The Demand for Domestic
Today’s cat owners are looking for nutrient-rich foods and
treats that are reputably sourced and made.
THIS ARTICLE IS BROUGHT
TO YOU IN PART BY
BY LIZETT BOND
Today’s cat owners are discerning when it comes to nutrition for their pets, and they are studying ingredient panels, researching sourcing, and scrutinizing manufacturer practices when making food and treat selections. For many, products that are sourced
and made in the USA top the list.
“Demand for USA sourced and made, as well as quality, all-natural products in general, has been steadily on the rise for the past
five-plus years,” said Melinda Miller, CEO of Bravo Pet Foods in
Manchester, Conn. “This demand is being driven by well-educated
consumers who only want to feed foods and treats that are going to
benefit the overall health and wellness of their companion animals.”
Sales of fresh-frozen raw diets and single-ingredient all-meat
treats in the cat food category are holding steady, as they align nicely with the current consumer demand for products that are sourced
and made in the USA, according to Miller.
Cat owners are searching for the safest, cleanest products to
feed their pets and feel that USA manufacturing practices are regulated more stringently than those in many parts of the world,
said Adrian Pettyan, CEO and co-founder of Caru Pet Food Co.
in Vero Beach, Fla.
“The migration to made in USA feline diets has accelerated in
recent years and shows no sign of slowing down,” Pettyan said.
“Consumers are savvier about the difference between products that
are both sourced and processed domestically and products prepared
with overseas ingredients.”
Selecting products that are made in the USA serves as a safety
check for consumers, said Glenn A. Novotny, president and CEO of
Emerald Pet Products in Walnut Creek, Calif.
“Made in the USA helps to reassure the consumer the stringent
standards are being followed in correspondence with U.S. regulations,” he said.
This month, Emerald Pet Products introduced Wholly Fish! cat
treats, chicken-free and poultry-free crunchy treats made using salm-
on and tuna. They are available in limited-ingredient formulas in
Salmon and Tuna flavors, and available with ginger root plus tur-
meric in Digestive Health formulas.
“These easy-to-feed cat treats were created in response to our
customers’ requests for a clean-feeding, fish-based treat that does
not include any poultry ingredients,” Novotny said. “We are excited
to offer our Wholly Fish! treats as an alternative to feeding messy
freeze-dried or wet fish treat options.”
Both star- and fish-shaped treats are included in each bag. The
treats are made in the USA, and they are free from grains, gluten,
soy and dairy.
At Animal Connection in Charlottesville, Va., the call for USA-made consumables is strong, said owner Pattie Boden.
“My customers only want USA-made food products with as many
organic, human-grade ingredients as possible,” Boden said. “Our
store’s recommendation is raw food, but we also stock dehydrated,
At Flying M Feed Co. in Houston, owner Trace Menchaca reported seeing little demand for USA sourcing and/or manufacturing in
“Our cat customers do not care where their cat food comes from,”
she said. “It’s amazing, but they just don’t have the interest or knowl-
edge like our dog customers. We are always giving away free cans
of cat food to our customers because we really believe in adding wet
to a cat’s diet.”
Conversely, in Redlands, Calif., Lorin Grow, owner of Furry Face,
noted that cat owners are seeking the best for their pets and often
want to improve their cats’ diets. They have a tendency to be even
more specific in food and treat selections, including when it comes
to sourcing, for their cats than for their dogs, she said.
“Cats rule the worlds of their people, and most are extremely
picky, which makes their owners much more involved in every detail of their feeding,” Grow said.