4 Important Sustainability Considerations for Pet Food Manufacturers
The desire to preserve the planet and our environment isn’t limited to just what foods we enjoy and the consumer products we purchase. Pet owners are increasingly concerned about the diets they’re providing to their pets and even the packaging that contains these foods and treats. But beyond even these concerns, there are other sustainability interests near the hearts of pet parents, including animal and human rights, and environmental and ingredient safety, that will have an impact on generations to come.
Appeal to Pet Owners by Promoting Animal Welfare on Packaging
While it might not turn the heads of non-pet owners, promoting animal welfare on product labels appeals to pet owners and can motivate sales. For example, “free-range” meats are desirable to pet parents, who will seek out pet food products making these claims. Studies also indicate that they are much more likely to be willing to pay a premium for such products. Interestingly, however, since pet parents have been conditioned to reject animal byproducts in favor of premium meat cuts, the desire for animal welfare meats is somewhat at odds with the benefits of using animal welfare meat byproducts, which might reduce the number of animals needed to meet the pet food demand.
Packaging Recycling Challenges
The demand for recyclability continues to rise, but consumers also often want to see food products before making a purchase. This has led to significant recycling challenges in the paper packaging segment of pet food packaging. Many layered paper bags are augmented with a clear plastic window for product visibility, rendering recycling of this packaging very challenging—if not impossible. While paper still makes up a large segment of pet food packaging formats, flexible packaging—pouches in an array of sizes accommodating small treats to several pounds of dry food—is rapidly growing with wide adoption. Manufactured from a number of different film types—including recyclable and compostable options—clear windows can be readily incorporated.
Addressing Human Rights Throughout the Supply Chain
Consumers and corporations are becoming increasingly aware of the atrocities of slavery, sex trafficking, and other human rights violations throughout the world, and tracking it down within manufacturing supply chains is being actively addressed. The Labor Safe Screen is one initiative focused on abuses within the commercial fishing industry, which supplies a significant part of the pet food industry in addition to human food. Responsible pet food manufacturers are encouraged to carefully outline and monitor their supply chains to watch for and address abuses.
Pet owners are keenly aware of how dependent their furry (or not-so-furry) family members are dependent on them for food. So when contaminated foods are discovered or recalls published, it can be very scary for pet parents and even evoke feelings of guilt. But manufacturers who can trace ingredients and get to the bottom of a problem as quickly as possible is reassuring to consumers who want the best—and safest—food for their pets. Having achieved the highest level of SQF certification, traceability is a critical part of our packaging process and a key safety resource for product manufacturers.
Pet parents want the best for their pets, and pet food manufacturers can be rewarded with strong consumer loyalty by addressing their needs, concerns, and desires. To discuss your ideal flexible packaging solution for your pet food products, give us a call or contact us!
Don't forget to come visit us at SuperZoo from August 20-22 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. We will be at Booth #2021 and will be exhibiting our latest pet food packaging products.