creates for their pet. As a result, more dog
and cat owners are choosing recipes that
will excite their pets with a variety of texture and flavor combinations. Leary-Coutu
said that is part of the reason that WellPet
is relaunching its Wellness cat products
with a focus on new wet, dry and treat offerings that provide more natural choices.
A Close eye on sAfety
Patti Vincent, owner of Puppy Love Dog
Store in Beaumont, Texas, said she has
noticed a shift toward better-educated
consumers at her store. She cited safety
as one of the big concerns that her customers mention when shopping for food.
They want to be sure that what they’re
feeding their dog or cat is safe, and they
are paying closer attention to labels and
asking more questions.
For Frenchie’s Kitchen, which makes
fresh-cooked frozen dog food in San Antonio, safety has helped drive business.
Founder and owner Sara Morgan said that
pet food recalls are undoubtedly troubling
to pet owners and because of this, they
are looking for products that they can
have confidence in.
“News of recalls and unsafe food prod-
ucts really frighten consumers,” Morgan
said. “They start to feel really concerned
about what’s safe and who they can trust.
People consider their pets to be part of
the family and want to make the best pos-
sible choices for them.”
Lorin Grow, owner of Furry Face in Red-
lands, Calif., said that at her store, the con-
versation has been focused on the best
ways to ensure a food truly does have safe
“Currently, pet parents are looking
at improving where they are in regard to
the form of food they’re feeding their pet
as well as what ingredients it contains,”
Customers are specifically looking for
the highest-quality food at prices that
match their budgets, Grow added.
“Often, it just takes some discussion
and a little bit of math to help them into
the next level of improvement,” she said.
With more pet owners invested in their
pets’ health, making it easy for pet owners
to ask questions is incredibly important.
Vincent said it’s not uncommon for her to
receive a lot of questions before custom-
ers commit to a food purchase. She said
that being available for discussion is im-
portant in making the sale. Displays are
helpful to attract interest, but at the end
of the day, a retailer’s presence and abili-
ty to answer questions will be what helps
move more food.
Morgan agreed. While she said that
signage and other educational displays
are important, nothing beats being able
to have a conversation with the customer.
“When it comes to making the best
possible food choices, consumers need
a lot of education,” Morgan said. “This
is where retailers can really step up and
help, positioning themselves as leaders.
But in order to do so, it’s important that
retailers are well educated on safe food
choices so that they can best advise
Certainly, the ability to get information on food safety and quality is a key
reason why consumers might choose to
shop at their local pet retailer as opposed
to buying online. There is a lot of value in
being able to have a face-to-face conversation and addressing some of your customers’ concerns.
“Knowing the answers to your customers’ questions can make a world of difference when they turn to you for information about food products,” Morgan added.
“It may also be the difference between
them continuing to come to you or going
More dog and
cat owners are
that will excite their
pets with a variety
of texture and flavor