Is This the Future of Pet Food?

Entrance to Interzoo 2016 in Nüremberg

Recently we attended Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany. Held every two years, this is the largest trade show for the pet industry in the world, with more than 1700 exhibitors showcasing a vast number of products and services for pets.

We were there primarily to meet with our suppliers, Midwestern Petfoods, the manufacturers of Pro Pac Ultimates and Earthborn Holistic. Their stand was very popular, with the reputation and quality of these foods generating a lot of interest. We also had the opportunity to view some exciting new products in their range which we will be introducing to New Zealand soon. Watch this space!

However, we also spent some exploring the rest of the exhibition. The products on show gave us a definite feel for the direction that pet food is heading in and what is in store for the future. There are some very interesting and exciting developments afoot that are set to transform the industry over the next few years. Here are some of our observations:

  1. The world is moving very rapidly towards “natural” and “holistic” pet foods. Virtually all of the hundreds of brands on show used these words somewhere on their packaging and emphasized the quality of the ingredients used. Petfood is becoming a lot more natural. Just as with human foods, dog and cat owners are demanding better quality and more natural ingredients. Owners want their pets to eat a natural diet, with all of the health benefits such a diet gives. This is in fact the fastest-growing segment of the pet food market.
  2. Companies with lower quality foods were nowhere to be seen at the show. Statistics show that sales of low-quality foods are rapidly declining around the world. Although previously pet owners would mainly buy their foods on price (the lowest) and convenience (the supermarket), people are becoming much more aware of the damage such foods can do to their pet (the recent lawsuit against Purina Beneful in the US, claiming it has been responsible for the death of more than 4000 dogs, is a good example).
  3. Pet owners are losing trust in the big pet food brands owned by multinational conglomerates. There is a definite move to products from smaller companies which make only pet food. Interestingly, at Interzoo, the likes of Hills, Eukanuba, Purina and Royal Canin were nowhere to be seen.
  4. Although there is a huge growth in the number of new brands – all hoping to cash in on the “natural, holistic” trend – there are actually very few that will stand the test of time. This is because most of these companies don’t actually produce their own products. They are made for them under their own label by large manufacturers. This can cause problems with consistency and quality. Most of these brands also struggle to sell their products because they are unknown, untrusted and too similar to many other brands on the market. So they come and go – usually about half of these brands are no longer around within two years of startup.
Liam Naden from Petfood Direct NZ (left) with Warren Hill, International Sales Director at Midwestern Petfoods, at the Pro Pac Ultimates/Earthborn Holistic stand at Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany, 2016.
Liam Naden from Petfood Direct NZ (right) with Warren Hill, International Sales Director at Midwestern Petfoods, at the Pro Pac Ultimates/Earthborn Holistic stand at Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany, 2016.

So what does all this mean for you as a dog or cat owner?

You, our customer, are among the new generation of pet owners who are making the best choice for you pet, with food that mimics your pet’s natural diet. You recognize the unquestionable health benefits to your pet for a longer, happier, healthier life.

You are with Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic, two brands that are amongst the world leaders in the move to natural, holistic foods. Midwestern Petfoods, the manufacturer, are among the very few pet food companies worldwide who only make pet food, and only make them in their own facilities. This allows them to control the quality at every level. The foods continue to receive accolades as amongst the best foods available and are sold in more than 70 countries around the world. And having been in business for more than 30 years, their products are going to be around for many years to come.

Pro Pac Ultimates stand at Interzoo 2016

It was exciting for us to see at Interzoo confirmation of what we are seeing in New Zealand: the world is moving rapidly towards healthier, natural and holistic foods for their pets. Owners are seeing that nothing does more for the health of their pet than the quality of the food they are feeding.

Pro Pac Ultimates and Earthborn Holistic are at the forefront of this revolution. At Petfood Direct, we’re very proud to represent them in New Zealand – and to have you as our customer helping to lead the way! Thank you for your support!

For more information and to purchase Pro Pac Ultimates or Earthborn Holistic, visit our website at