The natural pet food trend started 25 years ago in the U.S. and has continued to expand globally. Throughout the world premium pet foods have become synonymous with the concept of being “natural” and there has been noteworthy acceleration of this in Europe recently. According to Innova data, the EMENA CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for new petfood product launches with “natural” claims was 32% from 2016 to 2020. A significant part of this trend has been the development of natural antioxidant alternatives to help pet food companies maintain the shelf-life of their pet foods and to preserve pet’s health.
Consumer Demand for Clean Labels and Healthy Solutions
Euromonitor International has consistently noted that pet humanization and premiumization will continue to drive the global pet food market. Innova Database shows a 75% increase of new petfood product launches in 2020 with ‘natural’ claims in EMENA region compared to the previous year.
The growth of natural pet food is accelerating worldwide with consumers desiring cleaner labels, looking for safer ingredients, and wanting more sustainable options. Specifically, there has been a resurgence in concern over the safety of synthetic antioxidants (BHA, BHT and Propyl Gallate).
Pet owners are increasingly concerned about providing a healthy pet food. They expect fresh and non-oxidized food throughout the diet’s shelf life to maintain high quality and palatability. The use of natural antioxidants continues to expand into formulating diets that are part of a fully natural antioxidant program, with natural stabilization of all raw materials inside the formulation, during and after pet food processing. A comprehensive natural stabilization program is the optimum way to meet consumer demands and ensure that the whole pet food product delivers its shelf life guarantee.
Market Opportunity for Natural
The development of the natural market has been significantly impacted by the effective use of natural antioxidants to provide shelf-life extension to pet foods and ingredients. As the industry leader in providing antioxidant solutions to maintain the quality, nutrition and palatability of pet foods, Kemin has many suitable options to support pet food companies and their ingredient supply chain. Kemin has a broad portfolio of formulated dry and liquid natural antioxidants options, with its NATUROX™, VERDILOX™, and PARAMEGA™ brands. These brands contain blends of mixed-tocopherols, botanical extracts, chelators and surfactants
Choosing a Natural Antioxidant Supplier
As the pet food market continues to adapt to consumer demands and the natural antioxidant market grows, it is important to build a comprehensive shelf-life stabilization program using high quality, stable ingredients. Pet food formulations are increasingly using novel ingredients and more unsaturated fats, which requires extensive testing and collaboration with the antioxidant supplier to identify the best antioxidant stabilization strategy. Knowing where in the process to add antioxidant, how much to add and what antioxidant to use are critical to understanding how to stabilize pet foods. Kemin provides antioxidants that help assure shelf-life and oxidative quality throughout the entire supply chain and manufacturing process of pet foods. Kemin’s wide range of tailored customer support includes product application equipment, technical support and customer laboratory services to ensure effective natural antioxidant program implementation.
By Frank Clement, Principal Technical Service and Kemin Application Solution Manager, Kemin Nutrisurance EMEA and Cristina Murcia Garcia, Technical Service Manager, Kemin Nutrisurance EMEA
About the authors
Frank Clement is a Principal Technical Service Manager (TSM) and the Kemin Application Services (KAS) manager of Kemin Nutrisurance EMEA, based in France. Frank coordinate EU antioxidant, preservatives, and palatability TSM team projects.
During past 7 years, he spent lot of time in slaughterhouses plants, rendering plants for evaluating the best strategy to preserve the freshness of raw materials and guaranty safe end pet food products. He has been at Kemin for 12 years mainly focus on antioxidation subject and especially on EU Natural Antioxidant transition. As Biochemist he spent more than 30 years on pet food industry and especially on the analytical part at the beginning of his career.
Dr. Cristina Murcia García gained her PhD in Chemistry with focus on red-ox reactions from the University of Bonn (Germany).
Since then she has specialized in managing oxidation in rendering and pet food products. She works as Technical Service Manager for Kemin Nutrisurance Europe where she provides solutions to improve raw materials and pet food safety and shelf-life. Besides,she develops tailor-made trials and protocols for customers and holds customer specific trainings on topics like oxidation, freshness and food safety.