Sherry Redwine, co-owner of Odyssey Pets in Dallas,
explains why stocking U.S.-made products is
good for business and pets.
Pet Product News: Is made in the USA a big factor
for you when deciding whether to add a product
to your assortment?
Sherry Redwine: Yes! For all edibles—dog
and cat food and treats—it is a huge
factor. We only sell edible items that are
not made in China and preferably made
in the uSA. We have a small assortment
of companies that have products made in
Canada (in their own manufacturing plant,
not a large co-packing plant) or South
America. Our customers are savvy and
at least want to know that the products
they’re buying are from the u.S. This is
due to a couple factors: the safety of the
food/treats because of the horrible recalls
in the past decade, and shopping local
is becoming a mantra, especially among
PPN: What product types would you like to see
more of in the made in the USA category?
Redwine: I would like to see more toys in
this category. There are so many cute toys
out there, but most are still made in China.
unfortunately, many of the ones made in
the u.S. have a much higher price point.
PPN: Do you feel that offering made in the USA
products gives your store a competitive edge?
Redwine: Yes! many of the big-box stores
are catching on to this trend but not as
well and as fast as independent retailers
are or can. Small businesses can make
decisions quickly and bring in startup
brands that are made in the u.S. that the
big-box stores do not have access to.
Plus, carrying local/uSA products instills
a sense of trust and loyalty in
your customer base.
PPN: How important is it that a
product is both sourced and made
in the USA?
Redwine: The u.S. has high
quality standards compared
to other countries. I have
been told by a local dog bed
manufacturer that sources
her materials from the u.S.
that the raw materials from China have
so much chemical on them, it’s unsafe
for pets, even if you wash it. That’s why
she goes out of her way to purchase
textiles made in America, and then she
assembles the beds in her warehouse.
For foods and treats, it’s the same idea.
Why would it matter if the treat was
made in America if the materials weren’t
produced in America? If you’re getting
tainted ingredients from another country and adding it to your organic, hand-batch, $20 bag of treats, you are defeating the purpose of it all.
remember, the big culprit that killed
hundreds of animals in the late 2000s
was tainted wheat gluten from China.
The large co-packing plant, then called
menu Foods, was sourcing wheat gluten
for 100 different foods and adding it to
all of them. First of all, wheat gluten is a
cheap way to artificially raise the protein
level—you should be getting your protein
entirely from meat sources. Second, this
is a big reason we like to stock brands that
have their own manufacturing plants and
source all the ingredients themselves. h Shopping local has become a mantra for many pet
owners, especially millennials.
“If you’re getting tainted
ingredients from another
country and adding it to your
organic, hand-batch, $20 bag
of treats, you are defeating
the purpose of it all.”