Retailers share what they believe the definition of
Made in the USA should mean and what industry
and customer trends they’re seeing on the front lines
where American products are or are not being bought.
Manufacturers respond with the triumphs and challenges of
sourcing, manufacturing and employing in the U.S.
CHELSEA CASSIDY, assistant manager at
Anaheim Feed & Pet Supply in Anaheim,
SHERRY REDWINE, co-owner of Odyssey
Pets in Dallas
RYAN MELLO, assistant manager at Salisbury Super Pet in Salisbury, Md.
Pet Product News: What is your definition
of Made in USA?
CHELSEA CASSIDY: Made in the USA
means that the item has been manufactured here in the USA and
contains a majority of the ingredients from the USA.
SHERRY REDWINE: I believe 100 of the
product should be sourced and
made in the USA. Or, every country involved should be listed. It
would serve as a way for a company to be [held] accountable.
PPN: Talk about pet products completely
sourced and made in the USA versus those
assembled or formulated in the USA but
CC: Products that say “
manufactured in the U.S.” can be misleading to customers, and they may
assume that all the ingredients are
sourced in the U.S.
Some brands we carry that are
made and sourced in the U.S. are
Plato Pet Treats, Merrick, Evan-
ger’s and I’d Rather Be With My
Dog. These brands are made in the
U.S., but some of their ingredients
are from out of the country: Zigna-
ture, Fussie Cat and Weruva. This
isn’t necessarily bad, as some of
these ingredients cannot be found
in the U.S., but at least these ingre-
dients are not coming from China.
SR: A customer pointed out to us,
unfortunately, that a certain brand
of rawhide [Tasman’s] that we’ve
carried is “processed in Mexico”
but has the U.S. flag with “prod-
uct of the USA” underneath it. We
don’t understand how this prod-
uct can say “Made in the USA” but
be processed in Mexico. This is the
kind of thing that hurts my store
brand, because we are known to
only carry USA-made edibles.
PPN: Do you see more manufacturers in
the pet industry altering their sourcing and
manufacturing to acquire the U.S. label?
CC: I have seen this becoming a
main concern for the pet industry.
Companies are making customers
see that it is a product of the U.S.
by putting the made in the USA
stamp on the front of the bag.
[When manufacturers do] this,
customers are not [confused as to
whether] the item is made in the
U.S. or not.
SR: Definitely. Dogswell treats
come to mind. Also, N-Bone. I believe that the big-box stores had a
big part in this trend. Since they’ve
removed China-made products
from their shelves, many treat
manufacturers are second-guessing how they’ve been conducting
PPN: Has consumer interest grown with the
trend? Are they asking informed questions
CC: Two years ago, we created a
treat wall that says, “China-Free
Treats.” This wall is entirely ded-
icated to non-China treats, and we
have recently remerchandised the
wall, so all the made in the USA
treats are next to each other. This
change made a huge impact on
our customers, and they were
thrilled to see that we were aware
of the problems with the China
products. Customers are able to
shop in a worry-free environment
when selecting treats.
We have a small endcap for
made in the USA toys. This has
been more difficult, because a lot
of the USA-made toys are very expensive and are hard to move in
the store. Not as many customers
are as concerned about the toys as
the treats and food.
Also, any dog food brands not
made in the U.S. are in a different
section of the store, mainly toward
SR: Customers are concerned
about Chinese-made products,
specifically in the edible departments. USA-made toys are harder
to come by at a good price, but we
are always on the lookout for quality U.S.-made toys.
RYAN MELLO: We definitely have
noticed an increase in demand.
A few years ago we would get
a few customers periodically
throughout the year asking for
American-made products. How-
ever, in the past year, the number
of customers asking for Ameri-
can-made products has grown
Many of these customers
would come to us asking for dog
treat alternatives to the ones manufactured in China. After multiple
public recalls, this has encouraged
many consumers to care more
about where the treats come from.
PPN: How likely is the Made in the USA
trend to continue growing?
CC: This trend will continue to
grow as customers are becoming
more aware of their pet’s food.
Owners are treating their pets
family and will only give them the
best of the best, which will eventually become USA-made products.
SR: This trend will keep growing.
USA pride is a factor as well as
the knowledge of recalls that have
happened due to Chinese production. Millennials especially are
really into shopping and sourcing
RM: We at Super Pet definitely feel
this trend is here to stay, because
the customers who care where
their dogs’ treats are from are not
likely to stop caring.
BIG CREEK FOODS offers Look Who’s Happy Tempt’n Tenders, made with USA-raised, cage-free chicken and available crusted with carrot, pumpkin, sweet potatoes or blueberries for a unique taste and texture. The treats are made in the USA
and do not include byproducts,
added hormones or artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.
They’re grain and gluten free.
HEALTHY DOGMA offers PetMix Chicken Dinner
and PetMix Nut & Cherry Chicken Dinner, which are
instant, just-add-water formulas. The food is full of
fruits, vegetables and human-grade chicken. Each bag
is mixed and packaged by hand in the company’s Michigan facility, ensuring quality and safety for customers.
All ingredients are sourced in the USA.