BY LINDSE Y GE TZ
Consumer confidence in foods that are sourced and made in the USA con- tinues to rise, creating higher demand for these products. Dog owners want to know where their pet food is coming from.
“Made- and sourced-in-the-USA pet food gives the consumer confidence
that they are getting high-quality food for their pet,” said George DiGuido,
owner of NYC Pet in Brooklyn, N. Y. “Pet parents humanize their pets as their
kids, and with the evolution of the pet becoming more and more the ‘child’ of
the family, people are much more concerned about food, nutrition, and quality
of ingredients and processing.”
Nichole Nonini, marketing director for Plato Pet Treats in Fresno, Calif.,
said the fact that food products that are sourced and made in the USA help
the economy is another driving force behind the trend, which has allowed it
“It also allows for full traceability of ingredients, enabling each pet owner
to trust the brands that are being transparent,” Nonini said. “If they know it
is sourced in the USA, they know the standards for the Association of Amer-
ican Feed Control Officials are always becoming more rigorous. Low-quality
fillers, byproducts and mystery ingredients aren’t the standard for our pets
anymore. Super-savvy label readers will pay what it takes to ensure their dog
has a wholesome diet from brands they trust.”
Vanessa Quick, director of sales at Purpose Pet Food in New York, said that
there is a higher standard of quality that comes with a “Made in the USA” label.
“To go a step further, the additional designations of being a quality and
humanely raised food hold more weight when sourced in the U.S.,” Quick said.
At Pioneer Pet Feed & Supply in Seattle, owner David James said he is a big
proponent of selling local products such as Woodinville, Wash.-based Grizzly
“People feel good about buying food products that were made in the USA
and will continue to do so,” James said.
Adrian Pettyan, CEO and co-founder of Caru Pet Food in Vero Beach, Fla.,
added that although there’s no question the trend remains fueled, in part, by
memories of past product recalls, there’s more to it than fear alone. It’s an
overall desire for better quality.
“It also reflects what is currently happening with prepared human food,”
he said. “Consumers want not only safer but healthier products for every part
of their family—and that certainly includes their pets.”
Pet Product News International March 2018
Dog owners want to be confident in the foods and treats they give their
dogs, and they are increasingly trusting of fare sourced and made in the USA.
Pet owners view pet food and treats made and sourced in
the USA as meeting a higher standard of quality.
SELECTING THE RIGHT MIX
Getting a quality selection of products is becoming
increasingly easier as more and more foods are being sourced
and made in the USA. Still, because U.S.-made food items are
typically found in various aisles, it can be tricky to determine
the ideal mix for each section, said Adrian Pettyan, CEO and
co-founder of Caru Pet Food in Vero Beach, Fla. Pettyan
advised that pet specialty retailers pay close attention to the
lifestyles and preferences of their customers before deciding
which products to carry and where to place them.
“Having a full line of products on the shelf offers a solution
or options for pet parents,” said Dan Schmitz, national sales
manager of KLN Family Brands in Perham, Minn. “From dry
kibble to canned products and, of course, treats, customers
will become loyal when they trust a company and the product
Nichole Nonini, marketing director for Plato Pet Treats in
Fresno, Calif., agreed.
“Remember, a lot of dogs have special diets and/or
needs,” she said. “Try bundling treats with food purchases
that are of equal caliber. If you work hard to keep your dog’s
diet healthy, it’s just as important to feed high-quality treats.”
Being knowledgeable about the products in the store can
also help retailers optimize their assortments.
“The more knowledgeable you are about the products
you carry, the better the customer will feel about visiting your
store,” said Robert L. Downey, president and CEO of Annamaet
Petfoods in Telford, Pa. “With about 5,000 new pet products
being introduced per year here in the U.S., it is getting harder
for the consumer to understand the overwhelming product
selection facing them. But a well-educated retailer can really