THE LATEST IN NATURAL
Health Extension Pet Care in Deer Park, N. Y.,
recently introduced six Grain Free Canned Cat
formulations. The recipes contain no gluten,
grain or other unnecessary fillers, and they
prominently feature grass-fed, free-range
or wild-caught animal proteins, said Brad
Gruber, president and COO.
The Grain Free recipes include: Chicken
& Duck, Chicken & Salmon, Tuna & Prawns,
Chicken & Tuna, Tilapia & Tuna and Chicken
In April, the company launched a
complete and balanced Large Breed Recipe in
1- and 30-pound sizes.
At Global Pet Expo, held in Orlando, Fla.,
in March, Caru Pet Food introduced the Daily
Dish line of stews for dogs. The foods are
made entirely from human-grade ingredients
in a human-food plant, and the company
reported that it prepares the stews in small
batches without GMO ingredients.
“Caru Pet Food has gone through the
FDA-verification process as well as various
state verifications, all of which have confirmed Caru is able to make a human-grade
claim for Caru stews and bone broths,” said
Adrian Pettyan, CEO and co-founder of the
Vero Beach, Fla.-based company.
Also at Global, Redbarn Pet Products
debuted Redbarn Wildwoods Canned Food,
With plans to launch at SuperZoo in Las
Vegas in July, Earth Animal offers Dr. Bob
Goldstein’s Wisdom Dog Food, a high-protein,
air-dried food that contains moderate fat and
very low carbohydrates, according to the
company. The grain-free food combines pure
protein, such as turkey, chicken and beef, with
fresh organic fruits and vegetables, whole
eggs, sprouted seeds, and important vitamins
and minerals, said Bob Goldstein, VMD, co-
CEO of the Westport, Conn.-based company.
This fall, Bravo Pet Foods plans to expand the protein offerings in its Feline and
Canine Cafe canned foods lines. Made in
the USA and “reputably sourced,” the 95%
Meat and Poultry Dinners and Meat and
Poultry Fricassees feature “quality muscle
meats, poultry and seafood first, as well as
cranberries and a medley of garden greens,
salmon oil, green-lipped mussels and turmeric,” said Bette Schubert, co-founder and
senior vice president of the Manchester,
The foods contain no fillers, preservatives, artificial flavors, or meat and poultry
meal or grain, and the canned foods are
free of guar, carrageenan and cassia gum,
Many natural food makers recommend
that pet specialty retailers set up a natural product section in their stores. This
allows them to display similar products
together and enables customers to
easily compare several brands to find
the products that are the best fit, said
Bette Schubert, co-founder and senior
vice president of Bravo Pet Foods in
Brad Gruber, president and COO
at Health Extension Pet Care in Deer
Park, N. Y., recommended cross-mer-chandising the natural foods with
treats, litter and toys to tie the entire
“Offering packages or bundles
of assorted products together at a
promotional price excites the consumer
with a thought of getting better value
for their money spent,” he added.
To keep things interesting, Audree
Berg, owner of Auggie’s Doggies
Pet Supplies in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
stole a page out of Costco Wholesale
“We move stuff around all the time
so customers have to look for it and see
new stuff,” she said, adding that it has
She also reported rising sales of
raw diets after putting glass-front
display freezers up front.
When asked about sales of natural diets, many retailers reported experiencing an uptick in the category, while others cited online competition as
a challenge to selling the category.
“Our store’s overall sales of natural products are stellar,” said Frances
Schroeder, co-creator of Dogology, which has two locations in Connecticut.
“We lead by example and always appeal to our customers’ innate instinct to
make the best choices for their pets.
“[Our customers] trust us to explain the positive health and emotional
benefits of feeding species-appropriate or natural foods to pets,” she added.
Trust is a major component, agreed Audree Berg, owner of Auggie’s
Doggies Pet Supplies in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who also reported rising sales
in the category.
“It’s because people are untrusting of some of the product that’s in the
larger stores,” she said. “They don’t understand what’s in it.”
Berg credited Blue Buffalo and other large companies for leading cus-
tomers out of the grocery store for pet food purchases, and the whole pet
food industry for pushing toward holistic and natural foods.
“A level of cognition was brought out to the public and is promoted by
larger companies, and then the recalls were heavily publicized,” Berg said.
“All those things add to consumers looking for more healthful alternatives.”
“Even though they acknowledge the independent is responsible for
getting products in the hands of their customers, the loss of independents
is exacerbating because of this utter discrimination,” she said. “The sad
thing is, I feel the animals are going to suffer in the long run, because who is
going to be the educators and speak for the animal when the independents
PET VENTURES offers Pet ’n Shape Jerky Hide Twists.
Made with 100 percent natural chicken or duck, the meat is
wrapped around a fully digestible rawhide stick. The products
contain no artificial additives or preservatives, and they are
free of wheat, corn and soy. They come in 4-in. and 8-in.
sticks for dogs of all sizes. Each twist is carefully roasted to
ensure optimal quality and flavor. petnshape.com
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