UsA, but that ingredients were sourced in
the UsA. Any time you can highlight those
facts, you are going to draw more attention to a product, Lang said.
Lindsey Testerman, general manager
of Lizzi and rocco’s natural pet Market,
which has stores in Columbia, Mo., concurred.
“Many dog parents are interest-
ed not only in UsA sourced but even
locally sourced products,” Testerman said.
“We’ve started [selling] spent-grain dog
treats that are made from local brewer-
ies in town, and they’ve been incredibly
Customer education begins at the
store and distribution level, said Heidi L.
nevala, president of natura petz Organics
in Minneapolis. it’s important that retail-
ers truly understand the products they’re
selling in order to be able to answer ques-
tions and educate customers. To this
end, nevala suggested that pet specialty
retailers take advantage of what manu-
facturers and distributors have to offer in
terms of training tools.
“For all our brands, we offer educa-
tional training videos, as well as video or
in-store training options on using hemp
and nutraceuticals for pets—which in-
cludes our treat lines and other prod-
ucts,” nevala said. “We offer detailed FAQ
pages for all our brands, Qr code links to
educational audio and video files, plus
shelf and bottle talkers, brochures, pOs
displays, a sample program and research
guides that dive deeper into the ingredi-
ents we use in our lines.”
Cooper agreed that retailers should
partner with manufacturers for the best
possible customer education experience.
“Working alongside brands to display
educational materials at point-of-pur-
chase is key to increasing sales,” she
Brad gruber, president and COO of
Health Extension pet Care in Deer park,
n.Y., said that retailers must know their
products inside and out—including the in-
gredients, benefits and nutrition facts.
“The staff should be very conversant
and engaging in asking pet parents ques-
tions about their pets in terms of age,
breed, allergies, and specific health and
dietary issues,” gruber said. “Ask what the
treat is being used for, such as training, to
address a particular problem or just as a
gruber added that this information
should help retailers narrow down the
best choices for pet owners.
APPEAL TO PETS AND SHOPPERS
shoppers are always looking for novel
products to excite and appeal to their
pets, said Timothy Fabits, vice president
of sales for Barkworthies in richmond, Va.
Displays are a great way to showcase anything new. With so much interest in exotic
proteins, Fabits suggested that retailers
dedicate a specific section in the treat
aisle to exotic protein sources.
“pet parents are constantly looking for
new and delicious ways to treat their pets,”
Fabits said. “There are plenty of dogs who
have food allergies and/or stomach sensi-
tivities, and pet parents are increasingly
interested in exotic proteins like crocodile,
rabbit and kangaroo, to name a few.”
Merchandising best practices also in-
clude featuring the proper display of treats
with accompanying educational material,
“picking the right treat for a pet is a
very personalized process, and retailers
should take advantage of manufactur-er-provided resources,” Cooper said.
Holidays pose an excellent time to get
TREATS FOR FUN AND FUNCTION
shoppers interested in dog treats. Adrian
pettyan, CEO and co-founder of Caru pet
Food in Vero Beach, Fla., said that build-
ing displays that are relevant to upcoming
holidays is a great way to draw attention
pet owners also like to treat their pets
on their birthdays, and creating displays
that cater to birthdays can attract interest,
said Mary Ellen Oertel, owner and founder
of Ma snax Dog Treats in santa rosa, Calif.
in addition to a large shelving unit that
is completely dedicated to treats, Alcalde
said she displays some treats in the toy
section at Bad Dog Frida.
“Toys that serve as activities are pop-
ular sellers,” Alcalde said. “We display
treats that work well inside of those toys
right next to them.”
“We will do discounts if they buy
both a kibble and a treat from the same
manufacturer, at the same time,” gay said.
“We’ve found that even a small discount
often encourages the customer to pick
up a bag of treats under the same brand
Testerman said that customers at Liz-
zi and rocco’s natural pet Market often
become “fiercely loyal to brands” when
it comes to food. As a result, it typically
benefits the retailer to display treats near
their matching food brand.
Earlier this year, Boston-based polkadog
Bakery introduced Clam Chowda, Chicken Littles and Lucky Duck treats. Clam
Chowda treats are made with Atlantic
Ocean quahogs. Clams are one of the
most sustainable protein sources available
from the ocean, according to the company. Chicken Littles come in Bones shapes
and Bits and are made with chicken meat
that isfarm-raised in the U.s. Lucky Duck
treats also come in Bones shapes and
Bits. They are made with duck meat that
is farm-raised in the U.s. All of the treats
are slowly dehydrated at the company’s
bakery in Boston.
Last summer, Barkworthies introduced
superfood Jerky treat recipes for dogs.
Made with real meat, plus superfood
ingredients such as blueberries, carrots
and pumpkin, these treats help support
muscle growth and development, according to the company.
Health Extension pet Care has introduced the company’s first made-in-the-UsA whole-muscle jerky. Made from real
chicken, it works as a training treat or a
reward, according to the company. ~
“Many dog parents are
interested not only in USA
sourced but even locally
—Lindsey Testerman of Lizzi
and Rocco’s Natural Pet Market