12 Nov 20 Purina launches pet food with plant and insect proteins
Nestlé Purina is launching pet food that builds on alternative proteins to make better use of the planet’s resources. The new line includes insects as well as plant protein from fava beans and millet.
Purina Beyond Nature’s Protein will first be sold in Switzerland from November. Veterinarians and nutritionists at Purina have put together two recipes: one based on chicken, pig’s liver and millet; the second using insect protein, chicken and fava beans. Both recipes are available for dogs and cats.
The insect protein comes from black soldier fly larvae, which are already in use in animal feed in Europe. The millet and fava beans provide protein, energy, and fibre to aid digestion. All the ingredients are steamed to maintain nutrient quality.
The new pet food was developed taking into consideration the different nutritional requirements of cats and dogs, as well as their different taste profiles. The protein sources were blended to deliver all essential amino acids dogs and cats need, with different levels of insect proteins for each.
It isn’t the first company to use insect protein, with Yora Pet Foods, based in the UK, launching its product range in early 2019.
Nestlé Purina Petcare EMENA CEO Bernard Meunier said: “Every ingredient in our food serves a purpose. With our new Beyond Nature’s Protein dry pet food, we are offering a complete nutritious alternative to conventional dog and cat products, while taking care of the planet’s precious resources by diversifying the protein sources.
“We’re constantly looking at ways in which we can source sustainably for the longer-term while still delivering the high-quality nutrition that pets need today and tomorrow.”
With the launch, Purina will be surveying consumers to gain valuable feedback on the new products. In addition to the use of alternative protein sources, the launch of Beyond Nature’s Protein will make a further contribution to the environment. Purina has agreed to a partnership with Reforest’Action so that for every product sold, a tree will be planted in Sumatra, Indonesia, to aid reforestation.
What about anthropomorphism?
Comment from FoodProcessing.com’s senior editor, Pan Demetrakakes: “….there are a couple of contradictory impulses here, both rooted in the same thing: Anthropomorphism.
“Conventional wisdom in pet food is that you sell the stuff by appealing to owners’ taste buds. It’s why most of the pet food packaging and advertising you see features luscious chunks of red meat, onions, carrots, etc that look like they belong in your dinner, not your dog’s. I don’t think fly larvae will have that effect.
“On the other hand, many owners impart to their pets their own attitudes, feelings, etc. Someone who believes that conventional agriculture, especially meat raising, is wrecking the planet, could very well see it as appropriate to enlist his dog in the cause – especially since, unlike other family members, Fido can’t say no.
“This is something that the market will have to sort out. At least we can take comfort in knowing that determined vegetarians will have a nutritionally sound option for their pet. This is probably more important for the pet than the owner.”