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Keeping up with the latest treat offerings can help retailers offer even more value to their customers. Among new treats on
the market are miniature and ring shapes of Redbarn Pet Products’ Chew-A-Bulls chews. According to the Long Beach, Calif.-based company, Chew-A-Bulls are a mixture of potatoes and real Redbarn bully sticks covered with a delectable coating
to help tempt picky eaters.
Barkworthies in Richmond, Va., recently introduced two all-natural, single-ingredient products: Cod Skin Fillets and
Salmon Skin Roll-Ups. According to the company, the Cod Skin Fillets are packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals, as
well as collagen and omega- 3 fatty acids, and they are composed of more than 50 percent pure protein. The Salmon Skin
Roll-Ups also are high in protein and omega- 3 fatty acids.
Zuke’s of Durango, Colo., now offers Enhance Functional Chews, which are designed to support a dog’s daily health,
according to the company. Enhance Functional Chews are available in Calming, Digestion, Endurance, Fresh Breath, Mobility
and Shiny Coat formulas.
Treats often are an item that customers are
already seeking. But the right display could
encourage them to try something new, said
Tom Rogers, owner of Panhandle Pet Supply in
Tallahassee, Fla., who added that his treat aisle
offers 50 feet of choices and is the first thing that
customers can see when they walk in the store.
Whether they’re headed there or not, it’s hard to
miss, and Rogers said that creative displays might
just entice shoppers to try something different.
“We try to use treats as an add-on sale,”
Rogers said. “Our goal is that everyone leaves
with a bag of treats in addition to whatever they
came in to buy.”
“Given the premium quality of natural chews,
Redbarn recommends using innovative displays
made from natural materials like wood to help
customers better see the product,” said Rashell
Cooper, marketing director for Redbarn Pet
Products in Long Beach, Calif. “Using an endcap
that features different chews as a ‘product of the
month’ and moving treats to the front of the store
all work to aid pet specialty retailers.”
Jaime Rowe, president of Ello Pet Supply,
a national distributor based in Littleton, Colo.,
said that exactly which displays will work best
is largely based on demographics. But she has
noticed success in some stores when functional
treats are grouped together by health needs.
“The consumer can then compare products
for a need, such as hip and joint, side by side,”
Rowe said. “Store employees with training can
help navigate the myriad of choices in treats
and give customers peace of mind that they are
buying the right one.”
TALKING ABOUT TREATS
With so many treats on the market, it’s important that
retailers be able to provide educational information to customers. Alison Schwartz, manager of All Pets Considered in
Greensboro, N.C., said that a key part of the staff’s job is to
circulate throughout the store and talk to customers.
“This is the time to help them find the right product and
educate them on the options,” Schwartz said. “That kind of
personalized education is what sets a retailer apart from
online buying options.”
Of course, being able to circulate around the store and
provide information means that education must start at
the staff level. Employees must know their stuff in order to
educate the customers.
“The more educated the employees are, the more
comfortable consumers will feel about the products,” noted
Bill Chilian, marketing vice president for Barkworthies in
Rashell Cooper, marketing director for Redbarn Pet
Products in Long Beach, Calif., said that dog chew shopping
is “a personal and tactile experience” for customers.
“Having store associates ask about the chew person-
ality of the dog will help personalize the experience for the
pet owner,” Cooper said. “Questions to ask include: Are
they territorial with treats? How quickly do they go through
chews? And, are they a picky eater? All of these questions
will help associates pick the appropriate chew or treat. Pet
retailers must use this opportunity to encourage an expe-
rience that is clean, fun, and capitalizes on the immediate
bond that a pet and owner share when treating.”
At the end of the day, the best education occurs when
retailers partner with their staff on education, said Eric
Abbey, president and founder of Loving Pets in Cranbury,
N.J. This helps drive brand and product awareness, which,
ultimately, leads to better sales.
“Loving Pets takes the time to educate key separators
and questions to ask your customers to match them to the
perfect treat,” Abbey said. “We recently launched an easy-to-use TreatFinder search platform on lovingpetsproducts
.com designed to help retailers and consumers alike enter
criteria that is important to them and their pet.”
“Treats often are an item that customers are already seeking. But the
right display could encourage them to try something new.”
—Tom Rogers of Panhandle Pet Supply
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