4 Changes You Can Make to Keep Up With the Healthy Pet Food Trend

There’s a growing trend in the pet food industry toward healthy products, with specialty pet food products appearing on supermarket shelves worldwide. According to Packaged Facts, growth in natural, organic, and eco-friendly pet food is expected to be near-exponential, with predictions that sales will eclipse traditional pet food within 5 years.
It appears that healthy pet food is more than just a trend – it’s here to stay. Here are 4 ways your pet food processing business can stay ahead of the curve.

1. Follow trends for “people food”

The current healthy pet food trend can be attributed to similar trends with people food. Consumers have shown that they’re willing to pay more for organic, natural, whole foods that are better for their health. And since people love their pets like family, it makes sense that they would want the same quality of food for their dogs, cats, and other pets that they would want for themselves.

2. Test new pet food formulas

Since your customers will be looking for new and exciting healthy pet food products, it’s a good opportunity to test out new formulas. However, you need to be able to make adjustments without disrupting your manufacturing output.
APEC can help with our fully-automated BatchBox batch control system. It gives you complete control over mixers, metered liquids, inventory, and formula management. Basically, you can test out new formulas using the BatchBox’s intuitive interface, without disrupting your factory’s workflow.

3. Upgrade your pet food coating equipment

Animal health experts recommend pet food that is rich in moisture, and it’s becoming more difficult to convince pet owners to purchase pet food in the form of dry pellets.
Moisture rich pet food formulas often include ingredients such as slurries that are difficult to work with when using traditional coating systems because the spray nozzles get easily clogged. With APEC’s Mistcoater, you can apply liquids to dry solids, with the use of spinning discs that are easier to clean and maintain than spray nozzles.

4. Improve ingredient tracking and product safety

To keep up with healthy pet food trends, you’re likely to use a more diverse set of ingredients in your formulas. You will most likely use some raw food along with ingredients with “active” ingredients like enzymes. Because of this, you’ll face a greater risk of contamination and waste.
In order to maintain the safety and integrity of your healthy pet food products, you’ll need improved ingredient tracking. Some ways to do this include:
  • Bar code confirmation
  • Lot tracking of ingredients
  • Monitoring of expiration dates, as well as “first in/first out” tracking
  • Time and date stamping for every transaction
To improve product safety, you need to clean and maintain your equipment to the highest standards. One way to improve in this area is with APEC’s pet food processing equipment, which is engineered for easy cleaning and maintenance. Call us today for more information!