How do you define “natural,”
and what does it mean to
“The term ‘natural’ is very rigidly defined by the
governing bodies of our industry. These established
guidelines really define the ingredients we choose
and how we make our product. This would be our
company’s definition of that word. The idea of all
natural ends when you add vitamins and minerals
since they need to be added to pet food.”—MATT
GOLLADAY, president of BrightPet Nutrition Group,
parent company of Blackwood, Adirondack and By
Nature Pet Foods, in Lisbon, Ohio
“‘Natural’ for us is defined as a
product that is produced with
clean, pure ingredients, without
additives such as chemical
preservatives, fillers, artificial
flavors and colorings. Ingredi-
ents are as close as possible to
the way nature provided them,
and a natural finished product
is minimally processed. For us,
it also denotes environmental
sensitivity or eco-friendliness
when it comes to ingredient in-
tegrity and production.”—LUCY
POSTINS, founder and chief
integrity officer of The Honest
Kitchen in San Diego
“The word ‘natural’
is a term that ...is too
often used inaccurate-
ly, so we want to go
many steps ahead of
‘natural’ and offer re-
tailers and pet parents
the transparency of not
only what makes our
fresh and natural, but
also with certifications
that separate our
and control from our
SHER, president and
owner of Evanger’s Dog
and Cat Food Co. in
MORE TO COME
Pet food manufacturers are launching new products and adding to existing lines as they
seek to meet the booming demand for natural diets.
Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co. in Markham, Ill., expanded its organic dog and cat food
offerings in 2018, and is continuing to increase its organic food line.;
“Pet parents and retailers alike seek foods with certified ingredients,” said Holly Sher,
president and owner. “It’s very important to us to ensure the quality of every ingredient.”
Lucy Postins, founder and chief integrity officer of The Honest Kitchen in San Diego, said
the company is laser-focused on gentle production methods, such as dehydration, to help
maintain the natural benefits of its raw ingredients. It plans to launch Whole Food Clusters in
“Our new Whole Food Clusters will be the world’s first human-grade ready-to-eat dry
food, which is made using a combination of slow baking and dehydration, instead of high-heat extrusion like most dry foods,” she said.
Nancy Peplinsky, managing director of Dr. B’s Longevity Raw Pet Food in Little Falls,
N.J., said more and more;pet;owners are moving toward natural, organic, and raw diets and
treats for their;pets as they become educated about the benefits of raw feeding.
“In the next six months, we will be launching our Longevity Raw Cat Food line and are
excited to bring raw feeding benefits to our cat families,” she said.
Purina showcased several new products at SuperZoo in Las Vegas in June, including
natural line extensions, particularly with the Purina One and Beyond brands.
“We recently renovated all of our Purina One dog and cat formulas to be natural,” said
Joe Toscano, vice president and director of industry relations for Nestlé Purina Petcare
in St. Louis. “In the New Product Showcase [at SuperZoo], we featured Beyond Wild, a
freeze-dried and prey-inspired food. The hallmarks of the new formula are natural, real
meat No. 1, high protein, grain free, no corn, wheat or soy, and no artificial flavors, colors or
At SuperZoo, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based Champion Petfoods launched a
reformulated recipe and new flavors of Acana Singles LID products, which utilize fresh and
raw meat in WholePrey ratios of muscle, organs and cartilage.
“We have increased the level of meat from 50 to 60 percent in the diet while
simultaneously reducing the carbs,” said Julie Washington, chief marketing officer for
Champion Petfoods. “We’ve also added new flavors: Turkey & Greens and Beef & Pumpkin.
Our goal is a cleaner, shorter ingredient panel with the right focus on high-quality proteins.”
SOLID GOLD PET’S Indigo Moon with Alaskan
Pollock & Eggs is a grain-and gluten-free, high-protein recipe for cats. Made
with fresh-caught, ome-ga-rich Alaskan pollock
and nutrient-dense whole
egg, the recipe is easily
digestible and highly
palatable. It is crafted to
support everyday activity
and is high in protein.
solidgoldpet.com WALK YOUR DOG WITH LOVE’S
Ounce Of Prevention is batch
crafted from USDA organic, non-
GMO essential oils. The ingredients
have proven themselves effective
at naturally keeping bugs at bay,
the company states. They have
been used by people in civilizations
around the world and throughout the
ages. The 100 percent pure, all-nat-
ural, plant-derived product contains
no extra “filler” oils or liquids.
Lucy Pet Hip to Be Square dog treats from LUCY PET PRODUCTS are meaty, chewy, semimoist natural
treats that are made in the USA. Premium meat is the first ingredient, and the grain-free treats are available
in three formulas: Chicken, Duck and Salmon, with pumpkin added for a delicious taste, the company
states. The treats use high-quality ingredients that are responsibly sourced from trusted suppliers. The lim-
ited-ingredient treats are excellent for pets that have sensitivities to grain, and they are perfect for training
or as an everyday reward. The treats contain no corn, wheat or soy. Proceeds help animals through the Lucy
Pet Foundation. lucypetproducts.com CONTINUED ON PAGE 55
Product manufacturers and pet retailers are joining forces to market the natural pet food
category, industry insiders reveal.
Holly Sher, president and owner of Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co., based in Markham, Ill.,
noted the company works with pet retailers to help them gain new customers and keep customers
“We provide point-of-purchase merchandising signage, coupons and more because we know
that if a customer reads the ingredient panel, tries the products with their dogs, cats or ferrets, and
sees the way their pets get excited for the great taste and ingredients that promote health from the
inside out, they will be customers for life,” she said.
Evanger’s also offers pet owners an easy-to-follow Product-Solution Guide on its website to
provide solutions to the most common pet nutritional, digestive or allergy-related problems.
“Retailers and their associates can use this guide to help train their employees on common
challenges pet parents are facing when trying to find the right food for their dog’s unique needs,”
Sher said. ;
Joe Toscano, vice president and director of industry relations for Nestlé Purina Petcare in St.
Louis, said retailers need to show customers they care about their pets by having a wide variety of
pet items to choose from and weekly promotions that will stimulate loyalty.
Having a staff that is well versed on the subject also conveys to customers that the store has
the best interest of shoppers’ pets at heart.
Lucy Postins, founder and chief integrity officer of The Honest Kitchen, based in San Diego,
said retailers should become knowledgeable about the natural and environmental attributes of
the products they carry so that they can competently answer questions that more-demanding
consumers may have.
“Superior, knowledgeable customer service is a key way that retailers can differentiate
themselves,” she said.
“Special promotions such as buy-get offers allow consumers to try new natural products that
they might not otherwise have purchased,” Postins added.
When getting staff on board with the natural philosophy, Norm Shrout, co-owner of Long
Leash On Life in Albuquerque, N.M., said he encourages them to feed their own pets natural foods
and witness the sometimes-dramatic transformations that occur with the health and vitality of
“There are few sales techniques as powerful as the genuine endorsement from a pet parent
who has used the product and achieved best results,” he said.