As the economy regains its footing, the petfood industry can breathe a sigh of relief for weathering the storm. Now is the time to capitalize on the industry’s historic strength and look ahead to future growth.

Petfood Forum is the ideal place to start, because this is where the industry comes together to network, do business, learn from one another and enjoy the company of fellow petfood professionals. This year’s event, scheduled for April 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare near Chicago, Ill., promises plenty of opportunities to do all that.

Communications, safety, marketing   

First, keynote speaker Joel Silverman—author, TV host and dog trainer—explains his Companions for Life philosophy and how that translates to not only working with pets but also how petfood manufacturers can communicate with pet owners.

Attendees will also get a state of the industry report from market expert David Lummis of Packaged Facts, plus hear the latest on safety from a strategic perspective during a roundtable of industry executives, including representatives of leading petfood manufacturers and suppliers.

Moderators Julie Lenzer Kirk and Greg Aldrich, Ph.D., will guide the audience in learning the latest on nutrigenomics, prebiotics and probiotics, how to make a private label superpremium product competitive, what human food experts think of petfood, how to use HACCP, high pressure processing and the appropriate equipment to ensure safety, all about convenience trends in packaging, building brand preferences and much more.

Plus, attendees will find information from industry experts during a poster reception featuring research on spray-dried plasma, biogenic amines, liquid direct fed microbials and more.

Petfood Workshop: Hands-on Nutrition  

Immediately following Petfood Forum, on April 14-15 also at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Petfood Workshop: Hands-on Nutrition will give you some of the keys to understanding petfood: the science behind companion animals’ nutritional needs and the most beneficial, efficient and cost-effective ways to formulate ingredients into a product that can be processed, packaged and sold.

In this interactive symposium, pet nutrition experts will share their insights during hands-on sessions:

  •  Ask the nutrition experts: roundtable of nutritionists answering your specific questions;  
  •  Basics of feline and canine nutrition;  
  •  Key ingredient groups and how they provide nutritional benefits;  
  •  Processing considerations for petfood ingredients; and  
  •  An overview of formulation.