Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, September 2013

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pet Health Critter Cravings Which pet health ingredients are making headlines this year? E ven during the economic downturn, the pet supplement market has remained remarkably recession-proof, driving home that Buster and Tiggy really are part of the family. According to the market research frm Packaged Facts, U.S. retail sales of pet supplements and nutraceutical treats are expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2017. Here's this year's update on pet supplements, including emerging trends and new products. Recent Industry Trends In 2012, Karen Howard became the new president of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), the industry's voluntary watchdog organization. Having spoken with over 50 companies in the past year, Howard says a large infux of companies from the human side—raw ingredient suppliers, contract manufactures, and distributors—want to jump on the pet supplement bandwagon. Newer ingredients used in human supplements are now showing up in pet supplements, with about a one- to four-year lag time, Howard says. "We're seeing a pretty big increase in the use of herbs, enzymes, mushrooms, curcumin, colostrum, and a more diversifed set of omega fatty acids." Another new development, Howard says, is the increase in "hybrid" products—where supplement ingredients, such as glucosamine or chondroitin, are added to approved feed ingredients. Te Association of American Feed Control Ofcials (AAFCO) defnes what constitutes an animal feed product. Although state laws govern pet food manu64 magenta cyan yellow black facturing, they closely follow AAFCO recommendations. Such products, which may be marketed as nutritional treats or pet supplements, are neither foods nor drugs. "Tey are really not products that fall under any regulatory scheme," Howard says. As with supplements for people, fnding quality ingredients remains an area of concern in the industry. "Sourcing chondroitin has got to be the number one problem in the industry," Howard says. "Te burgeoning market in herbs and issues with adulteration are equally challenging." NASC helps their members source good quality ingredients by providing access to reputable companies that adhere to NASC's stringent benchmarks. Although the NASC is committed to helping its members conduct quality research, there is still very little money available in the industry for such endeavors. "Unlike the human side, we're still dealing with smaller companies, and a lot of start-ups," Howard says. "It's a very diferent culture." Boning Up on Joint Health It's no surprise that joint supplements continue to occupy the lion's share of the pet supplement market. Dogs now have an average life span of 10–12 years, and many cats are living to 17–18 years or beyond. In senior animals, arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems are a fact of life. Of course, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been the mainstays of joint supplements for decades now. While green lipped mussel and hyaluronic acid are now well-known additions, the category is fairly static, some industry experts say. "If it's not static, it's defnitely in the decline mode," says Jay Martin, vice president of sales and marketing at Interhealth Nutraceuticals (Benicia, CA). "People feel [glucosamine/chondroitin supplements] aren't very efective, so we're seeing a lot of interest in fnding new ingredients." Martin says Interhealth has developed a raw material for joint health, UC-II, an undenatured type 2 collagen made from ground chicken meal. While chicken is not the most exotic of substrates, Martin says September 2013 ■ Globalp/iStockpHoto.com By Katherine Kahn, DVM NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ES314331_NO1309_064.pgs 08.31.2013 00:29 UBM

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