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Pet projects: Exciting developments in the pet food processing industry

Across our service area, we serve several companies that produce animal nutrition products. A few of these companies include Simmons Pet Food, Nestle Purina PetCare, NaturPak Pet and Mars Petcare. These companies provide the science, innovation and technology for the 85 million U.S. families who are pet owners.

Since 2019, pet food manufacturers have invested nearly $250 million and created over 430 new jobs across our Iowa and Wisconsin service area.

Members of our economic development team recently attended the Petfood Forum, which attracted attendants from top pet food companies. The forum included sessions that outlined some of the most important milestones of modern pet food product development.

Petfood highlighted the future of this industry driving growth in Iowa and Wisconsin.

  • Increased demand. People spend more time with their pets and value their companionship. The desire to keep pets happy and healthy has pushed for higher standards and requirements. As a result, you see more customer-based products in the pet food market such as customized products, extra recipes, and new brands.
  • Premium products. In 2020, North American pet food and treat sales increased by 8.1% according to Euromonitor, a leading provider of global business intelligence, market analysis and consumer insights. Last year also demonstrated a shift in pet ownership. According to Euromonitor, the pet population has grown 5% in North America. A significant increase in high income households drove pet food with premium packaging and ingredients to gain market share.
  • Pure ingredients. Pet owners look for purer and simpler ingredients that are minimally processed or even raw. Brands are becoming more creative to answer the demand for alternative proteins such as insect- or plant-based recipes. This is one reason for the diversification of pet food forms, like the many new wet products such as stews, purees, pâtés and broths.

If your community is interested in this growing industry, reach out to our economic development team. We’re happy to share our knowledge with your team.

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