The Big Business Of Dogs and Dog Food

The Big Business Of Dogs and Dog Food

Dogs, canines, pooches – call them what you like, you have to admit we’re a nation of dog lovers!

If you doubt this, just take a look at the latest statistics from the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

According to the 2011-2012 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes. Specifically for dogs, it is estimated that 46.3 million households own a dog or dogs and that in all there are 78.2 million dogs in the U.S.

That’s a lot of dogs and pet parents! And it translates into big business. The estimate for the pet industry in 2012 is a whopping $52.87 Billion! Of this total, food accounts for about $20.5 Billion. Little wonder there are 4 major brand companies competing for a slice of this lucrative pie.

The estimated average basic cost of food for dog owners is $254 a year with an extra $70 a year in treats. Another $94 a year is spent, on average, on vitamins.

Now that’s a lot of dog chow…

But the trend of sales is not only up, it’s changing from being dominated by the “Big 4” branded manufacturers (Mars Inc., Nestle S.A., Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble) and progressively, smaller makers and marketers are taking share from the “big dogs” (pun intended).

Smaller companies can formulate with different performance requirements, putting the pet first and profits a close second. Production can be in smaller batches so that product is never more than 6 weeks or so old, rather than being over-preserved to allow for the months, even years that some pet foods may be stored in national and local warehouse distribution.

Now there’s an even more revolutionary trend that’s been over 10 years in the making. Namely pet parents becoming …

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The Gold Business – Why Do We Eat?

What madness?

The Gold Business - Why Do We Eat?

A fondness for dishes decorated with edible gold (‘Bling Food’) sweeps out top restaurants around the world. Edible gold is mainly used for luster and appearance. Thick gold leaf is only about 7.07 micrometers and is usually 23 carats. The only physical sensation associated with eating gold is the most subtle crisis; it doesn’t even feel metallic. So, if it doesn’t affect the taste, why eat it? The answer is related to metal metaphorical content. Eating gold is about self-image, allowing one to impress others.

What is the difference between ‘normal’ and ‘edible gold’ leaves?

24 carat pure gold leaf. In its pure state it is very soft and smooth and hence is mixed with other alloys to create different levels of hardness and to adjust the color tone. That is why most jewelry is 18 or 22 carat gold (mixed with other metals); 24-carat is too soft for everyday use. The same principle applies to gold leaf. When mixed with copper, silver, etc., you can get a variety of colors ranging from slightly reddish tones, to bright yellow, to white gold. Alloys that are mixed to make this variant are not edible (like copper). Edible gold (especially 23 carats) is almost pure gold but mixed with silver, which is edible, so it can really be digested.

When did we first start eating gold?

It was reported that the ancient Egyptians discovered that by eating gold powder a person could become immortal. In the Middle Ages rich people graced their lavish banquets with golden patina. Grilled birds and other meat dishes are wrapped in thin golden leaves as a display of wealth. 15th-century alchemists used gold as medicine. Edible gold-coated sweet foods are served at lunch ‘to maintain a healthy heart’. The Elizabeths created a banquet of luxury …

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