store to shop a product and then purchase it online.
“About 7% to 8% of pet food is now sold online,” Morris says. “Five years ago, it was zero. Seven percent or 8%
may not sound like a lot, but it’s starting to be a big deal.”
With quicker purchase cycles and a lack of online presence, Freshpet is driving premium pet shoppers to the
store more often, Morris says. “The margins are also significantly above where the category usually is,” he says.
Today, Freshpet is sold through 18,000 stores across
the U. S. “Retailers who have had the most success with
our products put the fridge in a highly visible area,”
says Morris, pointing to Target, which brought in
the product a couple of years ago with the idea of
merchandising it on an endcap only during the
line’s introduction. “It did so well, they left it on
the endcap,” he says. When customers encounter a refrigerated case unexpectedly, it disrupts
their shopping behavior, and they stop to take
a closer look, he says.
While Morris says Freshpet represents 2%
of national dry and wet dog food sales combined, in some stores, where the refrigerated
case is in a highly visible area, Freshpet represents 10% to 12% of the store’s total dog
In October, two national retailers will
expand their refrigerated pet food sections
to 8 to 12 feet of refrigerated case, creating an
“island” of fresh pet food, Morris says.
“Retailers know how powerful fresh food is,”
he says. “We’re changing how retailers think about the
pet category by putting fresh first, and taking the same
ideology surrounding the perimeter and bringing that to
the center of the store.”
Billed as the most attended pet industry trade show in
North America, SuperZoo was established by the World
Pet Association in 1950. At its June exhibition in Las
Vegas, SuperZoo press contact Kate Blom-Lowery identified natural food and treat products, pet technology
and “made in the USA” as top trends.
“Made in the USA is a big deal right now,” says Peter
Ostapowicz, marketing communications specialist for
OurPet’s Co. in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. OurPet’s showcased its new electronic cat toys, feeding solutions,
waste management solutions and Tootsie candy plush
dog toys at SuperZoo.
“An increase in quality is also something that retail-
ers are putting an emphasis on, especially in food, drug
[and] mass,” says Ostapowicz, whose company works
with grocers such as Kroger and Publix. “We’ve seen
demand for high-quality products in pet stores, and now
we’re seeing that from grocery stores because they know
people care about their pets.”
OurPet’s cat toys and Pet Zone brand of stainless-steel
pet bowls are its biggest sellers in supermarkets.
When it comes to pet supplies sold online vs. in-store,
Ostapowicz sees advantages for both. “Customers want
to see and feel a toy while they are grocery shopping,” he
says. OurPet’s electronic toys especially lend themselves
to in-store exploration, so shoppers can see what the toys
do when turned on.
Consumers are seeking satisfying sources of lean protein,
from beverages to snacks and ready-made meals, like
never before. Why shouldn’t Spot enjoy the same diet?
“Today’s pet parent is educated on pet nutrition,
willing to research ingredients, and simply wanting the
best for their four-legged family members,” says Rashell
Cooper, marketing director for Redbarn Pet Products,
Long Beach, Calif.
With that in mind, Redbarn recently introduced Protein Puffs, a low-calorie, protein-packed treat for cats
Redbarn partnered with one of the largest human-grade caseinate suppliers in the world. Caseinate is a
milk-based protein commonly found in food products
such as protein shakes.
“As we strive to listen to our evolving pet parents and
their purchase decisions, we’re particularly proud of
this partnership, as it allows us to focus on the progressive health and wellness mindset for cats and dogs,”
The healthful treat is packed with 75% protein and essential amino acids and has less
than 1 calorie per treat. And Protein Puffs are
made in the USA.
Free of grains and artificial preservatives,
colors and flavors, Chewy Louie is Redbarn’s
new line of dog treats and chews. These minimally processed chews made from natural ingredients also act as stress relievers while supporting a
dog’s dental health.
Blue Apron for Buddy?
With the heightened focus on pet nutrition coupled with
consumers’ constant demand for convenience, what’s next?
Meal-kit delivery services for pets?
Packaged Facts has named home-delivered pet food as a
U.S. pet food industry influencer in 2018 and beyond, pointing
to companies such as PetPlate and Just Right by Purina.
The researchers report that nearly one-fifth of pet owners
are using home delivery of pet food (whether customized or
Quarterly Pet Report Nonfoods