BY LIZETT BOND
Hippocrates’ notion of food as medicine is spilling over into the food bowls
of our canine companions. As
the maxim, “you are what you
eat” gains strength in the human
sector, consumers are demanding the same nutritional consideration for pets. In answer, the
superpremium food category
continues to expand.
There are several consumer
trends driving the superpremium market, said Bette Schubert,
co-founder and senior vice president of sales, new product development and education for Bravo
Pet Foods in Manchester, Conn.
“It starts with recognition
of the substantial role food and
nutrition play in the health and
overall wellness of our companion animals,” Schubert said.
In that regard, pet owners are
focusing on the following attributes: made in the USA, natural
and grain free, said Tim Fabits,
vice president of sales for Long
Beach, Calif.-based Redbarn Pet
The mass migration to-
ward made in the USA prod-
ucts shows no signs of slowing
down, said Adrian Pettyan, CEO
and co-founder of Caru Pet Food
in Vero Beach, Fla. Pet owners,
increasingly concerned with the
safety and health of their pets,
are flocking to products that are
prepared in accordance with
stringent U.S. Food and Drug
Administration food safety reg-
ulations, Pettyan said.
Many of these demands mirror those in the human nutrition
sphere, including a focus on
simple, clean ingredient panels
with better-for-you ingredients
and culinary trends such as bone
broth and turmeric, said Lucy
Postins, CEO and founder of The
Honest Kitchen in San Diego.
“Superpremium foods give
consumers the ‘clean label’ they
are looking for,” said Andrea
Margelis, manager of Pets Naturally in Traverse City, Mich.
The public’s interest in grain
free continues to gain strength,
particularly for dogs with digestive sensitivities, Pettyan said.
Additionally, medical conditions such as joint issues, diabetes and other concerns often
can be alleviated through better
weight control, Schubert said.
“That’s usually achieved by
going grain free, as these products
tend to have less sugar and carbo-
hydrates and offer a lower-calorie
option,” Schubert added.
GMO-free ingredients and
exotic proteins also are driving
sales in the superpremium category, Pettyan said.
“Generally speaking, we
are catering to an increasingly
discriminating consumer,” Pettyan noted. “The bar for what
constitutes a truly superpremium nutritional diet rises higher
The Best of the Best
An ever-expanding array of superpremium dog food mirrors the
appeal and nutritional value of meals on the human dining table.
NEW DOG FOODS
When it comes to superpremium dog food, consumers are seeking more choice
in their natural pet food options, said Tim Fabits, vice president of sales for
Redbarn Pet Products in Long Beach, Calif.
“We listened and developed our new grain-free canned patés and stews,” he said.
Redbarn’s canned paté line features added functional ingredients to support
common canine health issues, such as immune support, weight control, and skin
and joint health, Fabits said.
For pet owners wishing to customize their dogs’ meals with extra variety, or to encourage picky dogs to eat, The Honest Kitchen’s new limited ingredient Proper Toppers
feature 90 percent meat plus antioxidant-rich superfoods to help boost the nutrition of
each meal, said Lucy Postins, CEO and founder of the San Diego company.
“Proper Toppers is a ready-to-eat dehydrated product that can be used as a healthful
topping to meals, as a treat, or as a complete and balanced diet,” Postins said.
Inspired by a centuries-old kettle creation that is rising in popularity at finer
restaurants and in kitchens from coast to coast, Caru Pet Food’s new grain-free Bone
Broth for dogs is prepared by slowly simmering bones from naturally raised, grass-fed
cattle with organic carrots, celery and parsley to make a flavorful, nutrient-rich stock,
said Adrian Pettyan, CEO and co-founder of the Vero Beach, Fla., company.
“Just like our entire stew line, it’s made with 100 percent human-grade ingredients in a human-food facility,” Pettyan said.
Bravo Pet Foods’ new grain- and gluten-free Canine Café recipes are formulated for pet owners feeding canned foods as part
of their pet’s overall diet plan, said Bette Schubert, co-founder and senior vice president of sales, new product development and
education for the Manchester, Conn., company.
“Our approach to the Café line closely mirrors that of our raw diet products in that the meals are made with quality muscle
meats and poultry, and contain no fillers, preservatives, artificial flavors, or meat and poultry meal or grain,” Schubert said.
DRY DOG FOOD DOLLAR
Annual Growth Rate)
Source: The Nielsen Co.
Superpremium + 9.3%
Premium - 3.3%
Value - 5.7%
For many dog owners, “superpremium dog
food” means a frozen raw diet.