CHOICES ABOUND IN DIGESTIVE HEALTH
There’s no question that digestive health is important to dog owners, and there are many
new products out there to support this interest. At Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., in
March, The Honest Kitchen unveiled two limited-ingredient diets—Hope: Beef & Chickpea
and Spruce: Duck & Sweet Potato—bringing its Minimalist Grain-Free Dog Food line to a
total of five recipes, each with just six whole food ingredients. Lucy Postins, CEO of the San
Diego-based company, said the line is ideally suited to pets with multiple food sensitivities.
Healthy Treats Inc., the maker of Dogs Love Kale, introduced its Dogs Love Snapeas
line at Global Pet Expo. Peas contain insoluble fiber, soluble fiber and resistant starch,
providing benefits for the digestive system, said Paula Savarese, president of the Naples,
Fla.-based company. The line is available in three limited-ingredient flavors.
NWC Naturals Pet Products in Laguna Hills, Calif., recently reformulated its flagship
products. Total-Zymes now contains inulin from chicory, a prebiotic, which encourages
probiotics to flourish in the gut. In addition, Total-Biotics has even more inulin now. John R.
Taylor, CEO and founder of the company, said he made the decision to slightly increase the
amount of this valuable nutrient after considering recent research.
Natura Petz Organics in Minneapolis also has new products for digestive health
on the market including Organic CBD Dog Treats, Petabolics Perfect Meal Balancer,
Petabolics One & Done Daily Meal Topper and Digestion Meal Topper for Dogs, said
president Heidi Nevala.
Lucy Pet Products of Thousand Oaks, Calif., recently launched Formulas for Life with
P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber. These formulations promote good gut health, which helps
the body absorb nutrients more efficiently and plays a key role in natural immunity, said
Joey Herrick, the company’s founder and president.
The formulas contain a unique fiber system to optimize dietary fiber concentration
and the insoluble dietary fiber to soluble dietary fiber ratio, said Dr. George C. Fahey Jr.,
Ph.D., professor emeritus of animal sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who helped create Lucy Pet P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber technology.
“In addition, a unique blend of prebiotic fibers is present that not only impacts the
large bowel microbiota in a positive manner, but also aids in immunomodulation, a process
that has positive effects not only in the gut but throughout the entire body of the dog.”
The biggest display issue with digestive health-related products is where to place
them within the store. One common mistake that retailers often make when displaying digestive enzymes, probiotics and other digestive health products is to put
them in the “remedy aisle,” said John R. Taylor, CEO and founder of NWC Naturals
Pet Products in Laguna Hills, Calif. This sends the message that these products are
only needed after a problem shows up. Taylor equated it to changing a car’s oil only
after engine problems arise. Retailers are better served ensuring that customers
know these types of products are important daily and as a means of preventing
problems, he added.
“The most successful stores selling digestive enzymes and probiotics may display
those products in the supplement aisle but are also putting them behind the counter
or at the check-out station,” Taylor said.
Paula Savarese, president of Healthy Treats Inc. in Naples, Fla., said that with so
many functional treats on the market these days, retailers must also consider putting
such products in their own section to separate them out from regular treats.
It also makes sense to capitalize on technology trends. Consumers use their
phones and other mobile devices for instant information, said Joey Herrick, founder
and president of Lucy Pet Products in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
“One idea is to provide QR codes on shelf signs for consumers to scan while they
are in the aisle to link to each brand’s website,” Herrick said. “This way, the consumer
can immediately access information that each brand provides.”
Ensuring that pet owners can easily assess products and the benefits is key to
merchandising supplements formulated to address particular health issues. Brad
Gruber, president and COO of Health Extension Pet Care, based in Deer Park, N. Y., said
that having a proper “call-out vehicle to merchandise products by category and by
health issue is critical.”
“Too often, supplements are just lumped together in an aisle as an overall category
rather than by specific need: digestive disorder, skin and coat, hip and joint, etc.,” he
said. “Having informative POP materials on the shelf help call out and explain specific
problems and the correct product to purchase as a remedy to solve their pet’s issue.”
Gruber said pet specialty retailers should consider merchandising digestive health
items in a designated section.
“Retailers should merchandise canine digestive health products in a visually
appealing way in their own area of the store, rather than getting lost in the supplement aisle,” he added. “This section can be located in a number of different locations
throughout the store—on endcaps, power panels and in line with the dog food.”
You Lucky Dog!
. . . What a treat. . .
for you and your customers!
Visit our website: