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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Food


Appetite ferocious for premium pet food

More pets are being feed premium food with health fortifying ingredients such as glucosamine, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics, a trend that is especially booming in the United States where many pets are treated as family members.

Many pet parents, who treat their dogs and cats as well as humans, are adamant about feeding the best food possible to their animals, according to a study by Packaged Facts, a market research firm.

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"Pet owners often view their pets as part of the family, or even as surrogate 'children.' Thus they are looking for the safest and healthiest products possible," Packaged Facts publisher Tatjana Meerman states in a media release.

"Particularly in the United States, the premiumization trend goes beyond the tendency Americans have to be better educated about health and nutrition issues," Meerman states.

Americans also are more aware health and nutrition issues, Meerman added, but "the pervasive humanization dynamic cannot be underestimated."

Pet parents across the globe spent an estimated $49 billion in 2008 on premium food for their animal companions, according to a report by market research publisher Packaged Facts.Premium pet food is considered to be products such as natural/organic; functional/nutraceutical; special diet segmented by life stage, weight, health condition and breed; and gourmet.

The compound annual global sales growth rate in 2008 increased by 5 percent from the preceding five-year period, the report found.

Another recent study by Packaged Facts found that sales of pet food at natural supermarkets surged by 22 percent in 2007. For several years, leading natural supermarket chains, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, have been outperforming mainstream grocers as consumers embrace natural and organic products of all kinds, the study found.



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