BY LIZETT BOND
Recognizing the benefits of a proper diet for their own health, con- sumers also are hyper focused on the nutritional requirements of canine family members, said John Kampeter, vice president of
marketing and sales for Meta, Mo.-based Diamond Pet Foods.
Through research and exposure to similar human food trends, pet
owners are cognizant of the benefits of superfoods and novel proteins
in the diets of their pets, said Shelby Wisniewski, director of integrated marketing at Instinct, a brand of St. Louis-based Nature’s Variety.
The call for novel proteins can also be attributed to consumers’
desire to offer something new or different to their dogs at mealtime,
or to solve issues that stem from real or perceived intolerances or allergies, said Bryan Nieman, brand director for Fromm Family Foods
in Mequon, Wis.
For example, novel proteins such as rabbit, venison, lamb or salmon provide selections beyond more-common offerings, said Pete
Brace, vice president of pet parent relations and communications for
Merrick Pet Care in Amarillo, Texas.
“Many of our pet parents like to feed a rotational diet in order
to offer new flavors so pets don’t build up an intolerance to one
ingredient or protein,” Brace said.
While feeding a limited-ingredient diet containing a novel
protein offers mealtime choices and might help prevent food allergies
or intolerances, nutrient-dense superfoods such as kale, chia seed,
pumpkin, blueberries and quinoa provide an additional boost to pet
nutrition, Kampeter said.
“These nutrient-rich ingredients with health-promoting properties are high on the shopping lists of pet parents looking for ways
to help their pets stay happy and healthy,” said Jamie Turkington,
director of marketing for Petcurean Pet Nutrition in Chilliwack, British
Although there is no standard definition, “superfoods” generally
are considered to be foods that provide large amounts of vitamins,
minerals, antioxidants and other critical nutrients, Wisniewski said.
“Pumpkin, kale and pomegranate are examples of superfoods
that are rich sources of antioxidants, while chia seeds are an excellent
source of dietary fiber, protein and omega- 3 fatty acids,” Turkington
said. “Including a mix of superfoods in the diet of a dog provides
a balance of essential nutrients and disease-fighting compounds.”
As consumer focus homes in on the dietary needs of dogs, the novel
protein and superfood categories have merged with the jetlike
trajectory of a diverse array of selections in pet food.
OFFER A NUTRITIOUS VARIETY
“Variety and choice continue to lead consumer demand
in the pet food industry,” said Bryan Nieman, brand
director for Fromm Family Foods in Mequon, Wis. “In the
last decade, that market trend has gathered momentum
as more and more brands have begun utilizing unique
Recent additions to Merrick Pet Care’s grain-free
lineup include two novel protein recipes, Real Rabbit +
Chickpeas Recipe and Real Venison + Chickpeas Recipe.
They feature deboned venison or rabbit as the first
ingredient, said Pete Brace, vice president of pet parent
relations and communications for Merrick Pet Care in
“The foods are also potato free, and both feature
chickpeas for pet parents seeking a lower-glycemic option
for their dog,” Brace said, adding that the made-in-the-USA
recipes contain no corn, wheat, soy or gluten ingredients.
For 2017, Diamond Pet Foods will continue its
education and outreach to consumers and veterinarians regarding its new Diamond Care line, which was
developed by veterinarians to help address common
health issues in dogs and cats, said John Kampeter, vice
president of marketing and sales for Diamond Pet Foods
in Meta, Mo.
In addition to containing increased fiber to help pets
feel full, the Diamond Care Weight Management Formula
for Adult Dogs includes superfoods such as kale, chia
seed and papaya that provide antioxidants to support
overall good health, according to the company.
Redbarn Pet Products recently introduced its
Redbarn Wildwood canned food line featuring trout, duck
and quail in a delectable gravy, said Rashell Cooper, marketing director for the Long Beach, Calif.-based company.
“Like all recipes in the Redbarn canned line, premium
protein is the first ingredient,” Cooper said. “Wildwood
Stews are also grain, soy and corn free.”
Each made-in-the-USA recipe features added su-
perfood functional ingredients to support canine health
needs, such as weight control, healthy teeth and bones,
and joint health, Cooper said.
Koha Super Premium Pet Food, a brand of Nootie
in Delray Beach, Fla., rolled out a new line of grain- and
potato-free stews for dogs and cats featuring kangaroo,
guineafowl and venison, said founder Lonnie Schwimmer.
In answer to consumer interest in raw food nutrition,
Instinct recently introduced Raw Bites for Small Breed
Dogs, a recipe specifically tailored to the nutritional
requirements of more-diminutive canines, said Shelby
Wisniewski, director of integrated marketing for Instinct,
a brand of St. Louis-based Nature’s Variety.
In addition to the benefits of minimal processing to
preserve the nutritional integrity of every ingredient, the
recipes are enhanced with antioxidant-rich superfood
bites to help maintain a healthy immune system,