Pets play an important role in our daily family life. Besides the normal caretaking and nurturing, the healthy diet of a pet is of utmost importance. As over a third of pet owners actively check the ingredient list when purchasing new pet food or treats, it is vital to use quality ingredients.
Over sixty percent of owners reportedly would be interested in trying out a pet nutrition product made with functional ingredients of proven benefits. Trends such as natural and grain-free, limited ingredients, foods to address specific dietary requirements such as digestion, affect how dogs and cats are being fed.
Human food trends certainly impact the way we feed our animals. Like in humans, obesity is a growing health problem in pets, thus products with weight management benefits have enjoyed spectacular growth over the recent years.
Established categories such as pet food and treats are pushing relentlessly upmarket as pet owners grow ever more discerning. At the same time, purchases are increasingly functionally driven as health becomes a top priority (Euromonitor, 2017). Let’s look at the use of Inulin, for instance, extracted by Sensus from a natural source, the chicory root (Cichorium intybus L.). The usage of chicory derived fructants in pet food is based on the same considerations as the use in human food, namely its prebiotic effect and the subsequent health benefits (Sensus, 2017).
Treats and snacks are traditionally used as a way to reward good behavior. Nowadays, however these products are also popular for their health benefits, as 25 percent of owners give their pets treats designed to address specific health issues (Mintel, 2017). There is still further growth in the pet treats category as close to 50% percent of pet owners say they give their pets treats on a daily basis.
Whilst this is great news for pets, these trends call for re-evaluation of virtually every part of the pet food manufacturing process. Texture and stability, palatability and consistency, consideration of nutritional science alongside monitoring consumers’ attitude to pet nutrition- efficient product formula is one of the priority aspects.
Despite challenges, the pet food industry enjoys exciting new opportunities for innovation. Let’s Formulate the Future Together!
 Positive health effects have been found at a dosage of 1 – 4% of inulin or oligofructose in pet food. Beneficial effects were observed on several indicators that are related to overall health, obesity and well being. Sensus, 2017