“I like USA-sourced cat foods,
but at Bend Pet Express, we don’t
overlook other high-quality foods
from New Zealand or Europe, for
instance. As an independent retailer, we have always been cautious
about our brand sourcing.”—
stePhaNIe WrIght, Westside
manager for Bend Pet Express in
“When it comes to evaluating sourcing,
stores must do due diligence. Talk to
manufacturers. Find out if they source
their ingredients directly or if they rely on
a third party or facility. If a manufacturer
is sourcing abroad, what measures are
being taken to ensure quality?”—Noelle
selleck, California sales manager for
Smallbatch Pets in Portland, Ore.
“As we see more manufacturers moving into this space due to consumer demand, retailers will
have a lot more choices, and those doing their homework should be looking for companies or
brands with a good reputation, and not only for sourcing quality ingredients, but for transparency
in their practices. An important question to ask: Is the company willing to reveal where ingredients are sourced?”—Bette schuBert, co-founderandsenior vicepresident of sales for Bravo
Pet Foods in Manchester, Conn.
retailers and manufacturers weigh in on best sourcing verification practices for cat food:
a sourcINg challeNge
USA-sourced cat food faces a few sourcing obstacles, as many of the proteins beyond the basic chicken, beef or turkey can be difficult to obtain entirely in the USA,
said Noelle Selleck, California sales manager for Smallbatch Pets in Portland, Ore.
A large part of that challenge has to do with agriculture in the U.S., she said.
“Simply put, other countries consume and grow more of the exotic proteins
such as duck, rabbit or lamb,” Selleck said. “Also, taurine is difficult to source in the
USA and must be supplemented in cooked products. Unless the eating patterns of
the United States change, these issues are unlikely to go away.”
Processed meals often originate from offshore sources that are not disclosed,
with final “manufacturing” taking place in the U.S., said Karen Neola, founder of My
Perfect Pet in Poway, Calif.
Smaller companies are leading the charge by using only restaurant-grade foods
primarily sourced in the USA, Neola said.
Attention to the country of origin information on the ingredient list, the
reputation of the manufacturer and the company’s policies on transparency are
all important when making buying decisions, said Bette Schubert, co-founder and
senior vice president of sales for Bravo Pet Foods in Manchester, Conn.
“With vitamins and minerals and/or particular spices, you’ll likely do better
sourcing from a country rich in those particular resources,” she said.
A benefit of manufacturing food in the U.S. is the elimination of the need to
divert production dollars to transportation costs and other inefficiencies that are
unavoidable with imported goods, said Jen Loesch, general manager of Sojos in
“That, plus growing consumer demand, will no doubt continue to attract more
and more manufacturers to the advantages of in-country production, and appeal to
retailers to feature brands offering made in the USA products,” Loesch said.
Some proteins and vitamins
and minerals can be difficult
to source in the U.S.