61 January 2019 Pet Product News International
At Bravo Pet Foods in Manchester, Conn., CEO Melinda
Miller said that transparency is an important part of directly earning the trust and loyalty of pet owners.
“This is why we include country of origin information
for all of our products on our website where it is easily
accessible,” Miller said. “If a customer is interested where
we source our ingredients, that information is readily
available. We also field direct questions from our consum-
ers regarding the provenance of all our ingredients, and
consumers are able to request results of our batch tests for
any one of our products.”
Karen Neola, founder of My Perfect Pet Food in Po-
way, Calif., said that the company educates pet owners
by posting informational videos, but also invites retailers
to see its operation firsthand.
“When we host visitors at My Perfect Pet, we offer
lunch made with the same ingredients we use in our food
blends—baked chicken or beef, fresh spinach or broccoli
salad with kale, carrots, and cranberries, only adding seasonings for our human guests,” Neola said.
Transparency not only plays a part in helping to build
consumer confidence in the ingredients used, but can also
go a long way in demonstrating a manufacturer’s com-
mitment to product safety, industry experts report.
“Product safety begins with the selection of ingredi-
ents,” Neola said. “My Perfect Pet uses only the high-
est-quality whole food ingredients from companies that
deal exclusively with restaurants and grocery stores and
are under constant USDA inspection for human foods.”
For My Perfect Pet, committing to high safety stan-
dards also means avoiding the use of pre-ground meats,
“While pre-ground meats are much lower in cost
and may still be considered human-grade, we choose to
buy only full cuts of roasts and fillets to ensure that the
highest-quality cuts are used and to eliminate the risk of
any pathogens being introduced to the raw meat during
pre-grinding,” she said.
When it comes to product safety, manufacturers cited
one key factor—control—stressing that the more control
they have over the process, the more certain they can be
of its safety.
“All manufacturing is done in our own good-manu-
facturing-processes (GMP)-compliant facility, giving My
Perfect Pet 100 percent control over every aspect of our
operation,” Neola said. “Without geographical or lan-
guage limitations, we know the standards under which
our suppliers are operating and have the ability to person-
ally visit every farm and supplier to audit control points
from farm to delivery.”
Miller agreed that when sourcing locally, companies
have the advantage of meeting their suppliers face-to-face
and ensuring that high standards are upheld. Bravo owns
its own manufacturing facility and is very hands-on in all
aspects of the process, she added.
“This allows us to react quickly in isolating anything
that may be a potential issue and also allows us to consistently produce a quality product,” Miller said.
Answers Pet Food recently opened a new manufacturing facility to align with its commitment to making
“More than any other product in the pet industry, understanding where your food comes from is so important,” Hoekman said. “The best thing that retailers can do
is find a food that they agree with ethically, environmentally and nutritionally. To us, the more transparent we
can be and the more information we can put out there,
the more we can help retailers make better choices when
it comes to the products they choose to carry.”
USA PRODUCTS GO HARD CORE
THE DEMAND FOR DOMESTICALLY MANUFACTURED
PRODUCTS IS EXPANDING BEYOND FOOD INTO OTHER
BY KEITH LORIA
Consumer demand for U.S.-made pet foods produced with domestically sourced ingredients has been an ongoing trend for more than a decade. Now, demand is on the rise for made
in the U.S. hard goods and nonedibles, as pet owners seek out toys,
collars, leashes, beds and other products bearing that distinction,
pet specialty retailers and manufacturers assert.
Alisha Navarro, president of Indian Trail, N.C.-based 2 Hounds
Design, which offers American-made collars, leashes and
harnesses, remembers a time not too long ago when made in the
USA products were a niche category, with customers not really
considering where products were made.
“Back in 2010, when we attended trade shows or answered
questions from customers, we would get maybe one or two here
and there asking where our products were made,” she said. “This
[past] year, at every trade show, more than half the stores were
asking where products are made, and we are advertising heavily
on our packaging and displays that all of our products are made in
the USA. It is a selling point for the end user, as it is a benefit that
Lanette Fidrych, owner of Cycle Dog-Earth Friendly Pet Co., a
Portland, Ore.-based company that makes dog leashes, toys and
collars out of recycled bike tubes, said that besides creating jobs in
the U.S., manufacturing in an American facility allows the company
to develop products faster and more efficiently.
“Demand for USA-made products, especially soft toys, has been
exponentially increasing,” she said. “Consumers are looking for
brighter colors, more durable materials and differentiation in the
marketplace. We can offer that.”
Michael Schrekenhofer, international sales manager for Conway,
Ariz.-based Leather Brothers, which manufactures more than
15,000 SKUs in the pet category, is seeing an influx of importers
looking to have product made in the USA to avoid hassles with
import tariffs and duties in the upcoming future.
“Right now, one of the main consumer trends driving interest to
products made in the USA is price and quality,” he said. “With the
current tariffs on imported goods, pricing will continue to go up on
many products in the pet industry. By making our products here, we
A REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH
IN SKIN CARE FOR YOUR DOG!
BATH BOMBS GOATS MILK SHAMPOO BARS
WHIP BODY MOISTURIZER GENTLE SPRAY MIST
Treats: Dandruff, Itchy Skin & Flakey Coat,
Soothes Hot Spots & Moisturizes for a Smooth & Silky Coat