Today’s wider-ranging mix of products and packaging for pet foods, particularly as the general market is experiencing a boom from newer items and brands, includes a package type billed as an alternative to cans.

Tetra Pak cartons have been used in the human food and beverage market for many years and are now being used for some pet foods for a variety of reasons. The cartons are made from 65% renewable materials, are 100% recyclable and feature tear-off strips. Tetra Pak also offers a newer Tetra Recart, a retortable carton package that can be used for pet food.

“The Tetra Pak carton offers protection, long shelf life and sustainability, and is lightweight and easy to open without sharp edges,” says Larine Urbina, vice president of communications for US and Canada for Tetra Pak, a Swiss company with US headquarters in Denton, Texas. She says that this package type is particularly appealing to newer brands that have not previously produced (and hence been more tied to) a can format.

Petcurean offers a wide variety of packaging solutions, including both traditional cans and Tetra Pak cartons for wet food, to meet the varying needs of consumers.
Another point of difference is that Tetra Pak cartons are BPA-free. In recent years, makers of canned pet food have been the target of some consumer groups concerned about cans that contain the substance and potential health risks associated with BPA.

According to Urbina, usage and queries about the Tetra Pack carton among pet food companies has been rising. “We’ve seen interest from pet food manufacturers because it’s different — it’s a different shape and also offers sustainability, which aligns with a lot of brands,” she says.

Also aligning with the marketplace is the upgrading of pet food among pet owners. “Especially with this premium trend, we see pet parents looking to feed pets the same quality as human food, and our cartons have a reputation of being associated with high quality human products,” Urbina notes.

Houston-based Petcurean, which produces pet foods in cans, also has embraced the use of Tetra Pak cartons for some of its products. “To save retailers even more shelf space, we packaged our NOW FRESH stew and pâté recipes in Tetra Pak cartons. These innovative and sustainable cartons use up to 40% less shelf space than cans and cups, which means less stocking and more selling,” reports Annabelle Immega, trade marketing manager for Petcurean.

Read more about products and brands shaking up the pet food and treat market.