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Clarkston Consultant Lorraine Mackiewicz Discusses Evolving Pet Food Industry

Pet food expert and Senior Clarkston Consultant Lorraine Mackiewicz was recently featured in a piece from on evolving pet food industry trends in the post-COVID environment. An excerpt of the piece can be found below.

The pet food segment of our industry has been seeing historic gains, with the COVID-related supply chain issues barely making a dent in the continually burgeoning pet industry at large. With these continual increases, savvy retailers would certainly do well to utilize the focus on pet food to better access their customers’ needs and wants, ensuring continued repeat customers for years to come.

But first, let’s look at exactly what these trends are telling us. Lorraine Mackiewicz, a senior consultant for Clarkston Consulting, summarized her firm’s findings in a 2021 survey of pet food trends. While the firm’s findings hinge significantly upon the ‘humanization” of pets by younger adult generations, several statistical trends stood out in their research.

“Foods with fresh ingredients, superfoods, whole grain and high protein… have caught on,” noted Mackiewicz. “It’s no surprise that many of these diet trends mirror similar food trends.”

Just as we seek to eat healthier and find new ways to enhance our own diet, a majority of pet owners have shown to be “open to new types of food” including refrigerated and fresh-made food. Mackiewicz even notes that Purina has recently released a Fancy Feast-branded cookbook (meant for humans) that is inspired by their own product line.

However, just as health concerns factor into pet ownership and purchasing trends, Clarkston’s research found an increased emphasis on sustainability and ecological stewardship, with new pet owners greatly favoring recyclable packaging and companies that put forward efforts towards holistic health and corporate responsibility. New pet owners show a statistically significant bend towards brands that do these things, showing a willingness to pay more for food from a company that reflects their own values.

Read the full article here