Trends help us to better understand consumers, and consequently to develop brands and products orientated towards their needs. As a rule of thumb trends are defined as lasting at least 10 years. In the food business these long-term trends shape markets for both human food and pet food.
Though most human-pet relationships are fulfilling, each year a substantial number of animals are abandoned by their owners or relinquished to animal shelters (Podberscek, 1997; Marston and Bennett, 2003). The number of dogs and cats euthanized annually in the United States is estimated between 5 and 17 million (Carter, 1990; Rowan, 1992) with 3 to 6 million as a result of behaviour problems (Dodman and Shuster, 1998).
Possibly one of the most frequently voiced consumer lores around commercial pet food is that pet foods are made from waste.
There is a human trait, which leads to most people seeking employment in areas that interest them. A lucky few manage to find full employment in an activity that is their hobby or where their ‘love’ interest lies. This is equally true of people who seek employment in the Pet Food Industry.
Animal nutrition in the last decade has seen great advances in the understanding and application of the correct balance of nutrients required in the diet and the quality of the raw materials used. In the companion animal sector, the focus on specific dietary requirements now means that pet owners have a huge choice of commercial diets of varying specificity and good nutritional quality available.
Formulated or commercial diets for dogs and cats have been around for well over 60 years in North America. The first commercial diets were very similar in ingredient mix to the beef and raw foodtype diets mixed with grain and vegetables seen today as well as the large array of homemade recipes available from countless authors on the personal feeding of pets.