BELOIT, WIS. — Kerry, a global ingredient solutions provider to the pet food, food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, recently launched EverWild™, a line of consumer-friendly preservative solutions to boost freshness, quality and palatability in pet food formulas.

EverWild uses dairy, celery and vinegar ingredients to maintain various aspects of product quality over extended shelf-life periods, answering consumer demand for more identifiable ingredients, cleaner labels and fresher foods for pets.

“Across the globe, pet owners are paying closer attention to product labels and are seeking pet food that contains simple, identifiable ingredients that they recognize,” said Cynthia Rasmussen, business development manager with Kerry’s Food Protection and Preservation business.

Kerry conducted a survey of 330 dog and cat owners in the United States, in which 90% of respondents said they believe it is “important to read ingredient labels before purchasing a pet food or treat.”

Additionally, 86% of respondents reported they would be more likely to purchase a pet food or treat product if most of the ingredients listed on the label were recognizable, and nearly one-third of respondents said they would be willing to pay at least 25% more for products containing only recognizable ingredients.

It is no surprise that pet owners between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most willing to pay more for pet food and treat products recognizable ingredients (48% of respondents in this age group), compared to just 33% of pet owners ages 30 to 44, 22% of pet owners ages 45 to 60, and 23% of pet owners ages 60 and up.

Freshness is a priority for 84% of dog owners who participated in Kerry’s survey, as well as 80% of cat owners. Consumers tend to relate “real food ingredients” with freshness, according to the survey, with 62% of respondents agreeing.

According to Rasmussen and Kerry’s pet owner survey, “Maintaining fresh taste, appearance and aroma for even an extra day or two may help reduce food waste and support sustainability initiatives.”

The survey showed 25% of respondents throw away 10% or more of their pet’s food due to expiration, while 44% of fresh pet food consumers throw away at least 10% of product for the same reason. Almost all (97%) fresh pet food consumers are concerned about bacterial and mold growth, foodborne illness and other shelf-life issues related to food safety.

“The EverWild portfolio and Kerry’s dedicated pet team can help wet, semi-moist, fresh or frozen pet food and treat manufacturers add value to their formulas with label-friendly ingredients while maintaining fresh taste and appearance over shelf-life,” Rasmussen added.

Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.