VARIETY IS KEY
“The majority of cat parents that come in looking to switch
their cat’s dry food do so because they have a problem,”
When it comes to choosing which dry cat foods to stock, pet
specialty retailers should think about consumer preferences
and offer a wide enough variety of proteins, according to
Parsons said. “Whether it’s allergies, itchy skin, hairballs or
something else, they’re looking for a solution that works.”
Having an optimal product assortment is incredibly
important for the kibble category, said Chanda Leary-Coutu,
director of consumer experience for WellPet in Tewksbury,
ingredients that cater to cats’ differing palates and sensitivities
including grain- and poultry-free recipes and meals with
unique protein sources that go beyond the usual chicken and
salmon offerings,” she said. “Retailers also need to consider
solution-based formulas and indoor recipes that suit cats’
sedentary lifestyles. All of these considerations need to come
into play when figuring out the right product assortment.”
When putting together the perfect product assortment,
retailers should keep shoppers’ wants and needs firmly in
mind, said Gina Zaro, marketing director for Dr. Elsey’s Cat
Products in Englewood, Colo.
Mass. Because cats are unique when it comes to their
nutritional needs and individual taste preferences—even more
so than dogs—having a wide range of dry food to choose from
is crucial, Leary-Coutu added.
Stocking a robust selection means retailers will be more
likely to have the exact recipe cat owners are seeking, she
Kelley Parsons, manager at Denny’s Pet World in Kirkland,
“Retailers should look to stock recipes with a variety of
Wash., said that solution-based formulas are particularly
important to her shoppers, and she makes sure they are well
represented in her product assortment.
“Retailers should be looking for foods that are based on
the true needs of a cat while also delivering transparency at
the shelf,” Zaro said. “They need to understand what their
customers are looking for in cat food. Then they need to
consider the trends in the market and be able to deliver those
to the customers.”
HIGH-PROTEIN AND INDOOR RECIPES
Solid Gold Pet in Chesterfield, Mo., has introduced Indigo Moon with Alaskan Pollock & Eggs. The dry
recipe is a grain- and gluten-free, high-protein, low-carbohydrate food made with fresh-caught, omega-rich Alaskan pollock and nutrient-dense whole egg, said company officials.
WellPet in Tewksbury, Mass., has expanded its line of balanced dry recipes for cats with a recipe for
indoor cats called Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Indoor Healthy Weight. The Chicken & Turkey Meal
Recipe contains fiber and L-carnitine to assist in weight control, while glucosamine and chondroitin help
maintain healthy hips and joints in cats that might be carrying extra weight, according to the company.
WellPet has also added Wellness Core Indoor Salmon & Herring Meal Recipe. It supports lean muscle
mass with a protein-rich and poultry-free dry food, company officials added.
St. Louis-based Whitebridge Pet Brands recently launched Tiki Cat Born Carnivore for Kittens. The
high-protein kibble contains real chicken combined with highly digestible egg and nutrient-packed
chicken liver for superior palatability, said company officials. The grain-free Chicken & Egg Luau Recipe
includes omega- 6 and omega- 3 essential fatty acids from salmon oil and flaxseed, as well as pumpkin to
help support healthy digestion.
How do you promote the dry cat food category?
“First and foremost, it’s about having a conversation with the customer. But we do also try to display the products with the most
eye-catching graphics in the most prominent places. Once we draw the eye in and can capture their attention, it may open the door
to having a conversation about the food.”—MATTO’LEARY, managerof Felix&Oscar in Springfield, Va.
“We do a lot of free samples. With cats being finicky, it helps that pet
parents can test out a food before they commit to it. Coupled with that,
we stress that they can bring an opened bag back if the cat doesn’t like it.
Because of this, cat parents can feel confident trying something new.”
—KELLEY PARSONS, manager at Denny’s Pet World in Kirkland, Wash.
PPN November 2018 Final.pdf 1 9/24/18 1:22 PM“Sometimes, money is the hardest hurdle for cat owners to get over with premium foods. They have a hard time being
willing to pay more. But what we always tell them is that a higher-quality food will save you a lot more money in the
long run by keeping your cat healthy. Yes, that food from the grocery store may be cheaper now—but you’ll ultimately
pay for it in vet bills.”—MARNILEWIS, ownerof The Green K9in Mount Dora, Fla.
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