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Feeling the pulse of innovation at Petfood Forum 2024

March 27 2024 - Blog

Hard to believe that Petfood Forum is already around the corner. I’ve attended this inspirational trade show for almost twenty years, but this will be my first time as IQI Trusted Petfood Ingredients’ sales leader North America. For us at IQI, Petfood Forum provides the opportunity to connect with our customers in person and to check the pulse of innovation within the industry. 

As the main trade show of the year, Petfood Forum is a great place to get an impression of the current status of the global pet food industry. Just walking around the trade show floor, we can see what our industry colleagues are focusing on. The themes that the industry is exploring give a great insider perspective at a consumer level. These may include consumer trends and demands, future product launches, packaging innovations, unique ingredients, unique nutritional claims, or sustainability claims. 

Hyperfocus on innovation

I’m particularly excited to hear insights from the pet food producers, including their thoughts on innovation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was such a focus on supply chain security and getting products to market that innovation and new product launches became stalled. I’m very happy to see that the industry has a renewed hyperfocus on innovation, which is particularly important to IQI. Our portfolio focuses on issues such as sustainability and what is unique from a nutritional perspective to support innovation in pet food. 

Meet our suppliers

At Petfood Forum, we would like to further discuss and explore potential opportunities for co-creation using our wide range of ingredients, such as collagen, which is trending right now. To further substantiate this, our new parent company OSI Group and a number of our suppliers will be available for ‘open table’ talks during the week. Corbion will be there to talk about its products, including AlgaPrime DHA P3 omega-3 long-chain fatty acids, and Houdek has launched Protéger, a premium plant-based fermented protein made from soybean. Ten Kate will be available to talk about dried chicken and Proliver will be there to discuss its chicken protein products, such as chicken liver hydrolysate and chicken meat powder. CSF can explain its lamb meal and Fiordo Austral will inform visitors about its salmon products, including hydrolyzed salmon. 

Investigating co-creation

As our CEO Mark Oostendorp recently explained in his blog, we are also investigating what kind of ingredients our new parent company OSI Group has available and which of those are suitable for IQI. This will enable us to create unique, innovative, premium animal protein and plant-based ingredients for pet food, and new opportunities for co-creation together with our customers. Bacon is a much-preferred ingredient, for example, which will be highlighted by us together with the OSI Group at Petfood Forum. 

Experience our open table

Since last year’s edition was such a success, we will also host another edition of ‘Experience our open table’ during Petfood Forum 2024. At our open table event, with the guidance of a professional chef, we will be cooking and enjoying menus that correspond to some of IQI’s most popular, novel, and nutritious pet food ingredients, which we will highlight at Petfood Forum. The menu has not yet been set, but I can imagine main courses will include lamb, chicken, and salmon. If we can cook creative, nutritious dishes for ourselves, we can also take equivalent ingredients and do the same for our pets. I’m greatly looking forward to this event, since it contains the perfect ingredients for an enjoyable and interesting evening with plenty of room for socializing and networking. 

Join us at Petfood Forum 2024

We are looking forward to meeting you in Kansas City at the end of April. Our global team, including our European sales team, will be represented at our booth to support our customers from all angles. From supply chain, procurement, and operations to marketing and sales. Petfood Forum is an excellent opportunity to further broaden our horizon and talk to customers from different markets. Are you interested in meeting us and our suppliers to discuss possibilities for co-creation? Please contact me to set up a meeting or to discuss joining us at our ‘open table’. 

Chris Schneider

Chris Schneider is IQI Trusted Petfood Ingredients’ North American Sales Director and responsible for managing and aggressively growing IQI’s business in the US and Canada. Chris is not only highly skilled in procurement and sales, but also recognized for his experience in marine ingredients and specialty claim ingredients – a combination that shapes him as a unique sales professional in the pet food industry. Chris has been with IQI since 2023.

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