In an effort to keep consumers interested,
manufacturers are introducing a variety of
natural dog chew products. Jones Naturals
Chews Co. LLC, based in Rockford, Ill., recently introduced two large flexible patty
products in beef and chicken varieties.
The patties are also available in a silver
dollar size. In addition, the company has
introduced a chicken foot and duck foot
with the nails removed.
Redbarn Pet Products in Long Beach,
Calif., now offers Redbarn Super Braids
and Weaves for a shaped bully stick.
These natural, single-ingredient chews are
made from grass-fed cattle and are highly
digestible, according to the company.
Richmond, Va.-based Barkworthies
has also unveiled new chews, including
3-inch Bully Stick Rings, Odor-Free 12-inch
Monster Bully Sticks and a Small Bully
Stick Value Pack. In addition, according
to the company, five on-trend items were
recently introduced into the company’s
Superfood Jerky line, including Rabbit with
Apple & Kale, Turkey with Pumpkin, Sweet
Potato & Carrot, Turkey with Cranberries
& Blueberries, Chicken with Cranberries
& Blueberries, and Chicken with Pumpkin,
Sweet Potato & Carrot.
What drives your customers to seek out natural chews?
“Safety is absolutely on my customers’ minds. They
want a natural product because they want to know it’s safe.
Recalls and stories in the news have people concerned, and
rightfully so. I carefully check all of my products to see where
they are made and what ingredients they contain.”—
CHRISTINA WALSH, owner and founder of The Village Pet Shoppe in
“They want something that is all natural because they want to
MATCHING CHEW PERSONALITIES
know that it is completely digestible. When you buy a manmade product
like rawhide, it won’t completely break down and digest, and can cause
a blockage or even just sit in the gut. As pet parents become more
educated—and many are—they’ve become increasingly concerned
about safety.”—PATTI FARROW, store managerfor Mouthfuls Pet Supply
“Long lasting is the feature that dog parents want most when coming in to our
store for a chew. The reason that ranks higher than safety here is only because they
know that we’ve already weeded out products that aren’t safe. We have a reputation
for narrowing the market and only selling products that we believe in. That is also
a way we separate ourselves from big pet stores or online retailers. People come
here because they trust us.” —CARMEN ALCALDE, co-owner of Bad Dog Fridain
Customer education is important when it comes to driving
sales of natural chews, said Rashell Cooper, marketing director for Redbarn Pet Products in Long Beach, Calif. Redbarn
provides educational and point-of-purchase materials to
assist with this effort.
“Proper training of store associates on the benefits of
natural chews and of specific active ingredients also helps
better address the health needs and chew personalities of
customers,” Cooper added. “Giving associates questions to
ask, such as ‘How aggressive is your pet when they chew?’
or ‘Do you have a favorite protein?’ will also help retailers
better tailor their suggestions to individual pets and provide
a more personalized experience for the customer.”
For Carmen Alcalde, co-owner of Bad Dog Frida in
Madison, Wis., conversations with customers go a long way
in educating them. She said that it’s often “eye opening” for
pet owners to learn about the dangers associated with some
types of chews.
“Today’s consumers are more educated, and many of
them are already aware of safety concerns, but those that
aren’t may be shocked to learn about the danger of rawhides
or about products that pose a digestion hazard,” Alcalde said.
“We take our role in educating pet parents very seriously.”
“The more retailers educate the consumer, the better,”
said Laura Jones Lang, COO of Jones Naturals Chews Co. LLC
in Rockford, Ill. “From which chew is best for their dog to
what ingredients are in the product, these are all important
conversations. Fat and protein levels should also be a consid-
eration for individual dogs’ needs.”
USTOMER EDUCATION ERCHANDISING
Tim Fabits, vice president of sales for Richmond, Va.-based Barkworthies, said that accelerating chew sales means “thinking outside of
the chews aisle.” He suggested showcasing new lines on endcaps or
utilizing prominent signage to draw attention.
Signage has definitely helped pique customer interest for Carmen
Alcalde, co-owner of Bad Dog Frida in Madison, Wis. Chews at Bad Dog
Frida are kept on three individual tables, with the longest-lasting chews
placed the most prominently because they tend to be the most popular
“We put chews in buckets and have signs that we may include
some helpful tips on, in addition to the price,” Alcalde said. “It might
say ‘Not for gulpers’ or ‘A good source of calcium.’ It’s just a little bit of
extra information that helps them make an informed choice.”
Patti Farrow, store manager for Mouthfuls Pet Supply in Denver,
said that the store carries a lot of unique, all-natural body parts and
stores them by the door. It’s not uncommon for the retailer to see
customers stop in their tracks.
“They’re intrigued—they’ve never seen a turkey foot before, and
they stop to check it out,” Farrow said. “When customers stop to look,
we take the opportunity to educate them on the importance of chews
that are completely digestible. We show them the natural chews we
carry—like ears, tails and hooves—and they want to know more.”
Given the premium quality of natural chews, Rashell Cooper,
marketing director for Redbarn Pet Products in Long Beach, Calif., also
suggested that retailers use innovative displays made from natural
materials like wood when possible.
“Using an endcap, featuring different products as a product of the
month, and moving natural chews to the front of the store all work to
aid pet specialty retailers,” Cooper said.
ARTVARK PET PRODUCTS’ GoGo
USA Turkey Tendon Strips are
great for small to medium-size
dogs. Each tendon is slowly
roasted, and a touch of wood-smoked flavor is added. Turkey
tendons are low in fat and high
in protein. The all-natural treats
are 100 percent USDA inspected
with traceable turkey. The treats,
which are made in the USA, are
an alternative for dogs with
EINSTEIN PETS offers heart-shaped dog treats. The handcrafted dog
treats are made from natural and nutritious premium raw ingredients.
The treats are produced in batches with eight ingredients or less,
brought together by using simple wheat-, soy- and corn-free recipes.
The heart shape is in line with the premium all-natural, heart-smart
treats that are crafted for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities, or
those that need to lose a few extra pounds.
to our family at
Super Zoo Booth #1117.
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