in the food and how healthy it is for your animal. Products with easier to read and pronounce ingredients that offer a balanced diet without fillers is more likely to be a hot seller than your typical dog food.
Slap on an “Organic” sticker for marketing and it’ll definitely fill the niche for owners that are wary of what they feed their animal. “Gluten Free” is also a hot marketing tactic pet food companies will use to try and get more upper-income customers as they move away from grains and focus more on non-allergen-inducing ingredients like chickpeas.
Nutrition is almost always foremost on the minds of pet food customers, and they are more likely to purchase food that they can tell is healthier and full of solid nutrition than go for a cheaper brand that may contain more filler. There are several different types of dog foods that are specifically tailored to certain types of dogs. Active larger pets require a different diet altogether than a small indoor pets. Some companies even offer locally sourced food or specifically tailored diets that come in bags delivered to your front door. Product produced here in the United States often outsells a product from overseas – mostly due to pet-owner fears of contaminated food.
A new style of food that many people may have not considered are dehydrated or freeze dried foods that are quick and easy to prepare and offer the same benefits as frozen fresh food that may take a day or so to thaw out. The nutrition in these foods is generally viewed as higher because there’s less processing involved.
Vitamins and Supplements
With the influx of healthier foods, the sales of vitamins and pet supplements have decreased. These additives come in soft chews or additions to existing food, like gravy. These types of supplements are usually bought by individuals with older pets to try and alleviate joint pain and stiffness or are full of antioxidants. There is a rise of obesity in pets and there are foods that offer the same sustenance but with less caloric make-up. Supplements not only add extra nutritional value or medication to your animal, but they are also bought to add a little zest to your pet’s food. Pet food that mimics the looks and smell of human food are also popular. It’s easy to think that if it looks good enough for you to want to eat it, your animal will love it.
There are diets called “Paleo Diets” that try and recreate the same type of food that your animal’s ancestors may have eaten and tend to focus more on superior proteins and grains. There’s also a raw food trend that offers frozen packages that are usually USDA inspected. Raw food is considered healthier by many due to its unprocessed and chemical-free nature. With pet food recalls and stories of tainted food, it’s imperative to many consumers that the food they buy is not only healthy, but also has better ingredients from a known source.
These trends come and go and the needs of your pets may change over time as they grow older. Pet food companies change up their marketing tactics regularly and offer surprising new choices for you and your pet. Who knows what the next trend will be, perhaps freeze-dried astronaut ice cream?
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