PetFoodIndustry.com recently ran an editorial piece by its Editor-in-Chief, Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, on the growing “clean label” movement in human and pet foods and on the need for consumers to protect themselves — and their pets — from baseless or misleading claims.
Citing recent studies that indicate consumers are increasingly looking for foods with simpler ingredients, Phillips-Donaldson cautions that identifying quality food for your pets may be a bit more complicated than just looking for an “all-natural” label. She notes that pet food companies tend to adhere to claims like “corn-free” or “no fillers” because of customer demand and not necessarily because of scientific evidence that such formulations are better for pets.
“What spurs pet owners to think they should avoid these ingredients in the pet foods they buy? Often, it’s from reading misinformation and myths on the internet – what someone I know refers to as ‘Dr. Google.’ Such misinformation has been around for a while, and it’s partially the pet food industry’s fault, in my opinion. After the 2007 melamine-related pet food recalls, when many consumers first started to become truly aware of how pet food is made and the ingredients in it, pet food companies had a golden opportunity to open up to pet owners and educate them – with accurate information.
A few pet food makers did just that, but many missed the opportunity. The internet abhors a vacuum, so into it rushed all sorts of ‘experts’ with their opinions, agendas and myths about pet food and ingredients. That morass of misinformation has only grown since then, and that’s what many pet owners see and believe.”
— Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, Editor-in-Chief, PetFoodIndustry.com
In response to this growing cycle of misinformation, Phillips-Donaldson sees an opportunity for pet food manufacturers to increase transparency and to better educate consumers — not only about what goes into their foods, but also how those ingredients benefit the pets who eat them.
Check out her full article on PetFoodIndustry.com.