The chews and treats that have been recently introduced
to the market reflect the trends evident in this category.
St. Louis-based Whitebridge Pet Brands introduced
Tiki Cat Stix and Tiki Cat Dash last fall. Tiki Cat Stix
are tuna or chicken creamy mousses. They come in a
small tube, and pet owners can feed them as toppers
or straight from the package, said Ann Hudson, vice
president of marketing for Whitebridge’s Cloud Star
and Tiki brands. Tiki Cat Dash is a perfect topper to
dry kibble, she added. It is smoked, hand-flaked tuna
or mackerel flakes, and contains no preservatives or
At Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., in March, Cloud
Star launched Wag More Bark Less Jerky and Meatballs.
“They complement the current healthful and minimally
processed line and continue Cloud Star’s role as a market
leader in treat innovation,” Hudson said.
Wag More Bark Less Jerky is available in 10-ounce
bags and comes in Chicken & Sweet Potatoes, Duck &
Apple and Turkey & Cranberry. The Wag More Bark Less
Meatballs come in 14-ounce bags and are available in
Chicken, Beef and Lamb flavors.
Isle of Dogs in Germantown, Wis., debuted its grain-free Nourish Functional Dental Chews in late 2017.
“They are results-oriented as each flavor contains a
different health supplement that you can actually see,”
said president John Hart. “Each chew has a heart shape
running through its middle that contains ingredients that
help maintain either fresh breath, joint mobility, or healthy
skin and coat.”
Clam Chowda is the newest product from Polkadog
Bakery in Boston. It features sustainably harvested clams
from the Atlantic Ocean.
“We’re moving our ovens and dehydrators to a new
kitchen at Boston Fish Pier, so Clam Chowda is really just
a natural, logical product for Polkadog to make,” said co-founder Deb Suchman.
Presidio Natural Pet Co. recently released the
Terrabone Dental Bone chew.
“Our new Terrabones are made with an all-natural,
healthy recipe that is super palatable and gives the bones
a malleable consistency, ideal for cleaning dogs’ teeth,”
said John Headley, chief marketing officer for the San
PureBites introduced new treats last year.
“For dogs, we launched PureBites Bacon Style
Pork Jerky, which is made with only one ingredient:
100 percent pure pork cartilage,” said Andrea Bourne,
marketing manager for PureBites, a brand of Montreal-based Pure Treats. “We also launched PureBites Chicken
Jerky & Sweet Potato, which is made with only two
ingredients: 100 percent pure USA-sourced chicken
For cats, the company released PureBites Chicken
Breast and Catnip, made with only two ingredients: 100
percent pure chicken breast and catnip.
Cloud Star Wag
More Bark Less
CALL ATTENTION TO CHEWS AND TREATS
Mark Van Wye, CEO of Zoom Room, which has locations in California,
Washington, Texas and Virginia, uses a number of methods to market
the treats in his stores, including Zoom Room’s training services.
“Clients come to us for our expertise in both dog training and
product knowledge, so in the process of training classes and
socialization events, we utilize active sampling,” he said. “We also
promote the products we sell using social media, word-of-mouth and
Laura Amiton, owner of The Filling Station Pet Supplies in Tigard
and Portland, Ore., said that most of her stores’ marketing is done with
customers when they come in.
“We frequently get asked about treats and chews, so the marketing
is very easy,” she said. “We ask what their pets typically like and what
kind of a chewer they are, and remind the customers that we have a
100 percent return policy on everything edible. This seems to make
them feel better about trying something new.”
Anthony Bennie, founder and chief nutrition officer at Clear
Conscience Pet in Cape Coral, Fla., said retailers should carry a unique,
healthful selection of treats and chews.
“The best retail strategy in pet specialty is curation of a handpicked selection of innovative products,” he said. “Know the products
you sell inside and out, and be able to say why it’s different and better.”
What are pet owners looking for in a treat?
“Pet parents are looking for treats that are minimally processed
and fully transparent in their ingredient sourcing. Understanding
the ingredient deck and how a treat is made is becoming more
important to consumers. They also value transparency in how
and where their food is made.”—ANNHUDSON, vicepresidentof
marketing for St. Louis-based Whitebridge Pet Brands’ Cloud Star
and Tiki brands
“Pet owners want to make sure the treats they provide to their
furry family members promote proper nutrition and all-natural
ingredients. A healthier lifestyle, in turn, provides a longer life span
with their family.”—ALEXANDRA WILCOX, presidentof Natural Pet
Distributors in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
“Pet owners are interested in
buying treats that are produced by
companies that care about the en-
vironment and give back to the pet
community. They also want treats
that are made from high-quality,
healthy ingredients.”—MARK VAN
WYE, CEO of Zoom Room, which has
locations in California, Washington,
Texas and Virginia
“Diet and nutritional benefits are
the top two things customers look
for in a treat. Brands that are made
locally in small batches that never
outsource anything, are my favorites
IS, owner of BeastyFeast, which has
stores in New York
“More of my
looking for treats
that will keep their
animal interested and
want to treat their
dog to something
fun and healthy, not
just a simple morsel
FRAMPTON, owner of
Western Farm Center
in Santa Rosa, Calif.