Animaltalk Magazine|October 2019
We have come a long way from feeding our dogs bones, vegetables and table scraps like they did centuries ago. Although South Africa lags behind world markets like Europe and America, we do tend to catch up more quickly these days. A quick look at what the future holds reveals that we can expect to see more humanisation, introduction of insect protein and cleaner, easier-to-understand labels.
We spoke to Rod Prince, International and Pet Business Director, Trouw Nutrition, Suretha van Breda, Technical Manager – premix, Trouw Nutrition, and Dominique Kuhlmann, General Manager of the Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa, to find out what the future holds.
What would you say are the biggest changes in dog food over the past 25 years?
Rod The biggest change is the huge level of research and development that has gone into the nutritional development of pet foods. We can see this in the range and complexity of diets, from different life stages to breed-specific and health issue-specific diets. On top of that, we have seen the effects of humanisation in the rise of premium and super-premium diets. Millennials will have a pet before they have a child, and we cannot underestimate the rise of the pet parent driven by more single-person households, urbanisation, and people entering into marriage and parenthood later than before. Over this period, we have seen and will continue to see a trend of more cats, and fewer and smaller dogs – the market will rise, but the tonnage will fall.
Dominique I think the focus on safety and the quality of nutrition is of paramount importance. While 25 years ago manufacturers were producing to satisfy a minimum nutritional requirement, now, quality is also very important. Much more variety is available, as manufacturers are now highly focused on consumer demands, and the acknowledgement of the individuality of each pet’s needs and preferences. Formulations now have many years of scientific research to back them and we try and assist differing health issues, for example.
What changes can we expect to see in pet food in the near future in the South African market?
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