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PetFood Forum Connect Blog

September 8, 2020 | 3 min read

A Virtual Petfood Smorgasbord

Can’t Miss Sessions @ PetFood Forum Connect

While I must admit, virtual tradeshows are not my favorite – I miss the face-to-face interactions with customers and colleagues and so much more – there are some aspects I do enjoy. One thing I really like is being able to read through the agenda of topics in advance and select all the sessions that interest me. Sure, I could do this before at in-person trade events and conferences, but inevitably I wasn’t able to attend all the sessions on my list, taking notes was difficult and there were numerous distractions.

The beauty of virtual conferences like the upcoming PetFood Forum Connect is that you can attend every session you want, take notes sitting at a desk, and even re-watch something if you want without leaving the comfort of home or taking off your bunny slippers (not that I have bunny slippers.) You don’t have to decide between a trend session and a scientific one or product development and regulatory. You can watch them all live or recorded. It’s a smorgasbord of information, and you get to sample anything and everything you want.

The other thing great thing is you can listen in on a topic that sounds interesting but may not be. And if it turns out to be a dud or a repeat of info you’ve already heard, you can just click out and move on to something else. You can optimize your time and maximize your learning.

My Top Session Picks at PetFood Forum Connect        

To help you get in the spirit of taking advantage of the educational bounty at the Virtual PetFood Forum Connect beginning Sept. 9th. Here are my top five sessions with brief descriptions listed in order of date and time.

Sept. 9, 10 A.M.:  Emerging trends in a changing pet food industry landscape
Sean Simpson, associate client director, pet vertical, Nielsen

A look back at the impact previous trends and factors had on the industry overall, the effects of the pandemic on the market, plus what other trends are worth watching in 2020 and beyond. Raw alternative feeding options? Insect protein in pet food? The CBD craze?

Sept. 10, 9 A.M.:  Tracking pet food priorities: why consumers switch products
David Sprinkle, publisher and research director, Packaged Facts

Data and insights into which consumers have changed their pet food type, brand or product choices in the past 12 months — and why and to what new choices. A recent consumer study provides insights on the COVID-19 impact on pet food choices and retail channel patterns.

Sept. 10, 9:45 A.M.: Key success factors for a winning clean label pet food strategy
Cécile Saint-Paul, marketing director, Diana Pet Food

An overview of possible paths pet food manufacturers can take to join the clean label movement, covering natural claims and more. Clean label is a major catchphrase to satisfy the numerous and varied expectations of mindful consumers, without any legal definition…

Sept. 15, 9 A.M.: Panel discussion: Pet food trends post-pandemic: What’s the new normal?
Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight, Mintel
Amy Patterson, general manager, Petsource by Scoular
Max Davis, Waldner North America sales manager, PTI.

As countries and societies start to emerge from lockdowns and economies open back up, what consumer trends are driving the pet food market, now and going forward?

Sept. 16, 9 A.M.:         Roundtable: The microbiome: its importance to pet nutrition + health

Specific topics and speakers include: Feeding trillions of bacteria: Bridging the gap between nutrition, the microbiome and pet well-being — Juan Gomez Basauri, Ph.D., global director for companion animals, food ingredients and human health technologies, Alltech; Keeping the microbiome in mind: Best practices for diet trials — Jessica Jarett, Ph.D., computational biologist, AnimalBiome; The effect of complex and diverse sialylated oligosaccharides on simulated dog gut microbiome and metabolites — Yemi Adesokan, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, Gnubiotics SA.

To access the complete agenda, visit

Every smorgasbord needs a little more

What you won’t find listed on the agenda is time listed to visit the PetFood Forum Connect exhibitors. I’m sure it’s just an oversight. So, let me make this pitch. Connect with us. We want to talk with you about the benefits of using fruit in your pet treats and kibble. Follow this link to the Tree Top digital showroom and chat with us. Or just come by to watch our goofy video and collect some swag. 

Hope to see you soon.

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