FRESH OFFERINGS WITH NOVEL AND
As interest in novel ingredients and superfoods escalates, manufacturers are
heeding the call when they develop new products.
Created exclusively for diminutive diners, Tiki Dog Aloha Petites dry
recipes feature fresh-baked kibble in a size and shape suited for the smaller
mouth, and the line includes a Grain-Free Lamb Luau recipe for those
seeking novel proteins. Nutrient-dense organ meats add taste and texture
for superior palatability, said Ann Hudson, vice president of marketing for
Whitebridge Pet Brands in St. Louis.
“Tiki Dog wet foods offer seven whole-food protein combinations of
flaked fish and shredded chicken, steamed fresh, and hand-packed in pouch-
es and cans,” Hudson added. “Additionally, coconut, sweet potato, pumpkin
and kale, combined with omega 3 and 6, provide key nutrients to help small
dogs live happier and healthier lives.”
Petcurean Pet Nutrition recently expanded its Go! Sensitivity + Shine
limited-ingredient line to include Marine Stewardship Council-certified,
sustainably harvested Alaskan pollock recipes for cats and dogs.
“One of the most abundant and versatile fish in the world, Alaskan
pollock is an excellent source of protein, minerals and omega fatty acids, and
is low in carbohydrates, cholesterol and fat,” said Annabelle Immega, trade
marketing manager for Petcurean in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
Petcurean has added new stew and pâté recipes to its Now Fresh line
for dogs and cats. Featuring human-grade ingredients in a nutrient-rich
turkey bone broth, the selections are packed with superfoods such as
carrots, peas, cranberries, sweet potatoes and apples—all excellent sources
of antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, and dietary fiber to support
digestive health, Immega said.
Blackwood Pet Food recently introduced five all-natural, nutritious snack
formulas. The jerky-style training-sized treats offer health-driven ingredients
such as duck, catfish, coconut oil, blueberries, kale and pumpkin, said Joe
Livermore, director of sales and marketing for Blackwood Pet Food, a brand
of Lisbon, Ohio-based BrightPet Nutrition Group.
WellPet recently debuted several recipes across its family of brands, said
Chanda Leary-Coutu, director of consumer experience for the Tewksbury,
For those seeking novel proteins, Wellness Core RawRev, a combination
of high-protein, grain-free kibble and 100 percent raw meat, is available in a
freeze-dried Lamb recipe for a savory, nutrient-rich meal, Leary-Coutu said.
WellPet’s recently revamped Holistic Select recipes for dogs and cats
includes a rabbit-based formulation, adding a unique lean-protein option.
With guaranteed high levels of probiotics and digestive enzymes, the recipes
continue to deliver complete digestive support for pets, Leary-Coutu added.
Koha Pet Food recently released two dehydrated mixes created specifically for wet dog food, said Lonnie Schwimmer, president of the Delray
Beach, Fla.-based company. Koha’s Green Mix includes dehydrated kale and
kelp, providing excellent fiber levels to support healthy digestion. The Omega
Mix offers flaxseed and coconut for skin and coat health, Schwimmer said.
“Other mixes in the market were designed for a raw diet or for home-
cooked pet food,” Schwimmer said. “With Koha, you simply add water and
canned wet food for an easy-to-prepare, healthy and delicious meal.”
Nutritious, tasty and sustainable, Jiminy’s recently introduced dog treats
are made with cricket protein, said Anne Carlson, founder and CEO of the
Berkeley, Calif.-based company.
“As an alternative protein source, crickets combine great nutrition and
low environmental impact with a nutty flavor that dogs love,” Carlson said.
“Pound for pound, crickets offer more protein, are higher in iron and fiber,
and lower in fat than beef.”
Along with the Original Flavor Cricket Cookie, Peanut Butter & Blueberry
and Sweet Potato & Apple recipes are available.
Based on a human snack, Dogs Love Snapeas offers the health benefits
of peas with the added proteins that dogs love, said Paula Savarese, president of Healthy Treats Inc. in Naples, Fla.
“Peas are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and
essential vitamins and minerals,” Savarese said.
Three limited-ingredient and gluten- and wheat-free flavors are
seasoned with dehydrated beef, chicken or Himalayan yak cheese. Each
made-in-the-USA recipe includes brown rice and sunflower oil.
With the amount of superfood and novel ingredient options available,
selecting a recipe to suit the unique nutritional needs of each pet can
be overwhelming, said Annabelle Immega, trade marketing manager for
Petcurean Pet Nutrition in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
For this reason, a sales associate’s ability to offer guidance and explain
the benefits of these foods is crucial, according to pet specialty retailers
Joni Anderson, practice manager for T.H.E. Cat Hospital in Tustin, Calif.,
and T.H.E. Westside Cat Practice in Marina Del Rey, Calif., both of which
feature a small retail shop, agreed.
“We ask a lot of questions,” she said. “We want to determine if the
pet has been diagnosed with a food allergy. If the cat is our patient, we
can look up the history, and, often, the doctor will have made a recom-
mendation. We don’t want to introduce a unique protein, for instance,
if it’s not necessary because should it be needed down the road, it’s no
Jeff Manley, co-owner of TailsSpin Pet Stuff, a Bentley’s Pet Stuff
company with stores in Georgia, noted the value of attaining insight into a
pet’s current diet.
“The grade of food being fed gives us a reference for starting a conversation about nutrition,” Manley said.
Further, TailsSpin store associates are well versed regarding the
benefits of various superfood ingredients, he said.
“It is within our culture to offer pet food and treat brands that contain
these nutrient-rich ingredients,” Manley said.
For relevant products, such as with its Tiki Dog Aloha Petites line,
Whitebridge Pet Brands clearly states on the front of its bags that the diets
include superfoods, said Ann Hudson, vice president of marketing for the
St. Louis-based company.
“Many pet owners recognize the importance of superfoods, but chopping up kale or sprouting mung beans for their dogs is not a convenient
option,” she said.
Consumers often feel more comfortable buying a product comprising
ingredients found in their own diets, said Sherry Redwine, co-owner of
Odyssey Pets in Dallas.
“‘Superfood’ is one of those terms that has bled over from the
human-food marketing industry,” she said. “Sometimes, when I’m talking
with customers about the hierarchy of good dog or cat food, I will use the
term ‘holistic’ when referencing superfood ingredients.”
“Currently, consumers are looking for new ingredients that are not only nutritionally
beneficial, but good for the planet,” said Annabelle Immega, trade marketing manager
for Petcurean Pet Nutrition in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
Chanda Leary-Coutu, director of consumer experience for WellPet in Tewksbury,
Mass., noted growing interest in unique protein sources paired with superfood ingredients, prepared using processes that maintain nutritional integrity.
“People are moving beyond ‘turkey and cranberry’ and looking for boar or venison
enriched with fresh spinach and chickpeas,” Leary-Coutu said.
Insect protein is quickly gaining traction as a viable protein choice for both people
and pets because it is seen as an eco-friendly protein alternative, Immega said.
“Everything from cricket protein bars to treats and toppers are becoming more
readily available,” she said.
Interest in hemp and cannabidiol is also on the rise, said Paula Savarese, president
of Naples, Fla.-based Healthy Treats Inc., maker of Dogs Love Kale and Dogs Love
“These ingredients are going to need a lot of attention from the retailer in order to
educate the consumer,” Savarese said.
“In our business, wants and needs come to us through pet owners, retailers and
industry experts in pet nutrition,” said Joe Livermore, director of sales and marketing
for Blackwood Pet Food, a brand of Lisbon, Ohio-based BrightPet Nutrition Group. “We
then move into a research phase to determine the benefits and safety of an ingredient
that’s included in a recipe.”
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