rashell Cooper, marketing director for
redbarn pet products, which is based in
Long Beach, Calif., agreed, adding that pet
owners are more educated and informed
about the items they choose for their pets.
“Our research suggests that choosing
made in the USA products will continue
to be a huge selling point for customers,”
BOOSTING U.S. SALES
industry insiders reported that highlighting USA-made products through effective
merchandising and customer education
make the greatest impact on sales in this
product segment, which comprises not
only treats and food, but also toys, collars,
leashes and travel products.
“Consumers want to buy ‘made in the
USA,’ and they understand these products
will cost a little more,” said Jerry Moffett,
vice president of sales and marketing
for ruffDawg in Worcester, Mass. “The
American flag on any and all products will
attract them to the product.”
More manufacturers are using U.S.
flags and “Made in the USA” tags on their
packaging, making it easier for custom-
ers to pinpoint these products and for
retailers to point them out. Many also
encourage stores to get creative and have
fun with their displays.
“Some of the best stores have in-store
signage in the front saying, ‘We carry
made in America products,’” said Lance
reyniers, president of python products in
Eric Abbey, president and founder of
Loving pets in Cranbury, n.J., recommends
that stores create a section devoted to
natural, USA-made pet products “to make
it easy for pet owners to make the selec-
tion that’s right for them.”
Similarly, Cooper suggests using
innovative displays made from natural
materials such as wood, when possible, to
help customers better see the product.
“Using an endcap, featuring different
products as a product of the month and
moving made in the USA options to the
front of the store all work to aid pet spe-
cialty retailers,” she added.
Because customers were requesting
U.S.-made toys, Michael Levy, president
and founder of pet Food Express, a retail
chain with stores in California, created an
endcap to highlight these items and make
it easier for customers to spot U.S.-manu-factured goods.
“When USA toys are mixed in with
others, it’s less apparent that you carry
them,” he said.
recently, he put up an endcap of
California products, and he said it is doing
“As a California company, we wanted
to highlight other California companies,”
Even though around 80 percent of the
products carried in Healthy Spot, which
has locations in Southern California, are
made in the USA, the retailer will also call
some of them out.
“in some cases, we do set made in
the USA products out,” said Cristina
Kulkowsky, retail operations manager.
“For example, chicken jerky, chewy rolls
or bully sticks—items that have been
recalled before or had issues [associated
with] China—are signed differently, even
though their packaging also says made
and/or sourced in the USA. We also make
distinctions if a product looks similar to
one not made in USA.”
personal experience also promotes
sales when customers can sense an
More manufacturers are using U.S. flags and “Made in the
USA” tags on their packaging, making it easier for customers to
pinpoint these products and for retailers to point them out.