Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, April 2018

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■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK 14 GLOBAL MARKETING APRIL 2018 GLOBAL MARKETING P et food innovation in the U.S. is active and healthy. U.S. launches accounted for 37% of total global pet food launches record- ed by Innova Market Insights in 2017. And while the number of U.S. pet food launches has slowed slightly in recent years, juxta- posed with a growing number of launches in other, emerging markets, 37% is still a very high share for just one country and attests to the level of innovation in the U.S. market, which has led to a wide range of dif erent products and a high level of segmentation. T e U.S. pet food market is also charac- terized by a relatively high share of dog food launches. Dog food launches accounted for 63% of 2017 launches in the U.S., compared with 54% of dog food launches globally. Cat food launches accounted for most of the re- maining activity, both in the U.S. and globally. And although cat food activity is still well be- hind that of dog food, it has been increasing its share in recent years, up from 37% to 44% globally over the 2012 to 2017 period and from 27% to 36% in the U.S. Remaining launch activity comes from food for other kinds of pets, including birds, f sh, and small animals like guinea pigs, rab- bits, etc., as well as for larger animals such as pigs and horses, and for exotic animals such as ferrets, chinchillas, and a growing range of reptiles. Human Trends Humanization of the pet food market is a well-developed trend, mirroring innovation in the human food and drinks industry as a whole, with a strong focus on health. About 84% of global pet food launches used a health positioning of some kind in 2017, rising to nearly 89% in the U.S. T e U.S. bias toward dogs is again in evidence, with 93% of dog food launches using health claims and a lower, but still very sig- nif cant, 81% of cat food intro- ductions doing likewise. As in the food industry over- all, clean labeling continues to be the leading area of interest in U.S. pet food, with over 60% of pet food launches using one or more of "natural," "organic," "no additives/preservatives," and/ or "GMO-free" claims. "No addi- tives/preservatives" claims were the most popular, accounting for nearly 46% of claims, ahead of "natural" with 35%. Interest in GMO-free products has risen and is now higher than that for or- ganic products. Non-GMO claims were used for 7.5% of pet food launches compared with 4% for organic claims. T ere is also ongoing interest in "free from" foods, with strong interest in gluten-free and grain-free formulations, particularly for dogs. Nearly 19% of 2017 U.S. pet food launches used a gluten-free positioning, rising to 20% for dogs alone. While interest in grain-free options continues, there is also a move in some areas to stay with grains but use more exotic grains—particularly ancient grains, which are often perceived to be healthier. Launches in the second half of 2017 included Health Extension Lamb & Brown Rice Rec- ipe pouched dry foods containing quinoa and f ax. Green Pet Organics' Simply Wild Lil Crunchers treats in Chicken and Bison & Apple f avors are based on buckwheat, and Canidae's Under the Sun Original Adult Dog Food features millet. Other popular marketing platforms in- clude protein content, vitamin and mineral fortif cation, digestive/gut health, omega-3 fatty acids, and skin health. T ere is also on- going interest in diets for specif c age groups, health conditions, and need states. Premium for Pets Humanization has also driven premiumiza- tion of the pet food market, with an increas- ing number of launches targeting the premi- um and super-premium markets, centered on a spirit of indulgence as well as a range Furry Feasts Humanization continues to drive pet food innovation. BY INNOVA MARKET INSIGHTS SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/ ELENA RUDYK

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