A Matter of Trust

This year’s Petfood Forum will emphasize transparency in the pet food supply and how the industry can build greater consumer confidence.




Exclusive pet food consumer research that focuses on pet food transparency and building trust with consumers will be one of the highlights of Petfood Forum 2018, which takes place April 23-25 at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo.


David Sprinkle, publisher and research director for Packaged Facts will headline the second full day of the conference with a presentation on the results of a survey of U.S. pet owners that studied what transparency means to them and how pet food companies can be more transparent and earn their trust.


This hot-button issue will also be addressed in a variety of other sessions, including one in which executives from pet food players Nestlé Purina PetCare and Aller Petfood Group share their companies’ initiatives and outlook on transparency. In addition, an expert will present market research data from SPINS showing how trends from the human food and health industries—including product transparency—are impacting pet food.



High-Quality Content

Consumer confidence in the pet food supply will not be the only focus of this year’s Petfood Forum, though. The conference will kick off with what is sure to be an entertaining keynote by conservationist and television personality Jack Hanna and his animals, followed by an update from market research firm GfK, which will reveal what it sees as the hottest trends in the U.S. pet specialty market, based on the sales data it collects from thousands of pet stores.


Other key elements of this year’s Petfood Forum general sessions include roundtable discussions on insect protein, the next big trends for pet food, a CEO panel on attracting and retaining talent precede, and a closing keynote by dog cognition scientist Brian Hare, PhD.


The Latest Research

More than 20 Petfood Forum sessions will feature valuable, new research in concurrent tracks on pet food nutrition, ingredients, the evolving pet food market, processing and safety. Topics will include:

• How to reach Millennial pet owners.

• The evolution and future of the grain-free pet food market.

• High-pressure processing and raw pet food.

• The impact of diets on pets’ gut microbiota.

• How to contain a social media crisis.

• Lessons from the human food industry on what to expect from the FDA under FSMA compliance.


In addition to expert-led sessions, the 2018 edition of the conference will feature presentations from undergraduate and graduate students in pet food-related university programs. A new competition that is part of the Petfood Forum Student Program awarded students an opportunity to present their research, either as oral presentations or as posters. The oral presentations will take place April 24-25, with the posters being on display alongside posters from industry researchers throughout the conference.



While it will be filled with high-quality content, Petfood Forum 2018 won’t just be about listening to presentations. The conference will also feature a new Product Showcase demonstrating new products and services from leading industry suppliers; multiple networking opportunities, including receptions, breakfasts, lunches, coffee breaks and a late-night mixer; a visit from local pet charities; and a full exhibit hall of industry suppliers.


For the full schedule, including all session topic and speaker descriptions, visit www.PetfoodForumEvents.com and click on Agenda & Speakers.  PB


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