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What will your customer say when they are asked?

Warning: The Pet Food Label Modernization Working Group is planning on polling your customers!

In response to mandatory changes legislated by FSMA, the Pet Food Label Modernization Working Groups are working to update pet food labels, much as human food labels have already
been updated. As the different working groups finalize their suggestions, the ultimate plan is to poll pet food consumers regarding their thoughts on the new labels.

This means your customers will be able to contribute what goes on the label.

How will they respond?
How will it impact your labels?
This might be a good time to renew nutrition conversations with your clients. By engaging your customers now, they will ultimately be reminded why they chose your products in the first place. The better the information on the label, the better you can market/differentiate your products, improving your market share. And your customers can help guide new labeling by making information requests during he survey.

After the survey and the FSMA mandated label updates are approved, the new pet food labeling guidelines will become become official. Then, state legislatures will update their laws and manufacturers will need to change their labels. There’s no way around is FSMA related change; new labels cost money – input from your consumers will get you the most profit from these changes.

How can we help the Pet Food Committee better communicate to your customers? What questions will best ask your customers what should be on the pet food label? Send us an email and we’ll add your input.

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3 comments

  1. The issue becomes”in for a penny in for a pound” How much information is just right? too much? too little? That is driven in almost all instances by the “need” for the pet owner to do everything from simply feed a healthier diet to address a health condition (CKD/pancreatitis, IBD and on and on.) I deal with this range of questions everyday from our customers. My suggestion is to keep it as simple as possible otherwise the labels “required information” will be impossibly long and, in most instances, not understood by the pet owner. Cleaning up terminology such as ME Kcals/kg would be useful as only those who are truly educated even understand what that means. How about just calling it Calories per X. Leave the technical babble to the technicians. Along the way establish a single group at AAFCO to which labeling issues can be referred. Right now we deal with 48 DOA interpretations of exactly what the regulations mean . This means you can be out of compliance in one state and considered in compliance in 47. The response from the state who insists you do it their way or “else” is often “,well, we don’t care what other states say, we see it this way.” Add clarity ad provide a process for uniform implementation of the clarified regulations.

    • There was a discussion in the last AAFCO meeting regarding exactly this. Unfortunately, regulators are not ready for change. Our trade association will work with AFIA, the source of the proposal, for change so that in the future there is one central location for all labels.

      • Good luck. Makes a WHOLE LOTTA sense. Happy to chime in and help any way I (we-Bravo) can. We spend a lot of time perfecting our labels and claims and working with the state DOAs to ensure compliance. Usually gain agreement but takes a lot of time and research (in some instances) to achieve consensus.

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