couple kissing dog

Top 5 Trends from Petfood Forum

Pet ownership has been on the rise during the pandemic, driving growth and innovation in the pet food industry. This year’s trends from Petfood Forum offer insights on what brands are doing to appeal to today’s pet owners.


Some of the current trends in the pet food industry include:

  • An increased demand in pet treats
  • Online purchasing 
  • Visually appealing products
  • Natural pet products
  • Ingredients for anxiety

Trends from Petfood Forum Closely Following Food Industry Trends

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Petfood Forum was back on again this year. There was a good turnout at the Kansas City, Missouri event (despite the lack of international attendees this year), with a number of smaller, niche pet food companies attending. The humanization of pet food—including an emphasis on healthy and premium—was a major theme at this year’s Petfood Forum.

Here’s a look at the trends we saw:

1. Focus on Treats

There was a strong interest in pet treats this year, especially premium treats. With people spending more time at home during the pandemic and snacking more, many feel their pets deserve snack breaks, too. Giving a pet a treat is also a fun bonding moment. Treats that also provide health benefits are one of the top pet treat trends to watch.

2. E-Commerce Opportunities

People have not only been buying their foods, beverages, and supplements online during the pandemic, but they’ve also been buying pet foods and treats. Educational sessions at Petfood Forum covered ways to capitalize on this opportunity. Strategies include optimizing sales on Amazon and Walmart’s e-commerce platforms, pet food subscriptions, and personalized boxes.

Man at computer with dog

3. Visual Appeal

Glanbia Nutritionals’ EdiSparklz® Edible Glitter was a showstopper this year, with attendees grabbing up sparkly cookies at the booth. EdiSparklz® were baked into the cookies to illustrate the application in pet treats. This is perfect for a birthday cake or cupcake treat or for eye-catching product differentiation in general. There was interest in the mint-flavored EdiSparklz® for use in dental treats that also freshen breath.

4. Natural Ingredients

Another trend at Petfood Forum was attendees looking for natural ingredients such as Glanbia Nutritionals' natural mold inhibitors. All-natural and no additives/preservatives claims have been rising in new pet food product launches as brands address this growing pet owner preference. As more people choose natural products for themselves, they’re also seeking the same for their pets. 

5. Calming Benefits

One concept showcased at the Glanbia Nutritionals’ booth received a lot of attention: a custom premix solutions for calming. This premix contains valerian extract, vitamin C, chamomile, and inositol for a pet product targeting calming or reducing anxiety. Many pets will be alone during the day when pet owners return to work, making this an appealing benefit.

cat in lap

Looking Ahead

This year’s Petfood Forum was an exciting opportunity to learn about the changes underway in the pet food industry and explore innovations that can appeal to today’s pet owners. While aspects such as natural and healthy are becoming expectations in pet food products, there are still a variety of options for product differentiation.

Whether it’s a custom premix unique to your brand or a colorful, edible glitter for a product they won’t forget, Glanbia Nutritionals has the ingredients you need to succeed. Learn more about our pet solutions for your next pet food, treat, or supplement!

Frequently Asked Questions

The six essential nutrients for dogs are carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Carbohydrates provide glucose, which is used for energy, and fiber, which supports a healthy gastrointestinal tract. While protein and fat also provide energy, they have additional essential roles in a dog’s nutrition.

Protein delivers the 10 essential amino acids dogs need to maintain the body’s functions and structures (such as muscles, skin, and nails), while fat provides essential fatty acids that help absorb fat-soluble vitamins, produce hormones, and more. 

Dogs also require a number of vitamins and minerals, in very specific amounts. Water is the most important nutrient of all—dissolving and transporting nutrients, regulating body temperature, and allowing chemical reactions to take place.

A dog needs a minimum of 88 mg of iron per kg of diet on a dry matter basis (DMB) for growth and reproduction and 40 mg per kg of diet DMB for adult maintenance, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The AAFCO has also established a maximum for iron in a dog’s diet of 3,000 mg per kg of diet DMB.

There are no specific ingredients that are the best for cats. Many different ingredients may be used in cat food, but what ultimately matters is the nutrient content. 

A commercial cat food formulated according to the nutrient profile specified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for the relevant life stage will meet all of a cat’s nutritional requirements. These include certain nutrients not required in dog food such as arachidonic acid, biotin, and taurine.

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