4 WAYS TO BOOST LID AWARENESS AND SALES
Despite increasing interest in limited-ingredient diets (LIDs) for dogs, industry insiders said
raising awareness of this category remains necessary. Insiders offered four important ways
independent pet specialty retailers can market these diets and boost sales in this segment of
the dog food category.
1. It Starts With the Staff
Staff members who are well educated about the benefits of LIDs and knowledgeable about
their products will boost in-store sales, said Sharon Durham, marketing communications
manager for Ziwi USA in Overland Park, Kan.
Audree Berg, owner of Auggie’s Pet Supplies in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., agreed.
“Have a smart staff that is engaged and interested and enjoys what they do, because that
translates into your customer base as well,” she said.
2. Use Testimonials
“Personal recommendations from in-store staff are always the best way to get the word
out about limited-ingredient dog food,” said Barbara Liss, vice president of marketing at
Merrick Pet Care in Amarillo, Texas.
Julie S. Washington, chief marketing officer at Champion Petfoods in Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada, said an online component available for a store’s customers might help
further extend this effort.
“First consideration is [the] retailer’s social channel community platforms,” she said.
“Pet lovers can be invited to share their anecdotal stories of how these products have
benefited their pets. There’s no more credible voice or persuasive argument for LID than
3. Product Placement
“To help reinforce the benefits of a limited-ingredient food, pet stores could find success
promoting the limited-ingredient foods next to the care clinic or grooming area to position
them as a great solution for pets with digestive health concerns or itchy skin, ears or
paws,” Liss said.
4. In-Store Events
“Consumer events can be a great way to get pet lovers engaged,” Washington said.
“Whether it’s educational seminars on label reading, behavioral clinics, adoption days
or grooming experiences, inviting customers to the store opens the door to one-on-one
conversations about important topics like understanding a product label.”
“They want their pets to be healthy and comfortable. If
their pet is itchy, they attribute that to the food they are
feeding, and these pet parents will not be satisfied until they
find the right food that brings comfort to their pets. We talk
to our customers.”—MICHAEL LEVY, president andfounder
of Pet Food Express in San Leandro, Calif.
“They are hoping that
these foods will fix their
dog’s health problems, like
allergies and intestinal issues.
It’s all about education and
helping customers to become
comfortable with trial and
owner of Garden City Pet in
“They come in and initially say, ‘My dog is itchy and I
think my dog is allergic to XYZ,’ so we politely ask if it’s
an allergy test from a vet, and 100 percent of the time
they say ‘no.’ Then we try to figure out what their food
tolerance is—raw, canned, freeze dried, kibble—and
work backward from there. It’s a process because you
want to find the best food option that the pet parent
can afford.”—AUDREE BERG, ownerof Auggie’s Pet
Supplies in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
What do limited-ingredient-
diet (LID) customers come in
seeking, and how do you help?