Bottlenecks in pet food new product development cycle

00:01:40 | September 2, 2015

Every new pet food product development timeline needs to accommodate two congestion points: manufacturer qualification and feeding trials.

The development cycle for every new pet food product has two main congestion points: manufacturer qualification and animal feeding trials. Eric Altom, PhD, a consultant formerly in pet food product development with Mars Petcare, P&G Pet Care and the Iams Co., discussed these potential bottlenecks during a presentation at Petfood Forum China 2015.

“Whether it’s in-house or with an external co-manufacturing partner, those steps necessary to document the safety and qualifications are going to be a large block” in your product development timeline, Altom said.

With feeding trials, because dogs and cats can eat only so much a day, trials can be time-consuming; and they should be planned to take several months, Altom explained. “You need to plan ahead. And what your marketing people are going to want to know is: how fast can I get it, and when can I start talking about it?” (See

Altom added that in terms of manufacturing, if you’re just adding a new technology or ingredient to existing products or formulas, then you may be able to do so in three or four months. However, if you’re installing a new, major piece of production equipment, such as a dryer or extruder, or introducing a completely novel ingredient, it will add to the timeline.

Petfood Forum China 2015 focused on new product development for pet food. It was held August 28 in Shanghai, co-located with Pet Fair Asia 2015. For more information, visit

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