Recent years have seen growth in vitamin and mineral usage among pet owners. And more owners swear by them. However, while demand for supplements is growing, new product development is relatively limited.
In the UK, 35% of pet food buyers agree that supplements are the most efficient way of delivering functional benefits to pets. For those aged 25-34, this group rises to 45%.
To serve the increased interest from pet owners, more and more companies around the world are catering to their wishes. In Australia and New Zealand, for example, the share of vitamin and mineral-fortified claims in pet food and pet product launches has doubled over the last 5 years.
‘Mood foods’ anyone?
Two-thirds of pet food buyers in the UK agree that what you feed your pets has a direct impact on their emotional well-being. Owners’ inclination to seek out ways to better manage their own emotional well-being, it seems, is extended also to that of their pets.
Pet food with calming ingredients sparks interest among half of the pet food buyers (48%), signaling that anxiety in pets is a real area of concern for many owners. Much more can be done to further mine the importance of emotional well-being in the pet food market.
This can be through mood-focused marketing messages or by using ingredients with links to emotional benefits. A fairly rare example of the latter is Pooch & Mutt, with its calm and care supplement including chamomile and L-tryptophan.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, Apotek offers a stress and anxiety supplement that contains the amino acid L-theanine. The brand claims it has a calming effect and contributes to reduced stress and anxiety, without giving a feeling of tiredness.
Turning to CBD
As awareness continues to grow about the potential benefits of hemp and CBD-derived products, for both humans and animals, these products are growing in a variety of innovations. Hemp and CBD are new options for consumers who are increasingly looking for ways to care for their pets that suffer from ailments, neurological disorders, arthritis and even joint issues.
Pet Magic is the first Mexican CBD oil brand exclusively for pets. There are 4 oils to choose from that help to treat stress, anxiety and pain in pets or can serve as an aid to relieve allergy symptoms.
There’s also room for CBD-infused grooming products, such as Far Out CBD Moisturizing Shampoo as well as CBD dog treats from beverage brand Recess.
Toppers help drive growth
While many toppers are positioned purely for appetite appeal, a growing number also promise functional health benefits. A common denominator across this diversity of functions, forms and benefits is ‘customizability’. Toppers enable pet owners to create treating and feeding experiences uniquely suited to their pets’ needs, catering to individual taste preferences and dialing in just the right amount of indulgence, care and interaction.
Although the original inspiration for pet food toppers may have been table scraps and other ‘people food’ mixed with kibble to make a tastier meal, supplemental nutrition has become a key theme as the market has grown.
In the US, Purina Beyond Mixers+ highlights added vitamins and minerals, and features varieties that promise immune and digestive support. In Mexico, Cha-Cha Shaker is a low-calorie, vitamin-packed pet food mixer. And in Colombia, Nutrello Flavoring Chicken Sauce is said to strengthen the immune system, regulate mineral balance and improve bone health.
Digestive and immunity-boosting products
In fact, digestive health seems to be a popular focus of supplements around the world. In China, a liquid probiotic dietary supplement features an imported New Zealand goat milk base, encapsulated with a patented 5-layer coating technology. The dietary supplement is said to be made with 7 types of active probiotics and 5 types of prebiotics.
In Indonesia, Kin Dog Goods capsules claim to work as a stomach soother to naturally coat and lubricate the GI tract and stomach lining. The prebiotic formula is also said to help to promote balanced flora in the gut.
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