Pet Product News International October 2017 40 Q4 FOCUS DOG & CAT TREATS & CHEWS
QT Dog offers Steer Jerky, a body parts line that sets itself
apart from the pack, according to company officials. Developed
by the same company that introduced deer antler chews to the
market, Steer Jerky is made up of unique oven-roasted livestock
cuts. The line features head skins, whole beef tails, esophagus,
trachea, bullies, udder slices and varieties of ears. qtdog.com
The key to leveraging the sales potential of treats
and chews is infusing a product assortment
with items that stand out from the rest.
Pet retailers are faced with what seems like an endless number of choices for treats and chews, and deciding which to promote and sell in stores often comes down to finding something a little unique.
“From a product point of view, it’s all about variety and something different,” said Mike Thomas, vice president of development for QT Dog LLC in
Dallas. “They want the latest and greatest, and there are very few things out
there that haven’t been done before.”
The challenge, he noted, is finding something new. Most ideas have been
tried before, and finding a product with a few points of distinction is difficult.
“We were the first antler guys, and I wish we could come up with something
like that all the time,” Thomas said. “New products are all about inspiration and
trying to shoehorn it in. Retailers are smart, and if they see something cool, new,
different and available, they are excited.”
QT Dog’s Antler, Yak Cheese and Water Buffalo Horn are all part of an in-
novative chew category that the company discovered and one that has helped
the company thrive, Thomas said.
“Antler is the longest-lasting pet chew on the market,” Thomas said. “It has longevity, comes from a renewable source, and dogs really like them. They can carry a tremendous price point, which helps establish the exotic, higher-end, niche market for certain
types of chews. The Yak Cheese pretty much followed behind that.”
MARKETING TACTICS THAT WORK
Emily Wallace, digital marketing coordinator for Healthy Spot, which has stores in
Southern California, said it’s all about content.
“We’ve always believed it’s more important to show why our treats and chews are
great rather than just tell you they are,” she said. “Creating videos where pets actually
test the treats or having our social media influencers give honest reviews of the products
helps consumers decide that our products are right for their pets.”
Highlighting the key reasons the treats or chews are outstanding compared to
others is important as well.
“For us, it usually comes down to the quality of sourcing, so that is always at the
forefront of our messaging,” Wallace said.
Thomas said good retailers will have plenty of treats and chews to choose from on
its shelves, and success is a matter of presentation of products in the store, along with
education on the part of associates.
“They should diagnose the dog’s chewing preferences, and then point them in the
correct direction,” he said. “All dogs are different—soft mouth, hard mouth, aggressive
chewer, bad teeth—people like that personal attention.”
For a winning merchandising strategy, Thomas noted that shippers are always a
good way to introduce a product, especially when retailers are uncertain about how it
will be received.
“Any standalone promotional efforts on new items is very important,” he said.
“It’s all about variety and wholesomeness. Price stopped being an issue after antlers
hit the market.”
HEALTHY TREATS offers
Dogs Love Snapeas in
flavors: Peas & Chicken
(peas and brown
rice seasoned with
and sunflower oil),
Peas & Beef (peas and
brown rice seasoned
with dehydrated beef
and sunflower oil), and
Peas and Himalayan
Yak Cheese (peas and brown rice seasoned with Himalayan yak cheese and sunflower oil). The treats
are gluten and wheat free and made in the USA. Peas are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber,
protein, and many essential vitamins and minerals. dogslovesnapeas.com
MAJESTY’S ANIMAL NUTRITION offers Charlee
Chews for dogs. Available in two sizes, the treats
have 10 key ingredients formulated to benefit
dogs: chia seed, apple cider vinegar, psyllium,
carob, honey, vitamin C, coconut oil, blackstrap
molasses, sweet potato and gelatin. The small
size is soft enough to be cut up into instant
training treats. majestys.com
CARU PET FOOD presents Wild Tuna Soft ‘n
Tasty natural treats for cats. Each baked
bite is made with USDA-inspected tuna as
the first ingredient and carefully selected
non-GMO ingredients. The treats are prepared
in small batches and are formulated without
artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, and
they do not contain any grain, wheat, gluten,
corn or soy ingredients or animal byproducts.
PURE TREATS offers PureBites Bacon Style Pork
Jerky made with one ingredient: 100 percent pure
USA-sourced pork cartilage. The treats have the savory
bacon taste dogs can’t resist. The treats are ideal for
dogs with health issues or pets that are overweight, are
diabetic, have allergies, have gastrointestinal disorders,
or are on a restricted diet (low carb, low sodium, low
calorie, no grain or raw). purebites.com