STUDY DISCOVERS THE KEY
TO ACHIEVING THE BEST
COLOR IN CLOWNFISH
An independent study conducted at the
Virginia Tech’s Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center
(AREC) concluded that the most desirable coloration in a popular clownfish,
Amphiprion ocellaris (false percula clownfish), can be achieved when high-quality food is top-dressed with enough microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis to result
in 400 parts per million (ppm) of the red
The study was part of an ongoing,
integrated collaborative research program between the Virginia Seafood
AREC, Mid-Atlantic Aqua Tech and Reed
The research evaluated the color of
A. ocellaris that were fed Reed Mariculture’s TDO Chroma Boost fish and
coral feed with the red carotenoid astaxanthin added at levels of 0, 150, 250,
400, 640 and 1,020 ppm for seven weeks.
There were 40 juvenile fish per astaxanthin level in the study, for a total of
Subjective evaluations of color were
made by a panel of six local retail pet
store owners experienced in the sale of
clownfish. Panelists were first tested
to confirm that they could visually discriminate between different colors by
means of triangle tests. Then, the panelists assigned a color preference score
using a scale of 0 (lowest preference) to 9
(highest preference) to the fish fed TDO
Chroma Boost with the different levels of
The clear favorite, with an average
score of 8. 3, was TDO Chroma Boost with
400 ppm of astaxanthin when reds were
optimum and whites were at their bright-est, according to the study’s authors.
The results of the study led Campbell,
Calif.-based Reed Mariculture to reformulate its TDO Chroma Boost to include
400 ppm astaxanthin. The granule/pellet
feed is available in seven different sizes,
and multisize packs are also available.
Two Reed Mariculture product lines,
Reef Nutrition and APBreed, market the
feed for use with saltwater and freshwater fish, and corals. It provides high-quality fish meal protein for easy digestion
and feed conversion, and is sold in state-of-the-art foil bags that support freshness
for up to a year with proper handling and
constant refrigeration, according to company officials.
An executive study of the research on
the optimal level of astaxanthin in feed
for best color in clownfish is available at
PETCUBE SECURES $10 MILLION INVESTMENT
TO FUND NEW PRODUCTS
Petcube has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Almaz
Capital AVentures and Y Combinator, with participation from
other investors. The funding will be used to expand new product
development, marketing, and sales distribution in North America and international markets.
The San Francisco-based company offers products, like interactive pet monitors, that solve the challenges faced by busy pet
owners who have to leave their pets at home because of work or
travel, or have pets with special needs.
Petcube customers are active users of a large and growing category. More than 100,000 device owners interact with their pets
remotely an average of 50 minutes per week, at a high frequency
of eight times per week.
Petcube’s market expansion plans with also align with its social mission to support animal welfare and improve the lives of
pets everywhere. Through partnerships with rescue organizations like the SF SPCA and natural health pet food brand Wellness,
Petcube is building an intelligent platform for pet care, and will continue these types of collaborations to better the wellness of pets
everywhere, officials added.
Petcube was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in late 2013. Since its founding, Petcube has launched three interactive pet
camera products and has raised a total of $14 million.
ELLO PET SUPPLY LAUNCHES CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM
Ello Pet Supply, a Wheat Ridge, Colo.-based wholesale pet product distributor, has launched Bone
Bucks, a wholesale customer loyalty rewards program designed to simplify points accrual and
usage toward online purchases.
Customers earn 50 Bone Bucks for simply signing up and can earn 50 for liking Ello Pet on
Facebook or following the company on Twitter. Bone Bucks accumulate throughout the year on
a rolling 12-month period and do not expire. There are two tiers of membership in Bone Bucks:
Blue and Gold. Both tiers earn one Bone Buck per dollar spent. Once a Blue Member has surpassed
10,000 Bone Bucks, they achieve Gold status, which earns them a monthly Ello Bello Box full of
new product samples as well as invites to VIP early online sales events. Customers can receive $5,
$10 and $25 coupons throughout the year.
WPA REPORT OFFERS
PET RETAILERS INSIGHT
FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
Services like grooming and
boarding were strong revenue performers for pet retail
companies in 2016, according
to the World Pet Association’s
(WPA) 2017 Retail Operating Performance Report, which is available for purchase by pet retailers
and service providers.
The 2017 Retail Operating Performance Report was commissioned by WPA in collaboration with Pet Store Pro. The study surveyed 118 pet retail companies, representing more than 250 retail locations and including retail
stores with animals, dry goods only and grooming.
Survey respondents reported that income from grooming accounts for 46. 4 percent of revenue
for the average grooming store, with a nearly comparable percentage of income ( 43. 7 percent)
coming from net sales of merchandise and boarding services.
In addition, the report found that respondents had typical sales volume of $863,704 and a median ticket of $34.94 per transaction. Respondents also reported net profit before taxes of 7 percent,
up from 5 percent in 2016. The average sales growth for respondents was 5. 3 percent in 2016, and
they forecasted growth of 5. 8 percent in 2017. Pet retail respondents reported total revenues per
selling square foot of $226 and operating margins per square foot of $124.
With brick-and-mortar retailers facing more competition from online competitors, respondents
reported plans to initiate online sales in the next two years ( 43. 6 percent).
The report format provides easy-to-understand guidelines and benchmarks to help pet professionals evaluate financial and operating performance compared to a cross-section of the industry
and includes a compilation on and analysis of sales and operations data, as well as additional
profile information, according to WPA officials.
The strategic analysis is designed to help pet retailers monitor and manage expenses, measure
and improve productivity, evaluate employee effectiveness and improve their company’s bottom
line. Key areas evaluated include: overall performance, management ratios, cash cycle, liquidity
measures, employee productivity ratios, sales performance and space productivity ratios.
The 2017 WPA Retail Operating Performance Report was compiled, tabulated and analyzed by
Industry Insights, an independent professional research and consulting firm that specializes in
WINS PLATINUM PUBLIC
Matrix Partners, a Chica-go-based pet-centric brand
strategy and communications firm, earned a Platinum Hermes award in the
Pro Bono Public Relations
category for staging a comprehensive program to promote the Internet Cat Video
Festival in Chicago. The
popular event was hosted
by two rescue organizations,
the Chicago Cat Rescue and
Tree House Humane Society. The 75-minute screening of “best of the net” videos was preceded by a meet
and greet with internet-fa-mous cat Lil Bub.
To spread the word
about the festival, the Matrix Partners public relations team reached out to
targeted local television and
radio broadcasters as well
as newspapers and other
national publications. As a
result of the company’s creative and logistical efforts,
news of the event generated more than 175 million
impressions. Proceeds from
the event went to Chicago
Cat Rescue, Tree House Humane Society and Lil Bub’s
Big Fund for the ASPCA.