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Study: Pet Owners Seek Functional and Healthy Pet Treats


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Pet treat marketers are looking to unique ingredients and proteins—crickets, fungus and wood pulp, to name a few—in an effort to stand out on store shelves and online, according to a recent study from market research firm Packaged Facts. It’s also a way for companies to address pet health and wellness issues while enjoying “treat time,” officials said.

One of the most buzz-worthy functional ingredients, according to officials, is cannabidiol (CBD). Pet owners are seeking CBD in pet supplements as natural alternatives for anxiety and pain management, officials noted. About 11 percent of dog owners and 8 percent of cat owners have used cannabis (CBD/hemp) supplements or treats for their pets, according to a Packaged Facts survey.

Pet owners are also paying close attention on product safety, especially after the recent recalls involving pig ear chews from South America, officials noted. Because of the seemingly continual cycle of recalls, addressing issues of transparency has become essential in the market, officials said.

“Pet owners are demanding an ever-increasing level of detail about what exactly is in the treat products they feed their pets, and marketers are touting safe, reliable sourcing,” said David Sprinkle, research director at Packaged Facts, which is headquartered in Rockville, Md. “It’s even gotten to the point of putting the specific location of the ingredient source on product packaging.”

 

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