If you are surprised that frozen-yogurt “pup-sicle” treats are now a thing, it is probably time to take another look at the trends that are going to dominate the pet food market in 2022. Everything from mono-protein diets to avoid allergies to antioxidant-laden foods for your furry friend, trends toward humanizing pet food, and making it easier on the planet, are set to dominate the next year of pet product purchasing.
The Rise of Sustainability in Pet Food
Consumers have been keeping an increasingly critical eye on the longer-term health impacts of how they eat, and this has extended to what they feed their pets as well. Now that trend is extending to the planet itself. As we look ahead to 2022, trends toward sustainability are going to be increasingly important in consumer purchasing decisions.
This trend toward sustainable proteins in pet food is a logical outcome of the recent movement of the market toward higher quality protein sources in pet food. As consumers search for better proteins for their pets, products like salmon, bison, game meats, and even traditional options like chicken or lamb are increasingly in demand.
As consumer consciousness increases around issues like fish stocks, the carbon cost of livestock, and the ethical questions around factory farming, it is perhaps inevitable that new questions would arise regarding the sustainability of pet food. This is not only a concern with the ingredients in the end products people buy, but in the processes used in the entire production process. Knowing the food you are giving Fido will not harm the planet is an increasing concern for many purchasers, and the transparency of the digital age means you need to partner with ingredient producers who take a conscious approach to sourcing every component of your final product.
Humanization in Pet Food Production
The “humanization” of the pet food market is set to continue this year as more and more consumers bring attitudes and choices they make for their own food to what they feed their pets. This trend has been bringing new textures, flavors, and meal components into the pet food market for the last couple years as consumers are putting the kind of thought previously reserved for their own meal planning into what ends up in their dog’s bowl.
One of the elements of this trend is the need for greater variety to keep consumers satisfied. This presents a huge opportunity for pet food producers to revamp old product lines or take a risk on introducing new, healthy ingredients into their offerings. There has never been a better time to highlight replacing old fillers with new, healthier options like sweet potatoes or carrots.
Science and the Differences Between Cat Food and Dog Food
Combining the ongoing trend toward science-based diets for pets and the overall trend toward healthier products will not look the same for all categories of pet food. For felines in particular, this trend has helped move consumer sentiment back toward protein-rich diets that are tuned for feline digestive tracts.
This differs from research around other major pet food categories like dog food where the inclusion of vegetables alongside healthy protein sources has gained traction. Though the importance of higher-quality protein sources is clearly still growing for dog food as well, the inclusion of vegetables, and even the rise of vegan dog food should not be ignored.
Market Trends in Pet Food Purchasing
One last set of trends to pay attention to in the pet food space is the move toward higher-income households taking a larger share of pet ownership and the rise of online purchasing of pet food. Taken together, these two trends indicate more consumer discretionary spending is available to support higher-dollar purchasing of premium pet products, and that more opportunities are available to reach consumers outside of traditional purchasing patterns.
With more dollars on the table and new ways to connect with consumers online, there is more and more opportunity to offer up new premium pet food options highlighting benefits like antioxidant-rich blueberries, raspberries, or sweet potatoes that might have previously been off-limits to less well-heeled or adventurous consumers. This means food producers now have more opportunities to launch innovative recipes into the market.
At Silva, we have always taken a conscious approach to the sourcing and processing of all our products. Sourced from hand-picked producers across the globe and taken through our thorough and exacting sanitization process, each of our many different vegetables, spices, herbs, and mushrooms are available in many cut and powdered sizes to offer you the most options possible when crafting pet foods and treats that will appeal to changing consumer sentiment.
Whether you are looking for vegetables like spinach or kale to add some nutritional heft to your ingredient list, or beets to bring deep natural coloring to eye-catching treats for pups, Silva has the ingredients you need. If you want to learn more about how partnering with Silva can help you stay ahead of changing consumer behavior, contact a member of our customer relationship team today.