Global Pet Expo is the pet industry’s largest annual trade show, featuring the newest, most innovative pet products on the market. More than 1,000 companies exhibit and the New Products Showcase highlights 3,000 of their newest lines, providing a one-stop location for attendees to preview all the latest products hitting the industry. The 16th edition was held in February 2020 at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando (Florida).

 

Cécile Saint-Paul, Diana Pet Food North America Head of Marketing was there. She shares her take on the three top ingredient trends featured, the stand-out ingredient at the show and a general trend across all of the ingredients showcased.

 

 

On-trend ingredients: Hemp, CBD, Grains and Raw food

 

Global Pet Expo revealed an emphasis on three main ingredient areas, seen in multiple pet care and pet food products:

 

 

1. Hemp and CBD

 

Firstly, there were many CBD and hemp-based products. They’re used to support a large spectrum of claims, having benefits for pets’ guts, skin and stress management.

 

Hemp and CBD are now present in treats as well as in a variety of pet care products, like sprays, balms, and even collars.

 

 

2. Grains are back

 

Another big trend this year, in response to diet-related concerns around DCM and its negative impact on grain-free diet sales, is a return to grain ingredients.

 

Many brands have showcased new or revisited grain options to add to their product lines. Grains are now declared “wholesome” and “healthy”.
They include brown rice, ancient grains, and oat and barley, for example. On the other hand, there is a move away from white potato, pea or legume type diets.

 

 

3. Raw and raw alternatives

 

Process-wise, raw and raw alternatives are being used by many brands today.

 

Used either as a stand-alone or included in treats or complete foods, freeze-dried and dehydrated meats and vegetables are increasingly present in formulations.

 

 

Standout ingredient: Bone broth

 

So, what was the standout ingredient at the show? Bone broth was everywhere.

 

It was sold both on its own and also included with ground meats, fruits or vegetables to create puree or light mousse type products.

 

Usually packed in individual portions, bone broth-based products are used to top dry or dehydrated food but can also be offered as a treat that pets can lick directly from the pack.
With bone broth, it’s also interesting to see an increase in human-grade ingredient usage in pet food.

 

 

Socially conscious appeal

 

Generally, across all the ingredients at the show, it was evident that pet food and pet care companies are increasingly communicating their social responsibility program and actions.

 

For example, there were many ‘cage-free’, ‘humanely raised’ and ‘grass-fed’ claims referencing the origins of ingredients.

take-home points

  • Hemp, CBD, grains, raw and raw alternative ingredients were the three headline trends in new products at Global Pet Expo.
  • The standout ingredient was bone broth, sold on its own or included with other products.
  • Communicating social values in ingredient origin descriptors is increasingly important in appealing to socially and environmentally conscious pet parents.