Study finds food product freshness, quality and taste top of the list

As many as 90% of pet owners agree it is important to read ingredient labelsbefore making a pet food or treat purchase. That’s according to a recentsurvey of U.S. dog and cat owners initiated by Kerry. For 80% of pet owners,freshness is a key purchase influencer and has significance for all pet ownersregardless of their pet’s food type. “Across the globe, pet owners are payingcloser attention to product labels and are seeking pet food that containssimple, identifiable ingredients that they recognize,” says Cynthia Rasmussen,Business Development Manager with Kerry’s Food Protection and Preservationbusiness.

Kerry EverWild is a newly created line of solutions that use kitchen-friendlyingredients like dairy, celery and vinegar to help maintain product freshness,quality and palatability over shelf-life to deliver the fresh appeal petowners are seeking with ingredients they trust and understand.

The power of ingredient recognition

Innova reports that “no additives/preservatives” accounted for 40% of newglobal pet products development in 2020, higher than any other ingredient-related claim. The “free-from” movement, once filling a niche need for naturalpet food is now table stakes to compete in the super-premium pet food market.A third of pet owners are willing to spend 25% or more for products thatinclude recognizable ingredients. “The EverWild portfolio and Kerry’sdedicated pet team can help wet, semi-moist, fresh or frozen pet food andtreat manufacturers add value to their formulas with label-friendlyingredients while maintaining fresh taste and appearance over shelf-life,”adds Rasmussen.

Consumer perceptions of freshness is evolving

Freshness is a trending topic within the pet food industry but is most closelyassociated with the fresh food finished product format. However, freshness hasbroad and universal significance for all pet food shoppers, regardless of thefood they purchase. When asked which attributes consumers most closelyassociate with product freshness, 62% said ‘made with real ingredients’ ismost important.

Unsurprisingly, fresh pet food shoppers place the highest value on freshness,however, 47% of wet pet food shoppers also feel strongly that freshness is animportant purchase driver. The EverWild range of solutions may help pet foodand treat manufacturers build stronger “fresh” positioning across multiplefood formats by including recognizable ingredients while also supportingimproved color development and maintaining fresh taste and quality over shelf-life.

Maintaining product freshness may also play a role in helping reduce foodwaste. A quarter of wet food shoppers indicate throwing away at least 10% oftheir pet’s food because it expires or is no longer perceived to be suitablefor consumption. A surprising 86% of pet owners are concerned about the safetyof their pet’s food from issues such as bacterial growth or foodborne illnessand this increases to 97% amongst fresh pet food shoppers. “Maintaining freshtaste, appearance and aroma for even an extra day or two may help reduce foodwaste and support sustainability initiatives,” adds Rasmussen.

Source: Petfood Industry

Image: Bigstock

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