5 Petfood Industry blogs, columns in April 2023
Demographic headwinds to dog population growth
April 1, 2023 – David Sprinkle
While forecasts can have short shelf lives, being overtaken by unforeseen events, there’s no question that the U.S. economy and American households have been buffeted by COVID-19 shutdowns and illnesses, patches of job insecurity despite low unemployment rates and record price inflation only partially offset by wage increases.
When pet food M&A focuses on the M, not the A
April 5, 2023 – Debbie Phillips-Donaldson
Ownership changes between two companies typically fall under the phrase “mergers and acquisitions,” but at least in pet food, “acquisition” is the word most often in play, with one party buying the other. That’s one reason why the recent announcement about the Natural Balance Pet Foods and Canidae Pet Foods deal is interesting: It’s a true merger of the companies, according to executives of both.
U.S. pet food inflation on downward trend?
April 13, 2023 – Debbie Phillips-Donaldson
The other day, I happened to overhear a conversation between two people commiserating about the price of a large bag of dog food—a common refrain in the past year. Yet new U.S. pet food inflation data for March 2023 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows a slight decline year over year (YOY) from March 2022, perhaps signaling that relief may be on the horizon. Whether it’s just the near horizon or part of a longer-term outlook remains to be seen.
DCM-pet food research welcome, points to need for more
April 19, 2023 – Debbie Phillips-Donaldson
Grain-free pet foods first hit the market more than 20 years ago, likely inspired by no- and low-carb diets in human food; this was also about the time that humanization of pets was starting to take off. Never mind that there was no research then (and there still isn’t) showing that the ingredients removed from pet foods labeled as grain free—such as corn, wheat and soy—did not benefit pets nutritionally or otherwise. Or that grain-free products did confer any particular benefits.
The ongoing search for new pet food protein sources
April 27, 2023 – Debbie Phillips-Donaldson
With pet food so closely linked to human food, I subscribe to and read several newsletters related to the latter category. Perusing a recent article on Bloomberg.com by Coco Liu about a potential new type of alternative protein for humans, a somewhat off-hand sentence toward the end caught my eye: “The company aims to sell the powder as a protein booster to factories manufacturing aquatic feed and pet fare before expanding its offering to suppliers of human-grade food.”
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