Consumer advocate members of the AAFCO Pet Food Label Modernization Working Group have been asked to provide example labels based on what consumers want to see on pet food labels. Here are some (very basic) labels – we would like your input to provide to AAFCO (meeting tomorrow).
We did not get the task until late, so the following was quickly prepared (in other words, it’s not pretty). And the mock pet food labels are based on consumer input (past surveys). None of this is final, we are in the talking stage. Very brief explanation to each numbered area follows each picture.
Please provide your input on each section you like or don’t like. The next meeting (which your input will be provided) is tomorrow. [My bad – we have an extra day. Meeting is Wednesday afternoon.]
Front of package…
#1: This is more of an AAFCO issue than consumer. Top of package clarification of dog food or cat food (species the food is intended for), along with top of package clarification if the pet food is complete and balanced or for supplemental feeding.
#2: Consumer input told us quality or grade of ingredients were important information. Another request was any other quality of ingredient traits (antibiotic free or pesticide free).
#3: Consumers wanted to know where the product is manufactured and wanted country of origin information of ingredients.
Sides of package:
#4: Consumers wanted to know amounts of animal protein and vegetable protein in the pet food.
#5: Consumers wanted to know if ingredients are GMO.
#6: Consumers want full contact information for the pet food, website and phone number.
#7: This is my addition. Consumers are not provided with information on how to report an adverse event related to a pet food. It is my belief every product should contain the information on how/where to report an adverse event.
#8: Consumers wanted a Nutrition Facts Box similar to that on human food labels. Question: What nutrient information do you want the pet food Nutrition Facts Box to include?
Back of package:
#9: Again, consumers wanted information to grade or quality of ingredients in the pet food.
#10: Addition of Company Name to the Guaranteed Analysis, such as XYZ Pet Food ‘guarantees’… Addition provides consumer accountability (though just in wording). The Nutrition Facts Box (displayed on the side panel image) will probably replace the Guaranteed Analysis.
#11: My addition. Recommended feeding amounts are at the pet food manufacturer’s discretion; AAFCO does not have existing regulation for a minimum or maximum calorie amount. This section would provide consumers with the calorie recommendations from National Research Council, amount of calories per cup of the pet food – and consumers would know how much of the food to feed based on NRC recommendations. Is this confusing? If so, what are your suggestions to make it less confusing? Is this information helpful?
Please provide your input to what you do or don’t like in these mock pet food labels. Also, if a Nutrition Facts Box is implemented – what nutrients do you want required in the box? Any other label suggestions?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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The 2016 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods. Click Here
The Other List
The List of pet foods I would not give my own pets. Click Here
Have you read Buyer Beware? Click Here
Cooking pet food made easy, Dinner PAWsible
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