Trends from the pet industry trade show that swept Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from Aug. 20 to 22.
SuperZoo 2019, hosted by the World Pet Association at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from Aug. 20 to 22, was packed with new pet food and treat products from a multitude of brands, from those using all human-grade ingredients to high-meat inclusions and even a new vegan dog diet.
Here are some trends and products that stood out to the editors of Pet Food Processing as they walked the show floor.
In light of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) latest report on its ongoing investigation into the alleged connection between dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and grain-free diets, some brands have re-embraced grains as a wholesome and ancestral source of nutrition.
Wellness released CORE with Wholesome Grains dog food diets, featuring four formulas with high-quality animal proteins and grains such as barley, quinoa and oats. In addition, the brand introduced four other recipes under its new CORE RawRev with Wholesome Grains line, which are formulated with the same grains but include morsels of 100% freeze-dried animal meats mixed in with the traditional kibble.
The potential that some of the FDA’s DCM cases could be linked to taurine deficiencies possibly attributed to the inclusion of higher amounts of legumes, potatoes and peas in dog diets in place of traditional grains has some brands highlighting the addition of added taurine in their formulations.
For example, Caru has reformulated its Daily Dish and Original lines of stews for dogs to include added taurine, although the complete-and-balanced diets also offer meat and grain-based protein.
To promote rotational feeding across wet and dry diets, complementary formulas have been introduced by a few companies. Pairing similar wet and dry diets is a way to ensure pets get the hydration they need.
Zignature, a Pets Global brand, released a treat extension to its dry and wet pet food lines, Ziggy Bars, after years of development and requests from consumers, according to the company. The treats cover the gamut of Zignature’s complete-and-balanced formulas, with each formula now including a dry food, a wet food and a matching treat.
Also featured here is the a complete-and-balanced limited-ingredient Landfowl recipe, one of the newer offerings from Pets Global's Essence brand.
Some brands are striving for “raw” nutrition by adding freeze-dried diets and treats.
Grandma Lucy’s unveiled Moxie during the show, an entirely new line of pet food that is 100% freeze-dried with whole fruits and vegetables mixed in. Moxie dog and cat foods are grain-free, high-protein (93%) diets featuring freeze-dried, human-grade beef, chicken or turkey.
Perhaps one of the most prominent trends seen in the New Product Showcase section at SuperZoo was with processing methods for pet food and treats. Many brands have begun to market their products as “small-batch processed,” “minimally processed” or “gently air-dried,” to name a few, presumably to communicate transparency and an increased bioavailability of nutrients in the formulas.
Smallbatch Pets, a small San Francisco-based pet food company, showcased its pet foods in the New Product Showcase section of the show. These include “lightly cooked” beef, chicken and turkey formulas for dogs and cats, with each cat diet including 96% animal protein, chicken and turkey dog diets at 85% animal protein and the beef dog food at 80% animal protein.
Gently air-dried is also a processing method being utilized by many brands.
Ziwi, a company sourcing its animal ingredients in New Zealand, released four new air-dried, small-batch dog treats: liver coated lamb ears, chicken gizzards, venison green tripe, and venison lung and kidney.
Ziwi also released four new gently air-dried cat diets, including a mackerel and lamb formula, free-range chicken, beef, and lamb formulas, as well as two new wet cat foods formulated with New Zealand hoki and mackerel.
A number of pet brands have released full- and broad-spectrum cannabidiol (CBD) products over the past year as the therapeutic benefits of the plant have taken the market by storm, although the regulatory environment is still somewhat unclear.
Pet Releaf showcased a new hemp supplement bar for dogs, Boom Bar, in three varieties: Recovery, Longevity and Energize.
High-protein is not necessarily a new trend in the pet food and treat industry, but it has continued to grow as consumers pay closer attention to labels and demand higher quality ingredients.
Blue Buffalo released its Carnivora line of “optimal prey nutrition,” in which 90% of protein is animal-based. Each grain-free diet is formulated with a combination of animal sources, such as its Woodland blend for adult dogs, which includes dried and fresh raw chicken, organs, turkey, saltwater fish and duck. The brand features Prairie, Coastal and Woodland formulas for dogs, as well as Coastal and Woodland formulas for cats.
Aside from traditional proteins, insects and nutritional yeast have been utilized in new complete-and-balanced diets for dogs, appealing to more sustainable “animal” proteins that still offer optimal nutrition.
Jiminy’s, a pet treat manufacturer using crickets as a sustainable source of protein, developed its first insect protein-based dog food in two formulas, Good Grub and Cricket Crave, which are manufactured in small batches in the US. The diets are hypoallergenic and sustainable, according to the company.