When it comes to feeding and watering systems, dog owners seek
quality, easy-to-use products.
As with so many other products, dog owners are being choosier about the feeding and watering systems they’re selecting for their pets. As a result, they are looking for better-quality products that are convenient and suit their tasks.
“Pet parents want ease of use, easy cleaning and products that will look good in their home,” said Bruce J.
Flantzer, North American director for sales and marketing for Moder-
na in Gaffney, S.C. “Many are looking for systems that will give long-
term feeding and watering, so they will not always have to continue
to add food and water.”
In addition, dog owners seek well-designed products that offer
them the opportunity to connect with their pet, said Guylaine Gal-
land, business development manager for Eyenimal, a French brand
with U.S. headquarters in New York. “Pet parents are looking for a
connection with their animal and enhanced communication.”
Pet owners are also paying closer attention to material—and if a
product is dishwasher safe, it is an added bonus. Safety is a big fac-
tor, said Samantha Henson, merchandising manager at Premier Pet
Supply, which has stores in Michigan. As a result, Premier Pet Supply
vets its feeding and watering products carefully, sells less plastic and
pays attention to products with antimicrobial properties.
“Consumers are realizing the importance of better material in their
feeders and their water fountains,” agreed Shannon Supanich, marketing manager for Pioneer Pet Products in Cedarburg, Wis. “For example, stainless steel and ceramic are better at keeping bacteria out.”
No matter what, it seems that specialty items are the biggest sellers. Aquila Brown, owner of The Yuppy Puppy in Spokane, Wash.,
said that traditional food and water bowls take up space and do not
sell. She said that as dog owners become more educated, they want
something better for their pets.
“Being a specialty, education-focused shop, we sell a lot of
fountains,” she said. “Travel water bottles and bowls are also big
movers for us.”
BY LINDSEY GETZ
DISPLAYED TO SELL
Feeding and watering systems can take up space in the store, so it’s
important that independent pet specialty retailers focus on using display
space as wisely as possible, industry participants said.
Samantha Henson, merchandising manager at Premier Pet Supply,
which has stores in Michigan, said that it can be easy for an item such as
a water fountain to get hidden away if it’s in a box tucked under a shelf.
That’s why a few times a year the retailer dedicates an endcap to these
“We have power running to our endcaps, so we’ll get them set up with
the water flowing,” Henson said. “Once people hear the water and see
how they work, they sell a lot easier. We might sell 15 each week [with
It’s also important to display products at eye level whenever possible,
said Guylaine Galland, business development manager for Eyenimal, a
French brand with U.S. headquarters in New York. Galland agreed that
showing how the products work is a great way to introduce items to
Bruce J. Flantzer, North American director for sales and marketing for
Moderna in Gaffney, S.C., said he has seen retailers succeed in moving
product when they place feeding and watering systems in the dog food
“In my travels, one very smart retailer put a 4-foot section of dog
bowls and watering products in the middle of his dog food section,”
Flantzer said. “He said he was making it easier to buy. It was convenient
for the shopper to buy the food and the bowl when it was all in the same
place. He also used a ‘buy a bag of food and get 50 percent off a new style
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