Pet owners want wholesome
treats that please pets.
Treats might be a quick reward, but most dog owners are still looking for something that delivers. Aside from flavor, pet owners are concerned with nutrition and ingredients.
The treats category continues to be incredibly popular. Rashell
Cooper, marketing director for Redbarn Pet Products in Long
Beach, Calif., said that the category has grown exponentially over
the years. But as pet owners become more educated, they’ve also
become more particular about what they want out of a treat. The
grocery store variety of treats no longer cuts it for many owners.
Carmen Alcalde, co-owner of Bad Dog Frida in Madison, Wis.,
said that owners are looking for quality, safe ingredients—
continuing the trend seen in food purchases. Shoppers also want to
give their pets something that they’ll enjoy.
“Our criteria for a good treat is one that is soft, smelly and
small,” Alcalde said. “Many treats we carry are small, but some
pet owners do buy bigger ones and break them into smaller piec-
es. The idea is to give the dog something that they can eat re-
ally quickly—without losing sight of why they’re receiving the
treat, such as a training task—but that is still really delicious and
Lisa Gay, co-owner of H3 Pet Supply in Stratford, Conn., added
that quality is key for pet owners.
“The trends we see in treats are in line with what we see in
food purchases in general,” Gay said. “Pet parents are looking for
a healthy treat with safe and natural ingredients.”
Consumers want treats made from unique protein sources and
with simple ingredients, and they will turn the bag over to read
the ingredient list on treats they purchase, said Laura Lang, COO
of Jones Natural Chews in Rockford, Ill. Lang said pet owners are
also looking to see whether the product was not only made in the
BY LINDSEY GETZ
What treat product attributes are most in demand with today’s pet owners?
At Redbarn, we pay close attention to what our customers are asking for in
their dog and cat treats. We see these desires manifesting in trends like natural
products, clean labels, whole-food ingredients and treat options that speak to
the activity levels of individual pets. We believe the most important trend in
dog and cat food and treats is providing options that cater to our customers’
pets. Adding functional superfood ingredients speaks to their desire for clean
labels with easily understood ingredients. We also see consumers desiring
high-protein options, and we believe trends like freeze-dried meats and single-ingredient treats help deliver choices in the category.
THIS ARTICLE IS BROUGHT
TO YOU IN PART BY
Rashell Cooper, marketing director of Redbarn Pet Products
in Long Beach, Calif.