The Next Generation of Pet Food Palatability has Arrived

Chad Wethal | 26 October, 2020

Beagle eating plant-based pet food

Kerry PurePal™, a novel plant-based technology, delivers an aroma that pet owners prefer and palatability performance pet food manufacturers expect

Palatability performance is foundational to the success of any premium pet food. However, a recent survey of U.S. dog and cat owners suggests that palatability alone may not be enough: with half of pet owners saying product smell is a factor in purchasing decisions—and worth paying more for—but only a quarter enjoying the smell of their current selection, it’s clear pet food brands must deliver products with aromas that appeal to both pets and people.

Kerry PurePal™, a plant-based natural flavour, can improve pet food aroma without compromising palatability performance, according to data collected over a two-year period. “With PurePal, we see an opportunity for pet food brands to innovate around appealing to human senses while maintaining strong palatability performance for pets,” says Ruben Santana, Global Pet R&D Director with Kerry.

An aroma people prefer

Data collected at Kerry’s Global Innovation Center in Beloit, WI, USA, demonstrates that PurePal can increase consumers’ overall liking of dry kibble by up to 19% with a 24% increase in aroma liking. This same study also showed that kibble enhanced with PurePal can increase pet owners’ overall product liking by up to 33% versus their existing kibble brand. With consumers increasingly associating the smell of their pet’s food with freshness and ingredient quality, enhancing aroma for consumers may help brands differentiate themselves on-shelf, says Santana.

Palatability performance manufacturers expect

Adjusting pet food aroma to appeal to people isn’t a new concept and can come with a trade-off of compromised palatability performance, says Santana. PurePal utilises Kerry’s proprietary smoke technology to overcome palatability challenge with a unique combination that appeals specifically to dogs.

Numerous palatability trials support that, when added to premium dry food formulas, PurePal can deliver intake ratios on par with leading commercial palatability solutions. PurePal can also be a viable solution as a palatant enhancer with data showing improved intake ratios when applied to off-shelf premium dry dog food diets of varying fat and protein levels.

Going beyond palatability

PurePal can help future proof pet food formulas by supporting several trending consumer demands, including plant-based, human-grade, sustainably produced, upcycled materials and all-natural. For example, due to Kerry’s leading smoke technologies, strategic manufacturing footprint and commitment to sustainability, PurePal uses leftover wood material sourced from the furniture industry within a 100km radius in order to limit carbon footprint.

In addition, PurePal can help pet food manufacturers tackle challenges commonly faced with traditional palatability solutions such as an unappealing aroma within plants, sediment that can wear down processing equipment, limited shelf-life from hydrolysed meats and potential food safety challenges.

To learn more about how PurePal can deliver greater value to your pet food formulas, visit our PurePal product page.