Proteins Pack a Punch
Diets featuring novel proteins and superfood ingredients top
the charts in food trends this year.
BY SANDY CHEBAT
Across the board, industry participants report increased consum- er awareness about the ingredients used in their pets’ diets. Demand for novel proteins, such as wild boar and pork, and
superfoods, such as peas and pumpkin, in canine diets continues to
grow, with industry insiders citing pet allergies and trends in human
foods as leading reasons for the push.
“Overall nutrition and superfoods are more of a priority for customers,” said Crystal Nelson, manager or Ruff Haus Pets in Chicago.
“Customers have begun to examine what is actually going into their
canine companion’s food and how they perform on specific diets.”
Jen Loesch, general manager for Sojos in South St. Paul, Minn.,
“Concerned pet parents are hyper-focused on nutrition as the
key to whole body health and longevity, with pet parents looking
for safe, convenient ways to feed their pets the freshest ingredients
possible,” she said, adding that the popularity of foods made with
exotic proteins stems from a desire to add both variety and nutrients
to pets’ meals.
“Obviously, the demand for exotic proteins is growing,” Loesch
said. “And beyond the novelty and wilderness imagery, more and
more pet parents are discovering the unique nutritional attributes.”
Sales of diets that are void of traditional fare such as chicken and
beef are up at Loyal Biscuit Co., which has stores in Maine. Co-owner
Heidi Neal pointed to a few reasons for the increase.
“One, I feel that more and more dogs and cats are becoming sen-
sitive to common proteins, so pet parents are looking for alternatives
that work better for their pets,” she said. “Two, humans in general
are much more aware of novel proteins and superfoods in their own
diets, and that always translates over to what their pets are eating.”
Nancy Stewart, manager and buyer at Bark Avenue Pet Supply in
Mesa, Ariz., also attributed allergies as the reason why dog owners
seek out diets with novel proteins.
“Probably the greatest motivator for customers wanting novel
proteins is the widespread skin conditions being seen on dogs and
the assumption that these are because of one of the primary ingre-
dients in the food the animal is consuming,” she said, adding that
“novel proteins are not new, they are just changing. Years ago, lamb
was a novel protein, so the bar just keeps changing.”
Allergies are not the only reason for the current popularity of nov-
el proteins, according to Heather Hickey, vice president of sales—
North America for Ziwi USA in Overland Park, Kan.
“More consumers are rotating proteins, even without allergies, to
expose their pets to different proteins and nutrients,” she said.
The growth of superfoods in human health is crossing over
into pet, Hickey said, “because they are family members, not just
pets.” She also reported green-lipped mussels and kelp as popular
Annabelle Immega, trade marketing manager for Petcurean Pet
Nutrition in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, said pumpkin
is “the ‘hot’ superfood of the moment, [as it provides] multiple nutritional benefits including antioxidants, beta-carotene and dietary
fiber, plus [palatability].”
“The demand for exotic proteins is growing, and beyond the novelty and wilderness
imagery, more and more pet parents are discovering the unique nutritional attributes.”
—Jen Loesch of Sojos
Sojos Wild® adds an
ultra-premium dimension to Sojos’ growing
family of raw, shelf-stable dog foods. The
grain-free line features
Venison, Wild Boar and
Wild-Caught Salmon as
the first ingredient.
That said, Sojos Wild®
isn’t just about exotic
ingredients and wilderness imagery. Each of
the three novel proteins
is packed with high
nutrition and field-fresh
Free-Range Venison is
the ultimate red meat,
especially low in fat,
calories and cholesterol.
Wild Boar is more
flavorful than pork and
much leaner than beef.
And Wild-Caught Salmon
is packed with Omega
3s and essential amino
acids—all keys to whole
body health and vitality.
Add a special farm-fresh
blend of veggies and
fruit to balance the
proteins—stir in classic
Sojos ease of preparation—and Sojos Wild®
takes lean and healthy
to amazing, new places.
From Sojos Complete, to
Sojos Simply Meat dog
treats, to new Sojos
made without genetically engineered ingredients, fillers, preservatives, or anything
artificial. Just a short,
sweet list of entirely
meat, veggies and
fruits—all blended with
meticulous care under
Sojos’ own roof.