Consumer education is vital to promoting the growing category of functional treats and supplements,
said David Rizzo, director of operations for Zuke’s in
“As more and more choices hit the shelves, retail-
ers and their staff are in a unique position to educate
customers about product attributes and the value
they bring, and to clarify the differences between
treats, supplements and chews,” Rizzo said.
To offer support, Zuke’s utilizes an online training
and incentive program to help educate sales representatives and retail sales associates in a fun and
engaging way, Rizzo added.
Displaying educational materials at the point of
purchase is a key to increasing sales, said Rashell
Cooper, marketing director for Redbarn Pet Products
in Long Beach, Calif.
“Redbarn provides independent retail partners
with a wide variety of materials to assist store associates in educating the consumer,” Cooper said.
In-store educational opportunities capitalize on
the immediate bond shared by the pet and owner
when treating, Cooper added.
“Dog chew shopping is personal and tactile, and
store associates inquiring about the chew personality
of each dog will individualize the experience for the
pet owner and help in the
selection of an appropriate
chew,” Cooper said.
recommendation is the key
to stronger sales in dental
chews, said Scott Reinhardt,
vice president of sales and
marketing for SwedencareUSA in Poulsbo, Wash.
“It might be as simple as the in-store staff asking
the question ‘How do you presently care for your dog
or cat’s teeth?’” he added.
PUT CHEWS FRONT AND CENTER
At The Quirky Pet in Montpelier, Vt., body parts play a strong role in differentiation from
big-box stores. The store’s philosophy is to present these items in a unique shopping
environment, said owner Cindra Conison.
“Prosperity as a small, independent shop is largely dependent on the experience,” she
said. “The first thing seen when walking into The Quirky Pet is a floor-to-ceiling wooden
tree with stainless steel buckets of dead animal parts, similar to maple sap-tap buckets—
we are in Vermont, after all.”
Recently, small sample bags have joined the mix, allowing customers to check out a
product without monetary risk.
“Every day, customers tell me how cool my shop is as they carry out animal parts they
never knew existed,” Conison said.
At Mutts & Co., which has stores in the Columbus, Ohio, area, bundling is an important
merchandising tool for bulk chews.
“Even if a product isn’t featured in a prepackaged bundle, we place them in packages
of six or 12,” said co-owner Mark Vitt. “This increases the likelihood of purchases beyond
one or two items, and even a customer who might have potentially purchased one or two
chews will buy a bag of six bully sticks.”
The Mutts & Co.-branded Brown Label offerings are merchandised on an endcap for
“The natural-looking label is in line with the appearance of our store,” Vitt said. “This
promotes an upsell mentality, and customers take home a reusable bag.”
You Lucky Dog!
...What a treat... for you and your customers!
Visit our website: www.naturesanimals.com
or call: 1.800.DOG.BONE