In 2018, the global pet care industry has surpassed $125 billion. By 2025, it’s expected to grow at about three times the pace of that of the packaged food industry, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%. But in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, retail sales of pet products and services in the United States are expected to fall by 17% in 2020. However, pet food sales are still expected to grow by 4% in 2020.

The rise of the global pet food market can be correlated to several trends and factors such as an overall increase in nuclear families in the United States and abroad, the rapid humanization of pets, as well as the increased awareness about pet health. There are, however, some increasing concerns, particularly in terms of pet obesity, as well as the occasional pet food recalls that make it into the news.

To counteract these issues, some governments around the world have taken various initiatives to promote the use of safe and healthy ingredients in an attempt to improve the overall wellness of their citizens’ pets. In addition, public demand for greater transparency regarding product quality and labeling has also increased. This is due, in large part, to their increasing concerns about their pets’ wellbeing. In response, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set stricter regulations regarding pet food labeling. Also, the FDA assesses claims made on pet food packaging such as “hairball control,” “low magnesium,” “improves bone density,” etc.

Pet Food Segmentation

The pet food market is typically segmented based on several criteria. Among these, we have pet type, product type, and ingredient type, among several others like sales channel and geography. When it comes to the pet type, there are cats, dogs, birds, fish, and others. Dogs are the fastest-growing pet group, mainly because of the increase of nuclear families, as well as people’s inclination towards them for companionship and security.

In terms of product type, there is dry food, wet/canned food, treats and snacks, veterinary pet food, organic, and others. As being the fastest growing, the dog food market sees the highest growth in dry food. For cats, wet/canned food is the preferred option.

Based on ingredients, pet food manufacturers will use a wide range of agricultural ingredients in their recipes. Among these, we can include meat, poultry, seafood, feed grains, as well as some byproducts from human food processing. These ingredients need to be carefully selected based on their nutrient profile as well as their functional contribution to pet food production. The purpose is to provide complete nutrition for pets.

Vitamins, minerals, and preservatives are added when needed so as to ensure that their products will provide total nutrition values while still remaining wholesome in transit or during storage. All the ingredients used in food processing need to be accepted by the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). These are the same agencies that regulate human food production.

Pet Food Types and Tube Conveyor Systems

Among the popular conveyor systems used in the pet food industry to carry dry bulk materials, we can consider bucket elevators, screw conveyors, conveyor belts, pneumatic conveyors for powder materials, overhead conveyors, and many other types of conveying systems available on the market. However, there are plenty of drawbacks and limitations when it comes to the efficiency and risk of contamination when using these types of conveying equipment to move materials.

Several of these issues include things like the difficulty to clean and sanitize properly and effectively without incurring significant downtime. There’s also the issue of contamination of the conveying material, the process equipment, as well as the rest of the facility’s environment. Enclosed tubing offers a much better and more efficient alternative. It answers all of these issues as well as others.

When it comes to what types of pet food can be transported with a tubular drag conveyor, the short answer is many of them. Cablevey conveyors can move most friable products, if they are dry; if they are powdered, cooked, chopped, flaked or extruded. There are also several other benefits to tubular systems utilizing a drag conveyor and cable and disc conveyor design.

Minimum Product Breakage

The majority of the feed handling system requires a delicate approach. Most pet food, be it for cats, dogs, birds, fish, etc., cannot be disturbed in any significant way without resulting in considerable product breakage. This may result in waste as well as the potential for cross-contamination.  There are also several other factors that can influence this, such as the conveyor speed, sudden temperature changes, poor inlet design, and more. Enclosed tube conveyors, by their unique design, keep product breakage at an absolute minimum.

Maintaining Proportionate Blends

With pet food ingredients presenting different granularities and bulk density, separation is likely to happen with vacuum pumps or pneumatic conveying, among other such systems. This will influence the proportional accuracy of the blends. There have been plenty of reported cases when the wrong combination of grains or the wrong mix of minerals or nutrients is used in a blend. Our unique systems maintain blend integrity by containing the materials in between discs within our tubing.

Cablevey conveyors are better than vacuums, buckets,  pneumatic conveyors systems, etc. because of how the tube systems move the material mixes without actually changing the ratios of the specific recipes defined by the veterinarian or nutritionist. Based on the different diameter tube conveyors, pet food manufacturers can transport material of different shapes and sizes without waste, blend separation, or damage.

Flexible and Customized Designs

Cable and tube conveyor systems are also designed in such a way to offer maximum flexibility in a wide range of applications. Different diameter tube conveyor systems, materials, and components come equipped with a full range of feeders, cleaning, and transfer system components that allow pet food manufacturers to maximize their production no matter the facility layout.

And since all pet food conveyor systems are custom-specified by our engineering department based on your unique needs and configurations, this will also ensure everything will work as efficiently and as hassle-free as possible. Take advantage of the convenience, less downtime, full sanitary compliance, and pet food production versatility that Cablevey Conveyors has to offer.