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HomepetsInsect pet food continues to grow in 2021, despite logistics

Insect pet food continues to grow in 2021, despite logistics


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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected insect-based pet foods as much as other dog and cat foods and treats. By the start of the pandemic, Jimini’s sales of dog food and cricket-made treats were far from expectations, Jimini’s founder and CEO Anne Carlson told Petfood Industry at Superzoo 2021. Growth was already strong, but the pandemic shifted sales growth to online. E-commerce expansion was just one consumer trend working towards insect-based pet foods.

Dog and cat food made from crickets, black soldier fly larvae and other insects satisfy many of the pet owner’s demands, she said. During the pandemic, pet owners had more time to focus on why they buy specific foods or treats that have helped the insects.

“If you’re looking for humanitarian causes, we were an option,” she said. “Looking for a hypoallergenic treatment? There we were again. Sustainable? Fights climate change? Pre-biotic? We were an option for all these consumers.”

Especially among Millennials and Gen Zs, sustainability and social awareness has become a guiding principle for buying.

“When you find yourself being hit by news of wildfires, droughts and rivers drying up day after day, it’s inspiring to find products that are impacted back in time,” Carlson said.

As livestock, insects use fewer resources than the water, forage and land needs of mammals or birds. Cricket pet food can meet consumers’ demands for humanely raised protein sources. Crickets naturally live in groups and instinctively prefer dark, warm places, Carlson said in a previous interview, which are conditions found on cricket farms.

“Our dogs don’t care what protein they’re eating,” she said. “They just want it to taste good. Why are we making it complicated?”

Logistics challenges and shipping cure for insect-based pet food

Like many others in the pet food industry, Jiminy has experienced difficulties shipping products, especially overseas.

“We had an interesting issue with shipping earlier this year when we exported the Jimny to South Korea,” she said. “Our importer there wanted to order enough of our food and treats to fill a 40-foot container. At that time though we only had enough product to fill a 20 foot container, so that was the amount we agreed to send. Arrangements were made with pallets shipped to the west coast for shipping overseas. But they couldn’t find a 20 foot container anywhere! It was impossible to find them. Eventually, the importer secured a 40-foot container and shipped it half empty with our food and treats.

Stories like these have become commonplace as the pandemic and disruptions continue to plague the global pet food industry. Still, insect-based pet food ingredients may continue to grow in popularity.



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