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Manufacturing Considerations for the Pet Food Industry

When a dog is a man’s best friend, the food you feed them should be held to the same standards that you feel comfortable introducing into your diet. Pets are considered part of the family more than ever, and the numbers are there to back up this trend.


“The global pet food market is expected to grow for the current $78 billion to $112 billion by 2028,” says Jeff Jendryk, vice president of business development at Spec Engineering. “Reasons for the rapid growth include an increase in pet adoption rates, increased demand in organic and premium pet foods, and the growing disposable income of the middle class which is leading the surge on spending on their companions.”


According to the American Pet Productions Association (APPA), it is estimated that 70% of US households own a pet. 14% of respondents obtained a new pet during the pandemic, and in the past year, 35% of pet owners reported that they spent more on pet supplies than in the previous 12 months. Whether this was on more expensive food or enrichment toys for all the time spent at home, pet owners spend a portion of their income on these furry friends. Just as the trend of healthy eating continues to grow for humans, same goes for pets. 51% of pet owners are willing to pay extra for ethically sourced pet and eco-friendly pet products. “More pet owners are concerned with their pets’ digestive health and their increased level of anxiety as their owners are returning to their workplace and leaving their pets alone for the first time,” says Jendryk. The demand is there – so what does this mean for pet food production lines?


"More pet owners are concerned with their pets' digestive health and their increased level of anxiety as their owners are returning to their workplace and leaving their pets alone for the first time."
Jeff Jendryk, Vice President of Business Development

Spec Engineering

As pet owners demand high-quality ingredients, authentic feeding experiences, and functional ingredients, a new set of considerations come to light. More recipes and batches are needed to offer more pet food options, yet this presents new risks such as cross-contamination with allergens, dealing with fresh meats and vegetables, and the potential for recalls. As the once inexpensive dry food is recreated with high-quality ingredients, more sanitary requirements are put into place.


Hidden dangers exist within dry and wet pet food. Dry pet food will tackle the challenge of eliminating moisture for a consistent product, while also using a Clean-in-Place (CIP) system. Wet pet food deals with a messier CIP instance, and high-meat pet food will need to have foreign material sorted out prior to production. Learn what a CIP system can do for your production. Additional utility considerations include product handling, separation procedures, and special handling for allergen batches.


Spec Engineering is part of the Gray family of brands. Gray has a demonstrated history of being a trusted leader in pet food manufacturing solutions. View their past pet food experience with Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Petsource by Scoular, and Champion Petfoods USA Inc.

AD Process Equipment is a Gray company.

AD Process Equipment is your single source for system design and process equipment integration. Our experienced team works with customers to meet demands in bulk processing and material handling by providing practical design solutions that cater to their unique needs. Our personalized solutions in equipment and technology give customers a competitive edge in the ever-changing global marketplace.