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The need for strategic partnerships in the pet food industry

September 21 2021 - News

This June, I began my role as Vice President of Sales for North America at IQI Trusted Petfood Ingredients. Having worked in both human and pet food industries for many years, I can safely say the latter is the most fast-paced, rapidly changing market right now. Our changing relationship with our pets has acted as a catalyst for a new generation of specialty pet food products. This has created the need for strategic partners that can supply pet food manufacturers with exactly the kind of innovative ingredients they desire; that’s where IQI comes in as a trusted supplier. 

These are exciting yet challenging times. The challenge for pet food manufacturers is, that at the end of the day, they essentially all use similar formulas containing proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Meanwhile, pet parents are looking for a greater range of premium pet food with specific properties, such as ‘grain-free’, ‘natural’, ‘free from’, and ‘high protein’ products. This creates a high demand for unique ingredients to distinguish pet food products and meet current and future market trends. 

Transparency of the supply chain 

Pet food manufacturers are increasingly looking for natural ingredients with minimal processing, in order to preserve all the nutrients for making functional health claims. I see a shift in the industry towards a more conscious approach, one that’s focused on natural products with a transparent supply chain in terms of origin, purity, sustainability and animal welfare. At IQI, we aim to support manufacturers by offering novel ingredients from quality suppliers, with a transparent supply chain, that meet their standards and specifications. This is what makes IQI truly different. 

Bringing in unique, high-quality ingredients

My ambition is to help further establish IQI as a strategic and innovative partner to the pet food industry in North America. There is great opportunity for IQI to continue to supply unique, natural, value-added products that other suppliers in the US struggle, or are unable, to source. Our base in Europe allows us to work closely with a wide range of global companies. IQI is dedicated to providing unique, high-quality ingredients for the pet food industry of today and the future – from novel insect protein to human-grade ingredients such as seaweed. 

Finding alternatives 

A strategic partner plays a key role in helping manufacturers find alternative ingredients to meet new trends, overcome supply chain challenges, or respond to sudden shifts and changes in the market. Due to my experience in working with other suppliers on the commercial side, and my involvement on the regulatory side of the pet food industry, I understand the complexity, concerns and interests of our industry. As consumer demands continue to grow and pose new challenges, regulatory expectations are becoming more intense. IQI brings the knowledge, commitment and strength in responding to these shifts and changes that requires resilience, flexibility and innovation. 

Co-creation and co-development 

The pet food market is always in flux, and so is IQI. The ability to be flexible and evolve is essential. As our CEO Mark Oostendorp explains in his latest blog, we have much to gain if we combine our efforts and work together as an industry to meet new trends and face challenges. I fully agree with Mark in taking a more proactive approach at IQI, so we can provide start-to-finish service to our customers. We are not interested in just selling commodities: we want to be at the heart of the company, understand what their needs and concerns are, build long-term relationships, and work with their R&D teams to unleash the full potential of our expertise and the added value of our ingredients. 

Meet me and others of the IQI team at Petfood Forum in Kansas to hear more about our latest innovative products and solutions

Event: Petfood Forum 2021
Location: Kansas City, Missouri (Kansas City Convention Center)
Date: September 22, 23 and 24
IQI stand number: 908


About Betty McPhee

Betty McPhee is IQI’s Vice President of Sales for North America, responsible for continued sales of high-quality pet food ingredients in the growing North American pet food market. With over 25 years of experience in specialty ingredients for pet food, Betty has accumulated an extensive network, as well as the required technical expertise to work with new, innovative products and solutions.

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