BY LINDSEY GETZ
Treats are no longer just about a tasty reward. These days, pet owners want that reward coupled with healthful ingredients and
even some additional functionality such as
dental care or hip and joint health. Retailers
report that the more pet owners can get out of
a treat, the more value they see in the product.
“Up to 90 percent of our customer base is
looking for a clean treat,” said Tom Rogers, owner
of Panhandle Pet Supply in Tallahassee, Fla. “You
can get a lower-quality treat at the grocery store, so I
already that know if they’re coming here to buy treats,
it’s because they want something better. It’s about clean
ingredients and a treat that is going to have some added
benefits—particularly hip and ;oint health.;
Bill Chilian, marketing vice president for Bark-
worthies in Richmond, Va., said that the com-
pany has noticed consumers are becoming
more adventurous in the types of chews
that they buy for their pets. That means
they are more willing to try new things that
are a little out of the ordinary, such as kan-
garoo chews, Chilian said.
“Consumers continue to seek out, research and select
more healthful products for themselves, and as we continue
to humanize our pets, pet parents want the best for all of their
family members,” said Jeff Camosci, vice president, marketing
and sales, North America, for Paragon Pet Products, maker
of Whimzees dog chews, which has headquarters in Veen-
dam, Netherlands. “Pet parents also want fewer ingredients
Camosci said that pet owners want labels that are trans-
parent so that it;s easy to understand what;s inside—and
more important, in some cases, what is not inside. Pet own-
ers want to avoid artificial additives such as preservatives
and added sugars when it comes to dog treats, he added.
In addition to functionality and ingredients, Sarah Ercolani, president of Fun Time Dog Shop in Dexter, Mich., said
that her customers—many of whom are focused on training—want small training treats that are bite sized and soft
yet do no crumble in the hand or pocket.
Bang for the Buck
Functional treats give pet owners greater value for their dollar.
What helps you sell
“I think talking to customers about getting the most for their money
is a big selling point. If they can buy a treat that’s a reward but also
has some hip and joint or dental benefits, it’s a win-win.”—TOM
ROGERS, owner of Panhandle Pet Supply in Tallahassee, Fla.
“Personalized service. Functional treats have
very specific purposes and are a great opportunity to find out the specific needs of the dog.”
—ALISON SCHWARTZ, manager of All Pets
Considered in Greensboro, N.C.
3That’s the average number of treats dogs are given per day.
SOURCE: APPA 2015-2016 NATIONAL PE T
MORE TRICKS, MORE TREATS
Dogs might be wagging their tails a little more, as many of the furry
companions are receiving a couple of extra treats these days. The
percentage of dogs given treats increased from
82 percent in
94 percent in 2014.
If dogs are getting treated more than in the past, how many treat
purchases are dog owners making over the course of a year?
13% of dog owners bought 1-2 packages
29% bought 3-5 packages
25% bought 6-10 packages
28% bought 11 or more packages
SOURCE: APPA 2015-2016
NATIONAL PE T OWNERS