BY KEITH LORIA
Now more than ever, pet owners are focusing on the health and well- ness of their pets as they would any family member, and that’s caused a rise in natural supplement sales. As a result, more manufacturers are
coming out with new products, and pet specialty retailers are expanding
their product mix.
Kirk Forrest, owner of Wag N’ Wash in California, Md., has found the
newest trend to be the use of cannabidiol (CBD)-based pet supplements to
help alleviate anxiety, pain and inflammation.
“We’ve seen an influx of clients looking for more natural and holistic
treatments and an increase in herbal therapy purchases,” he said. “It’s im-
portant to have more than one product form—chewable, liquids, etc.—to di-
versify consumers’ options and to fully train and educate the staff about the
benefits of the products.”
Harald Fisker, president of Grizzly Pet Products in Woodinville, Wash.,
said the new kids on the block for pet specialty, as born by popular demand,
are hemp-enhanced products.
“These products are enhanced by small amounts of hemp oil or hemp
meal, typically from organically grown hemp, which is naturally refined to
products containing certain amounts of CBD, but zero percent THC, the active chemical in cannabis, etc.,” he said.
The market for non-CBD, natural supplements and remedies that support
pets’ health is also gaining traction. In response, Denise Strong, co-owner of
Pawz On Main in Cottonwood, Ariz., is expanding her store’s assortment.
“I have been doing extensive research,” she said, adding, at press time,
that she hoped to find quality suppliers at the SuperZoo tradeshow in Las
Vegas in June. “I spend extensive time on research, so I have the proper
knowledge to market the products. I try to have firsthand experience in the
use of the products I sell by utilizing the supplements with my own six dogs
for their needs.”
Among the market’s offerings for natural supplements is the Life by
TropiClean line. James Brandly, marketing coordinator for TropiClean in
Wentzville, Mo., said the line provides several solutions to help optimize a
“Life by TropiClean Supplement for Dogs offers supplements that address specific issues like hip and joint, skin and coat, calming, probiotic and
digestion,” he said. “Each supplement we produce offers a natural solution
for pets and their people. Our supplements are easy to use, and dogs love
MARKETING & MERCHANDISING
SPREADING THE WORD
While natural pet supplements sales are on the rise, pet specialty retailers looking to maximize the
sales potential of the category should continue to look for opportunities to market these products
and educate customers on their potential benefits, according to industry participants.
“Host in-store promotions and offer online coupons that showcase different pet supplements,”
said James Brandly, marketing coordinator for;TropiClean in Wentzville, Mo. “TropiClean offers
numerous resources on our free pet professional site on our website for retailers to utilize. It’s our
role to provide solution-based dog supplements that are effective and easy to use with packaging
that clearly communicates its appeal to pet parents.”
Bend Pet Express, which has two locations in Bend, Ore., dedicates the entire month of
September to food toppers, mixers and supplements that can be added to pets’ food, with a
promotion called “What’s in your bowl?”
“We get that most people add something into their pets’ food bowl, so we have samples, freebies
and screaming deals in September to allow [customers] to try stuff out,” said Kim McCohan, chief
happiness officer for the stores. “This is where we talk one-on-one about supplements and adding
them into their pet’s diet for that extra kick.”
Additionally, in June, the store heavily promotes calming supplements in anticipation of July
Fourth fireworks, which are a source of anxiety and fear for many pets.
Retailers also can boost consumer awareness of the category by placing products in prominent
areas of the store and creating attention-grabbing displays.
TropiClean offers a merchandising display for its Life by TropiClean line that groups the
supplements together in organized rows.
“Retailers need to keep their shelves clean and easy to navigate to attract people to the
supplements,” Brandly said. “The packaging and display helps catch the customer’s eye, helping
educate the customer on each product.”
At Bend Pet Express, the most common supplements are displayed next to its popular kibble bags
so customers can grab both at the same time.
“Signage helps,” McCohan said. “Imagine a senior bag with a hip and joint product next to the
bag with a sign that clearly indicates this is for those dogs that need a little extra help standing up.
We also created really simple mini signs that are nothing but an image to get the point across—a
tooth to indicate dental health, a scale for weight loss, an up-close hair follicle for skin and coat, etc.”
Kirk Forrest, owner of Wag N’ Wash in California, Md., said he places trending natural
supplements toward the;front of the store by the checkout area.
“This is where we have the most;traffic and have the most potential influence [over] our guests’
purchasing habits,” he said.
Pawz On Main in Cottonwood, Ariz., merchandises supplements in different areas of the store.
“Some new products are displayed right at the checkout counter,” said co-owner Denise Strong.
“The remainder have their own unique display cabinets and cases in prominent areas of the store.”
A Better Boost
Shoppers are seeking natural pet
supplements that address not only
specific health issues, but also their
companion animals’ overall well-being.