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Packaged Facts: Organic Pet Food Poised for Expansion
USAgNet - 08/10/2017

Ten years ago, organic pet foods appeared to be ready to take the pet world by storm. Organic was just beginning its meteoric rise in mainstream human food categories, and with the simultaneous entry of natural pet foods into mainstream pet channels, the time looked ripe for organic options to establish a greater presence in the pet food market. However, despite the optimism expressed by the Organic Trade Association (OTA)--among others--organic pet food has yet to hit its stride. That is about to change, according to Natural, Organic, and Eco-Friendly Pet Products in the U.S., 6th Edition, a report by market research firm Packaged Facts.

In the report, Packaged Facts identifies a few main reasons why organic pet food has yet to achieve significant market penetration:

Supply issues: The recent growth in popularity of organic foods in human markets means that suppliers are already stretched thin. Add to this the issue that many ingredients in pet foods, such as fish and other more novel proteins, are not readily available in organic form, and simply finding enough organic ingredients can be problematic for pet food makers seeking entry into the organic segment.

High prices: As anyone who has purchased human organic food products knows, organic products cost more. Higher quality ingredients mean higher prices, and pet food companies may be gun-shy about marketing what could amount to a super-superpremium product price-wise.

Organic regulations complicate: With no firm federal mandate dictating what constitutes an organic pet food, pet food marketers seeking to use the organic label must adhere to human organic food standards. Rather than face regulatory scrutiny, pet food marketers may instead decide that it's easier to label a product "natural" and call it a day.

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