Is This the Future of Pet Food?

Sunday May 29 2016

Interzoo Entrance to Interzoo 2016 in Nüremberg
Recently we attended Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany. Held every two years, this is the largest trade show for the pet industry in the world, with more than 1700 exhibitors showcasing a vast number of products and services for pets.

We were there primarily to meet with our suppliers, Midwestern Petfoods, the manufacturers of Pro Pac Ultimates and Earthborn Holistic. Their stand was very popular, with the reputation and quality of these foods generating a lot of interest. We also had the opportunity to view some exciting new products in their range which we will be introducing to New Zealand soon. Watch this space!However, we also spent some exploring the rest of the exhibition. The products on show gave us a definite feel for the direction that pet food is heading in and what is in store for the future. There are some very interesting and exciting developments afoot that are set to transform the industry over the next few years. Here are some of our observations:
  1. The world is moving very rapidly towards “natural” and “holistic” pet foods. Virtually all of the hundreds of brands on show used these words somewhere on their packaging and emphasized the quality of the ingredients used. Petfood is becoming a lot more natural. Just as with human foods, dog and cat owners are demanding better quality and more natural ingredients. Owners want their pets to eat a natural diet, with all of the health benefits such a diet gives. This is in fact the fastest-growing segment of the pet food market.
  2. Companies with lower quality foods were nowhere to be seen at the show. Statistics show that sales of low-quality foods are rapidly declining around the world. Although previously pet owners would mainly buy their foods on price (the lowest) and convenience (the supermarket), people are becoming much more aware of the damage such foods can do to their pet (the recent lawsuit against Purina Beneful in the US, claiming it has been responsible for the death of more than 4000 dogs, is a good example).
  3. Pet owners are losing trust in the big pet food brands owned by multinational conglomerates. There is a definite move to products from smaller companies which make only pet food. Interestingly, at Interzoo, the likes of Hills, Eukanuba, Purina and Royal Canin were nowhere to be seen.
  4. Although there is a huge growth in the number of new brands - all hoping to cash in on the “natural, holistic” trend - there are actually very few that will stand the test of time. This is because most of these companies don’t actually produce their own products. They are made for them under their own label by large manufacturers. This can cause problems with consistency and quality. Most of these brands also struggle to sell their products because they are unknown, untrusted and too similar to many other brands on the market. So they come and go - usually about half of these brands are no longer around within two years of startup.
Liam Naden from Petfood Direct NZ (left) with Warren Hill, International Sales Director at Midwestern Petfoods, at the Pro Pac Ultimates/Earthborn Holistic stand at Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany, 2016. Liam Naden from Petfood Direct NZ (right) with Warren Hill, International Sales Director at Midwestern Petfoods, at the Pro Pac Ultimates/Earthborn Holistic stand at Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany, 2016.
So what does all this mean for you as a dog or cat owner?

You, our customer, are among the new generation of pet owners who are making the best choice for you pet, with food that mimics your pet’s natural diet. You recognize the unquestionable health benefits to your pet for a longer, happier, healthier life.You are with Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic, two brands that are amongst the world leaders in the move to natural, holistic foods. Midwestern Petfoods, the manufacturer, are among the very few pet food companies worldwide who only make pet food, and only make them in their own facilities. This allows them to control the quality at every level. The foods continue to receive accolades as amongst the best foods available and are sold in more than 70 countries around the world. And having been in business for more than 30 years, their products are going to be around for many years to come.image1 Pro Pac Ultimates stand at Interzoo 2016
It was exciting for us to see at Interzoo confirmation of what we are seeing in New Zealand: the world is moving rapidly towards healthier, natural and holistic foods for their pets. Owners are seeing that nothing does more for the health of their pet than the quality of the food they are feeding.

Pro Pac Ultimates and Earthborn Holistic are at the forefront of this revolution. At Petfood Direct, we’re very proud to represent them in New Zealand - and to have you as our customer helping to lead the way! Thank you for your support!For more information and to purchase Pro Pac Ultimates or Earthborn Holistic, visit our website at

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All-Natural, Holistic Food For Pets: What is Pro Pac Ultimates?

Monday May 16 2016

PPUltimates_ProductLineup_WebAs you will know, last year Pro Pac completely updated their range of formulas and created a new line altogether called "Ultimates".

We are often asked "Why the change? The old formulas were great, so why not stick with them?".

The truth is that Pro Pac are continually researching what is best for dogs and cats and found that there were ways they could make the food much better, healthier and more natural for pets. The result is a longer, healthier, happier life for our beloved pet, which is of course what we all want.

Essentially they removed corn from all formulas, adding instead the much "softer" rice, while also adding fruits, vegetables and natural supplements.

The result is a food that is more natural (holistic), easy to digest, and packed with more nutrients that ensure the best possible health and vitality.

In addition, there is no beef, gluten, soy, dairy, wheat or anything artificial. These things are all "red flags" in creating health problems for pets, including obesity, joint problems, skin and coat irritations and, worse, even more serious problems such as heart disease and cancers.

Pro Pac Ultimates is acclaimed worldwide as one of the best and "most natural" foods now available. Along with Earthborn Holistic, these are amongst the most "cutting edge" nutritional petfoods on the market.

Thank you for sticking with us in making the transition to these new and healthier foods. The response has certainly been fantastic.

To order either Pro Pac Ultimates or Earthborn Holistic Grain Free for your dog or cat in New Zealand visit Petfood Direct at

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No sign of slowing

Monday Jul 27 2015

Midwestern Pet Foods was very satisfied with its presentation at Global Pet Expo. Midwestern Pet Foods was very satisfied with its presentation at Global Pet Expo.
Pet Worldwide magazine recently interviewed Warren Hill of Midwestern Petfoods, producers of Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic. He talks about current trends, the increasing competition in the pet food market and the company's new product line (article reprinted from Pet Worldwide magazine).The market for dog food is a dynamic market worldwide and new brands are constantly appearing. What is Midwestern's attitude to this?
We used to compete against only four or five leading pet food brands in most markets. Currently, in the United States we compete with more than 100 brands. The level of pet food competition in virtually all countries today is fierce. On a positive note, over the past two decades the global pet food market has expanded beyond all expectations. Explosive growth begets new entrants. Competition is beneficial not only to consumers;  it also forces us to constantly improve. Our product offering is much stronger now than at any time in the past. Much of this can attributed to the competitiveness of the market today.What are the decisive market trends for you at present with regard to dog food?
There are currently three decisive trends that are profoundly shaping the pet food market. They are humanisation, premiumisation and naturalisation. To the surprise of many, these movements show no sign of slowing. Indeed, we may still be in the early days of these market transformations.Barf feeding is growing in popularity in Europe. Does your company intend to become more involved in this area in the future?
It isn’t a market category that we’re pursuing.The price of pet food is falling in many countries due to the growing influence of e-commerce. How are you reacting to this development?

Nowhere is this development more evident than in Europe, where e-commerce is drastically changing the pet product business. What’s more, the changes we’ve seen are only the beginning. With respect to price, I suspect that certain companies have turned a blind eye to pricing policies due to their declining sales. Such a strategy will ultimately damage those brands. Our goal is to continue to strike a balance be- tween successfully building upon our partnerships with the traditional pet speciality channels and successfully adapting to an ever- changing e-commerce landscape. We see tremendous opportunities for both traditional retailers and e- commerce businesses.

What was your company’s experience of this year’s Global Pet Expo in Orlando?
Without a doubt, Global Pet Expo is one of the world’s best venues for exhibiting pet products. Each year new attendance records are set with the largest growth seemingly coming from new international participation. Year after year our results at Global Pet Expo are representative of this.What is your company currently focusing on?
We’re busy improving and expanding our offering. In the last twelve months we’ve introduced two all-new natural pet food lines, Pro Pac Ultimates and Sportmix Wholesomes, both of which show great promise. We’re also planning to introduce another bold new product line late this year.The market in Russia and in Ukraine has been disrupted by the political crisis. What is your reaction to this?
To be sure, Russia and Ukraine present significant challenges at the moment. However, we continue to see strong long-term potential, particularly in the Russian pet speciality sector.

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EARTHBORN HOLISTIC Best Dog Food 2015 Award

Wednesday Jun 17 2015 recently made a study and analysis of more than 2200 natural and superpremium dog food formulas.  The study looked at ingredients, quality and safety. and involved 7 researchers, 20 expert contributors, 1400 man hours and 300 dog owners.  Following this, EARTHBORN HOLISTIC was named a Top 25 Dog Food Brand.
Only 57 dry dog food formulas were awarded the highest recommendation.  Of these 57 formulas, with an average rating of 4.7/5.0, all six EARTHBORN HOLISTIC grain-free formulas were given the Best Dog Food award! Two of these - Primitive Natural and Coastal Catch - are available in New Zealand from us.

This is not surprising, but there were also some interesting results for other familiar brands.......Some were disqualified because of “poor" ingredients and they included:
  • Eukanuba
  • Hills Science Diet (including Hills Prescription Diet)
  • Nutro
  • Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
  • Royal Canin
Others were disqualified for various reasons including product recalls and negative customer reviews. They included Go! and Taste of the Wild.

It's great to see such a major study confirm what we know - Earthborn Holistic is one of the best foods you can feed your dog and is gaining increasing recognition around the world from pet professionals and dog owners alike. We're very proud to be the sole distributor of Earthborn Holistic in New Zealand.If you would like to order Earthborn Holistic for your dog visit our website at Our prices include free delivery throughout the country.
Earthborn Holistic is not available in pet shops, vets or supermarkets.

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The Five-Point Checklist for Choosing the Right Dogfood

Wednesday Mar 04 2015

Not all dog foods are created the same! In fact, independent researchers (such as point out that a significant proportion of the brands available contain poor quality ingredients that not only don't help your dog's health, but they may actually be harmful. Don't rely on any brand claims, advertising or even the "taste test" (whether or not your dog "seems" to like it). Use the following five points to make the right decision for your dog's health:
  1. Does it have a high meat content? It is logical that your dog's diet should be based on meat. However, many brands actually contain little meat. Look for a brand that firstly has a named meat (such as chicken, lamb or fish) as the first listed ingredient on the label. That is a start. However, that doesn't necessarily mean there is more meat than anything else in the food. Preferably, ensure the food has meat in "meal" form as it means the meat is much more concentrated than "ordinary" meat.
    Also, avoid beef. This is one of the major causes of allergies in dogs.

    Both Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic use named meat meals as the first ingredient, ensuring there is a high amount of real meat in the food. Not only is it better for the dog, but they love the taste too. And there is no beef or beef derivatives used in any of the formulas.
  2. What is the protein content and source? Dogs need a decent amount of protein. Make sure the food contains at least 23% protein. However, it is equally important that the protein comes from a quality source - meat. Many companies boost the protein content using inferior sources such as by-products (which are the parts of the animal "unfit for human consumption").
    Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic both have high protein content sources, well above the recommended minimums. And there are no by-products - the protein comes from real human-grade meat.
  3. Are the ingredients natural? If you want a healthy and problem-free dog, you must feed it foods that it is designed to eat naturally. Unfortunately, many companies use poor quality ingredients that can actually be harmful to dogs, but which of course are much cheaper to produce. Look for foods with natural meats and grains.
    Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic use only natural ingredients. The meats are all human grade and the grains (if used) come from non-GMO sources. Everything in these foods is what dogs are designed to eat, naturally. This means the nutrients are absorbed very efficiently and the dog maintains the best health possible.
  4. Are there any "hidden" ingredients? Petfood companies have a tendency to hide inferior and even harmful ingredients behind fancy or vague names that pet owners don't understand. Just because a food (or ingredient) is legal doesn't mean it is beneficial! Ingredients to avoid (or at least be wary of) include by-products, "meat meal", "animal fat", "animal digest" and all artificial ingredients, including colourings and preservatives.
    Of course, Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic uses none of these "hidden" ingredients. There are no "waste products" or artificial ingredients. This means not only a healthier dog in the long term, but no allergy problems and much higher energy.
  5. Does the manufacturer have a good safety record? The safety of dog foods are an increasing concern. There are more and more cases each year of dogs (and also their owners) becoming ill and even dying from contaminated food. Food recalls (where the company withdraws a food from sale because of contamination) are becoming more frequent and the risks of sickness cannot be ignored.
    Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are produced by the ONLY company to never have had a contamination problem with their food, and they have held that record for more than 25 years. This comes down to their rigorous selection of ingredients (none from Asia for example, where many contaminated ingredients come from) and also their testing process. Everh batch of Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic undergoes five independent laboratory tests before it is released for sale.
Both Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic have established themselves worldwide as in the top category of dog food. They are the ideal choice for your dog too. And they are surprisingly well priced - Petfood Direct imports directly from the manufacturer and sells directly to you the customer, avoiding any retailer markups (it is not available in stores).

For more information about these products and to order for your dog, visit Petfood Direct online at

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