Prices are Rising Across the World
The last few years has been extremely challenging for the pet food industry as well as most other industries.
Prices are rising across the world. What initially seemed to be a temporary price spike due to disruption to supply chains in the early days of the pandemic, it now appears to be here to stay.
Although prices were climbing before COVID-19 hit, the pandemic has further heightened this trend. Supply chain disruption, increasing transportation costs, rising ingredient prices, labour shortages and skyrocketing demand are some of the key drivers of inflation.
Pet Food Price Inflation Reaching New Heights
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 8.5% compared to 2021 levels. This is the largest rise since 1981. So, how did pet food do?
Data from the BLS has pet food inflation increasing 5.9% in comparison to March 2021 and 2.3% over February 2022. These surging levels are almost triple the pre-pandemic 2.1% increase from 2018 to 2019.
Another pet food category facing surging inflation is the overall pet care category. Inflation surged 7.5% in comparison to 2021 levels. This isn’t too far below the overall 8.5% CPI increase.
It’s important to note, at the end of the year, the “petflation” index was up 4.1% year-over-year but trailing the 7% CPI at the time. So, over the past few months, the gap has narrowed considerably.
Pet Owners are Concerned about Prices
Pet food inflation isn’t faring as badly as related industries such as food at home (10%), and subcategories like fruit and vegetables (8.5%) and meat, poultry, fish, and eggs (8.5%). However, the surging inflation is still causing major problems for both pet owners and consumers.
Many pet owners are extremely concerned about the rising prices. In a report from Rover, an online pet marketplace, 70% of those surveyed claim they are already feeling the sting and are spending more on food and treats for their pet. What’s more, 73% of pet owners surveyed were extremely worried about prices continuing to grow.
Price inflation isn’t going away anytime soon. So, it may well result in many pet owners cutting back on their spending on pet food and treats.
Pet Food Manufacturers Suffering from Inflation Too
It’s not only pet owners and consumers suffering from inflation; pet food manufacturers are too.
According to Producer Price Index data analysed by John Gibbons, the “Pet Business Professor”, prices for dog and cat food manufacturing surged significantly in March 2022 by 8.9%. This is the largest year-on-year monthly increase since 2009.
Pet food manufacturers are now facing significant cost increases in everything from raw materials and ingredients to labour, transportation and more. So, it’s becoming extremely challenging for manufacturers to stay competitive and ensure profit margins remain sustainable.
How Pet Food Manufacturers Can Offset These Increasing Costs
Many pet food manufacturers have already increased prices across their product portfolio. But what else are they doing to offset these rising costs?
To overcome inflation, pet food manufacturers are focusing their efforts on process improvements to increase efficiency at their processing facilities. They are also implementing cost reduction strategies that significantly improve the bottom line.
A technology that is increasingly being implemented in pet food processing facilities throughout the world is liquid product recovery (“pigging”) technology.
Pigging systems recover residual liquid from process pipelines. They are a great way for pet food manufacturers to improve the efficiency, productivity, profitability, and the competitiveness of pet processing operations.
Quick Results with a Pigging Solution
Pigging systems for pet food use a specialist projectile (called the ‘pig’) to recover the residual pet food left in pipelines during processing. Even though this product is perfectly usable, without a pigging process, it would be discarded or flushed away.
HPS pigging systems recover up to 99.5% of residual product from full pipelines. The reclaimed product can then be packaged, used, stored, or sold just like all the other product. Therefore, pigging systems are a quick and easy way to increase yields and significantly reduce wastage of usable pet food.
So, for manufacturers looking for a cost reduction strategy, a pigging solution is an easy, and highly effective solution.
How Else Can Pigging Systems Lower Costs?
By recovering product and reducing waste, pigging increases operational efficiency and improves a processing line’s profitability.
In addition, pigging systems can also lower costs and improve profitability by reducing energy use, lowering water use and cleaning chemicals, enhancing cleaning, and preventing contamination and cross-contamination.
Pigging can also save businesses money by reducing labour costs and increasing the uptime of processing equipment.
What’s more, due to HPS systems high recovery rates, changeovers are much faster, and plant downtime is far less. So, manufacturers can dedicate more time to producing product which contributes to their profits.
Save Resources with a Pigging System
Pigging systems (well HPS ones anyway!) nearly always pay back in less than 12 months. They can be seamlessly added to existing pipework or plant with minimal downtime to operations. They can also be integrated as part of new-build processing systems.
Once implemented, pigging will improve profitability, enhance competitiveness, and boost the bottom line.
Another major benefit of pigging is that it helps reduce carbon footprint, increases sustainability, and improves green credentials. This is through reducing water use and the use of cleaning chemicals, saving energy, labour, and other resources while decreasing waste processing costs.
Get In Touch
HPS are the world’s leading pigging and product recovery specialists. Our proven solutions are trusted by pet food companies such as Nestle Purina, and Mars Petcare to Butchers, Performance Pet Products plus many more.
As well as pet food, HPS pigging systems are in wide use in a range of industries such as food, beverage, confectionery, cosmetics, personal care, lubricants, paint, coatings, and household liquid production.
For more information about improving your processing operation by using hygienic or sanitary pigging systems, liquid product recovery or transfer solutions, then please get in touch.