EW PRODUCTS USTOMER EDUCATION
ORGANIC & HUMANELY SOURCED SELECTIONS
Savvy consumers want to know what goes into the production of
the food their pet is consuming. For example, foods that are prepared
with humanely raised, antibiotic-free and steroid-free meats as well
as organic produce resonate with pet owners striving to provide the
highest-quality food for their pets, said Vanessa Quick, co-founder of
Purpose Pet Food in New York.
Along these lines, Purpose Pet Food recently unveiled a line of
freeze-dried dog food.
“The recipes are 95 percent protein, 5 percent organic produce
and supplements, and are formulated to meet the nutritional levels
established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life
stages,” Quick said. “We plan to add two more dog food formulas by
the end of 2017.”
Based on the diet a dog would eat in the wild, the grain-free offer-
ings feature beef, chicken and turkey selections, each with vegetables.
The locally sourced ingredients come from the highest-quality organic
produce and humanely raised animals from family farms across the
U.S., Quick said.
“We support humane farm animal practices and American family
farms,” she added.
As consumers focus on food sourcing methods that embrace
ethical practices and a positive impact on the environment, Open Farm
is committed to raising the bar for farm animal welfare, said Isaac
Langleben, co-founder of the Toronto-based company.
Open Farm recently debuted two dog food recipes. Grain-free Pas-ture-Raised Lamb Recipe is formulated with exclusively pasture raised,
grass-fed lamb sourced from third-party audited farms and non-GMO
fruits, vegetables and legumes, Langleben said.
“We are proud to expand our association with Global Animal
Partnership (GAP), making this product the first pet food in the world
to achieve a GAP Step- 4 animal welfare rating,” Langleben said.
Open Farm’s grain-free Wild-Caught Salmon Recipe features
100 percent wild-caught salmon, which is sustainably caught off of
Alaskan coasts. The product expands Open Farm’s partnership with
Ocean Wise, a leading organization in the field of seafood sustainability, Langleben noted.
AN EMERGING PET FOOD CONCEPT
Education is the key to enabling consumers to make informed dietary decisions for their families and pets.
When presented with the alternatives of natural and ethically sourced products versus conventional food,
consumers are eager to make the leap to products that are more premium and sustainable, said Isaac
Langleben, co-founder of Open Farm in Toronto.
“Retailers in today’s market are smart, educated, and want to carry the very best, highest-quality,
socially and environmentally sustainable products,” said Stephanie Volo, vice president of brand and
communications for Earth Animal in Southport, Conn.
And with the increased power in millennial spending, an understanding of how to market to this
generation is key to providing education, said Jusak Yang Bernhard, co-owner of TailsSpin Pet Stuff, which
has stores in Georgia.
“Social media, such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter, are the most-used forms of communication because of the immediate availability of information,” he said.
In-store trainings and workshops are helpful in shaping sales associates’ understanding of these
“We have done trainings for our staff with these manufacturers,” said Sherry Redwine, co-owner of
Odyssey Pets in Dallas. “However, as far as customer education, we prefer to feel each customer out; if we
mention ‘humanely raised’ and a customer is not interested after an explanation, that food may not be for
Consumers are connecting the dots between food sourcing and health issues within both human and
pet populations, said Julie Paez, co-owner of The Big Bad Woof in Washington, D.C.
“Beyond the obvious of humane animal treatment, we talk to our customers about the impact on the
end product of how these animals are raised and fed,” she said. “This provides an understanding that, for
the most part, farms that follow humane, organic practices will produce foods that are cleaner, leaving a
smaller environmental footprint.
“For example, confined cattle typically suffer health issues requiring antibiotics, which are stored in
the meat,” Paez continued. “GMO-sourced corn is treated with pesticides, which are also stored in the
meat. Finally, humane slaughter lessens the cortisol and adrenaline released by animals that are stressed
Discussion of the distinctions between “natural” versus “organic” is another important part of con-
“There has been confusion in the industry with many brands making ‘natural’ claims; however, there
is no government regulation for that assertion, which can cause confusion,” said Annabelle Immega, trade
marketing manager for Petcurean Pet Nutrition in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
“A certified organic ingredient provides a guarantee that the ingredient has met strict government
standards for how foods are grown, handled and processed using organic agricultural methods, such as
soil and water conservation, and regeneration and pollution reduction,” Immega said.
Behind most authentic, natural brands is a great story, said Isaac Langleben, co-founder of
Open Farm in Toronto. Retailers embracing organic and ethically sourced products can benefit
from this platform as they engage in new and interesting conversations with their customers.
“Merchandising plays a key role here,” Langleben said. “A shoppable front-and-center
display with a warm and inviting story offers a way for retailers to approach customers.”
Organic products with sustainably and humanely produced ingredients tell that great
story, and many consumers are eager to listen, said Annabelle Immega, trade marketing
manager for Petcurean Pet Nutrition in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
Retailers are aware that food brings pet owners into their store, and merchandising
that highlights these selections will further consumer awareness, said Stephanie Volo, vice
president of brand and communications for Earth Animal in Southport, Conn.
Humanely sourced and organic products lend themselves well to creative merchandising
techniques, Immega said. For example, designing an endcap as a farmer’s market stand,
complete with fresh—or high-quality replica—fruits and vegetables, or the creation of a cor-nucopia-style window display, will serve to visually demonstrate superior-quality ingredients.
“With so many options to choose from, demonstrations with food, offering samples and
asking the right questions of pet parents and, in turn, providing nutritional education, are
incredibly beneficial attributes to selling food,” Volo said.
“It’s also crucial that any signage or educational materials lead with the industry terms
that resonate with this key consumer demographic, such as ‘organic’ and ‘non-GMO,’”
“We believe the humane treatment of animals should extend to those
making up the diet of a pet. These practices and values resonate with
today’s pet owners.”—Vanessa Quick of Purpose Pet Food
Our holistic approach to pet
nutrition starts with only
the finest ingredients and
ends with a food that is
simply better for your pet.
We are pleased to introduce
our new line of grain free
stews made with real beef,
chicken and turkey.
These stews provide an
excellent source of
without growth hormones,
steroids, meat by-products
or allergy-related fillers.
Available in 13.2-ounce cans,
formulas include Chunky
Chicken Stew, Tasty Turkey
Stew and Savory Beef Stew.
These savory recipes can
be fed as a complete meal,
or as a topper for
To learn more about our
entire line of holistic pet
care products, contact your
Phillips Sales Representative
or call 1-800-992-9738 today.
MADE IN THE USA
©HEPC 2017 All Rights Reserved.
Grain Free Stews