Cat food makers report seeing a growing demand for specialized foods. “As pet parents look to better their pets’ meals, we’re seeing a grow- ing demand for high-protein, wet solutions for cats,” said Missy Werg-
es, brand director for nature’s Variety in st. Louis. “since 2001, the biggest
change we’ve seen is the exponential growth in the demand for both freeze-
dried raw and raw frozen. Our research tells us that pet parents want simpler,
more recognizable ingredients and nutrition that’s high in protein for their cats,
which has certainly played out at retail.”
similarly, Lindsay Tracy, director of new business and business develop-
ment at redbarn pet products in Long Beach, Calif., said consumer demand
is manifesting in trends such as “natural products, clean labels, whole-food
ingredients and diets that speak to the activity levels of individual pets.”
“We also see consumers desiring high-protein options, and we believe
trends like freeze-dried meats and premium protein choices help deliver choic-
es in the category,” Tracy added.
pet specialty retailers agreed that the top requests customers have in
specialty or functional foods for their cats are those formulated for weight
management or to address kidney issues or urinary tract issues.
“They want to see if the specific words for their issue are printed on the
bag or can,” said Tracy Alford, owner of Animal nutrition & grooming Center
in roseville, Calif. “They want to see the words ‘restricted’ or ‘limited’ on the
Some pet owners seek out foods
that are formulated to address
their cats’ specific health issues.
BY SANDY CHEBAT