Pet Treats, Toppers and Inclusions Highlighted During Petfood R&D Showcase

Pet Treats, Toppers and Inclusions Highlighted During Petfood R&D Showcase

Petfood experts offered insights on the fastest growing categories on the market today.

November 2, 2018

At the Petfood R&D Showcase held October 9-11, 2018, in Manhattan, Kan., Petfood R&D Showcase attendees learned from keynote presenter Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight for Mintel, that the most important pet food trends closely parallel ones in human snacks, particularly with health and wellness. Dornblaser and other pet food experts presented on pet treats, toppers and mixers, plus pet foods with inclusions during

Dornblaser noted that as consumers seek foods for themselves with simple ingredients, clean labels, fortified nutrition and information on sourcing, they are also taking these same factors in consideration when purchasing pet food and treats. According to research conducted by Mintel, 37% of pet owners look for natural products, 18% seek organic products, while 52% look for pet treats providing added or functional nutrition. 

“Petfood R&D Showcase speakers provided important insight and research on the fastest-growing pet food categories on the market today,” said Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry. “From food safety to palatability and preferences, the content covered many key aspects of pet treats, toppers and inclusions.”

In addition to the presentations on cutting-edge scientific research, attendees participated in six interactive sessions and lab demonstrations that emphasized the development of treats, toppers and inclusions. These activities included: developing a gluten-free, sorghum-based, rotary-molded baked dog treat; exploring the characteristics and possibilities of formulating kibble topping with fruit and vegetable purees and powders; leveraging microencapsulation technologies in pet food and treat applications; utilizing inclusions that can be added to dry or wet pet foods, plus pet treats, to provide novelty, owner appeal, color and additional palatability; incorporating dried black soldier fly larvae into treats, toppers and inclusions; and a look at gates, diverters and valves for use in pet food and treat manufacturing facilities.

Petfood R&D Showcase will take place again in the fall of 2019 in Manhattan, Kan. For more information about this and other Petfood Forum events, visit