Roche Bros. Plays Up ‘Pure Harmony’
Any attempt to remain competitive in the pet aisle must be a multipronged effort. Brian McHale, pet buyer at Roche Bros. in Wellesley,
Mass., says primarily, the company has focused on adding more natural
pet offerings, including its private label, Pure Harmony. The grocer has
also added brands that were once exclusive to pet specialty stores, such
as Nature’s Recipe, Castor & Pollux and Halo.
“We’ve also refreshed our selection of treats and toys, with an emphasis
on natural and made-in-the-USA offerings,” McHale says. “We continue
to offer Fresh Pet brand refrigerated pet food in selected stores.”
In fact, the refrigerated and frozen foods are an area of
According to IRI, a Chicago-based market research
firm, for the 52 weeks ending May 14, 2017, pet food sales
were up 1.4 percent to $14.3 billion. Within that category
the big gainers were refrigerated or frozen cat
food, up 45 percent to $7.1 million, and refrigerated or frozen dog food, up nearly 18 percent
to $175.1 million.
Other store efforts include charitable tie-ins.
Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets has hosted
its Paws for Pets campaign, which asks cus-
tomers to buy pet items and donate them by
dropping them in the donation cart in the store, for the past several
years with great success.
There are other engagement efforts retailers offer their pet-loving
customers. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets offers Publix
Paws, a free club “that makes it fun and easy for you to strengthen your
bond with your dog or cat,” according to the chain’s website. Members
receive coupons for pet food, accessories, toys and treats, announcements about sales events for pet products, and expert advice for keeping
their pets happy.
Some stores fill pet prescriptions at the pharmacies. Stillwater,
Minn.-based Cub Foods says on its website that it can help pet owners find the best price for their pets’ prescriptions for shoppers who
present their discount card at the pharmacy.
In a step beyond the store-within-a-store concept, Lunds &
Overall the pet products category is holding steady in
food, drug and mass stores. Also, according to IRI, U.S.
multi-outlet sales of pet supplies totaled more than $4.2
billion, an increase of 3. 47 percent compared to the same
period the previous year.