NAICS: 31-1111 Dog and Cat Food
SIC: 2047 Dog and Cat Food
NAICS-Based Product Codes: 31-11111, 31-1111111, 31-1111121, 31-111112, 31-11111231, 31-111113, 3111111341, 31-11114, 31-111141, 31-11114111, 31-111142, 31-11114221, 31-11114231, 31-111143, 31-11114341, 31-11114351
Pets have provided labor and companionship almost from the beginnings of human history. Dogs helped hunters track and bring down game, pulled sleds or travois carriers, and provided security services, while cats eliminated mice and other rodents.
Until 1860 these animals ate whatever was available. Traditionally in England, food was served on flat pieces of bread known as trenchers, and after the meal, the bread, bones, and table scraps were tossed to the dogs. Later, dogs and cats ate raw meat or table scraps, cheap cuts from the butcher, milk, eggs, and food found by scavenging, with cats also surviving on the mice, rats, and birds they could catch.
Today, however, dogs and cats are often seen as family members with owners eager to provide healthy and convenient meals for their companion animals. The 2007–2008 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) reported that 74.8 million dogs and 88.3 million cats resided in U.S. households. Other pets included 142 million freshwater fish, 9.6 million saltwater fish, 16 million birds, 13.8 million horses, 24.3 million small animals, and 13.4 million reptiles. Pet industry expenditures totaled $38.5 billion in 2006 in the United States, and it was estimated that this would rise to $40.8 billion in 2007. In 2005 dog and cat food and treats sales in the United States reached a new record high of $14.4 billion, according to Euromonitor International.
James Spratt, an American entrepreneur, was the first to see the possibilities in packaging and selling food for dogs. In 1860 Spratt was in London, trying to sell lightening rods, when he spotted stray dogs lined up to catch moldy hardtack and rotten scraps thrown by sailors. He devised a dog cake shaped like a bone and made up of wheat, vegetables, beetroot, and beef blood. Spratt's best customers were English gentlemen who bought the biscuits for their sporting dogs. The business was registered in 1885 as Spratt's Patent, Limited, and a U.S. branch was founded around 1890. In the 1950s Spratts was acquired by General Mills and then by Spillers, a British branch of Purina, in 1960.
The first American pet food firm was F.H. Bennett Biscuits Co., formed in 1907. Bennett, a health food addict, produced a bone-shaped dog biscuit that included meat, cereals, milk, minerals, liver oil, and wheat germ. His Milk-Bone biscuit was a success.
In 1922 P.M. Chappel introduced canned dog food under the Ken-L-Ration brand. There was a public outcry against the use of horse meat, but dogs loved the new food, which sold well. Canned horse meat was cheap after World War I, as cars and tractors replaced horses and mules. During the depression years of the 1930s, the number of canned dog food brands reached 221, and by 1941, canned food dominated, representing 91 percent of the U.S. dog food market.
By that time, dry dog meal had also become available. Clarence Gaines spearheaded the introduction of dry meal, which was sold in 100-pound bags. His company also sold empty 5- and 10-pound bags, so customers could fill them and buy smaller, less expensive quantities.
During World War II, pets were classified as nonessentials, and metal containers were not obtainable for canned dog and cat food. In addition, surplus horses were no longer available. Canned food, which had represented 91 percent of the pounds of dog food sold in the United States before the war, was almost completely replaced by dry food. By 1946 canned food sales had climbed back to 15 percent, and they reached 60 percent by 1960.
For companies such as Nabisco, Quaker Oats, and General Foods, pet foods offered the opportunity to market by-products, creating a new source of profits. Before the 1960s there was still little attention given to cat food, with a few suppliers near the coast providing fish-based foods. Many cats received canned food labeled for dogs and cats, but there was little research on feline nutritional requirements. By the early 1960s, cat food sales began to grow. Marketers began packing the food into 6.5-ounce cans, just enough for one meal, instead of the one-pound cans that had been used for fish. The market responded enthusiastically to the convenience, which caused companies such as Calo to promote and sell hundreds of combinations designed to appeal to finicky cats.
Until 1957 canned food and dry meal were the major forms of dog food. A third type, expanded or extruded dog chow, was introduced in 1957 by Ralston Purina. Extruded food was expanded or exploded, formed into pellets, and then covered with a fat coating. Just as popped corn tastes better than dried corn, expanded food tasted better to dogs, according to the Pet Food Institute. In addition, the expanded pellets were lighter. This meant that the same weight filled a much bigger bag, which made it seem that consumers were getting more for their money.
During the 1960s General Foods introduced Gaines-Burgers, the first of the soft-moist foods for dogs. Other innovations have included dry and moist cat foods, prescription dog diets, and supplements sold as dog and cat treats.
U.S. pet food labeling and advertising claims are now regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as by individual states. Nutritional standards for pet food are set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), and pet foods carry an AAFCO seal when they meet those standards.
However, as was dramatically illustrated by the 2007 recall of contaminated pet foods, FDA inspections have steadily dropped in recent years, while the proportion of imported food used in domestic manufacturing has multiplied. Foreign manufacturers have been able to ship ingredients to the United States with no in-person inspections by the Food and Drug Administration.
The U.S. market for dog and cat food is huge, and it continues to grow. It has been noted that most grocery stores in the country devote more space to pet food than they do to breakfast cereal or baby food. While growth in sales was relatively flat in the 1980s, the market grew at approximately 4 percent annually in the 1990s and has continued to expand during the early 2000s, with much of the growth coming from premium and specialty brand foods.
Market figures are available from various sources, and while they do not always agree completely, they all show a growing market for cat and dog food. Euromonitor reported that dog and cat food and treats sales in the United States totaled $14.4 billion in 2005, up from more than $13.8 billion in 2004.
Figures are also available from the 1997 and 2002 Economic Census of the United States and the Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM). The ASM showed that the industry shipped almost $13.2 billion in products in 2005, more than a 50 percent gain from $8.7 billion in 1997. In fact, dog and cat food represented 6 percent of the total value share of U.S. canned food and beverage shipments in 2002. For comparison, pet food sales for animals other than dogs and cats totaled $869 million in 2005, according to research reported in Progressive Grocer. Most of the sales for these pets were by mass merchandisers (especially Wal-Mart) and pet specialty stores. Approximately 43 percent of the total was for birds, 33 percent for fish, 17 percent for small animals, and 7 percent for reptiles.
Globally, Euromonitor reported that the market for dog and cat food in 2003 was $35 billion. In China, the pet population grew 20 percent from 1999 to 2004, with the one-child policy and an increasingly older population contributing to the popularity of pets. Dogs and cats are being viewed by the Chinese increasingly as companions, particularly among urban dwellers with higher levels of disposable income.
Latin America has also become a major market for pet food. In terms of constant value in local currency, total market value increased nearly 60 percent in Brazil and 70 percent in Mexico between 1998 and 2002, Euromonitor reported in 2003. At that time, Brazil had the third largest dog and cat population in the world, superseded only by the United States and China, and the numbers were rising.
In the United Kingdom, Grocer magazine reported in 2006 that the pet food value market was growing, although volume was remaining steady. The magazine attributed this to the fact that both dog and cat owners were spending more on their pets, with pouched cat food, a convenience product, showing the greatest increase, 25 percent for the most recent year reported on in the article. Cat treats also rose 17.2 percent during the year.
U.S. Department of Commerce and Trade Commission statistics show that the United States exported almost $1 billion in cat and dog food in 2006, while importing $275 million worth of these products. The largest share of the exports, $330 million, went to Canada, with $175 million going to Japan and $84.6 million to Mexico.
In the United States, the growth in dollar sales beginning in the 1990s has been spurred both by an increasing number of pets and by the purchase of more premium or specialized brands. Pet Food Institute statistics show 22.7 million cat owners and 36.7 dog owners in 1981 and 36 million cat owners and 38.4 million dog owners in 2002.
This group, with membership that includes 95 percent of U.S. pet manufacturers, contributed to the trend, conducting its own campaign to increase pet ownership to counter the flat sales of the 1980s. Advertising was aimed at groups such as singles, who were not traditional pet owners.
The Pet Food Institute continues to encourage adoption of cats and dogs, citing research to show that in today's American society, people need pets. Animals that await their owners eagerly and respond to care and affection can alleviate loneliness, the Pet Food Institute asserts. The increasingly urban nature of society that separates children and adults from farm animals, the separation of families with older people and unmarried adults often living alone, and the desire for protection are given as other reasons for cat and dog ownership. Other research cited by the Institute shows that pets speed recovery from illness, reduce stress, and promote healthy family bonding.
The Census Bureau figures show that dog food sales greatly exceed those of cat food, but the latter category was gaining. The Census Bureau's 2002 Economic Census reported that shipments of dog food represented 85.6 percent of all pet food in 1997 (with 14.4 percent for cat food). By 2002 dog food sales had slipped to 81.7 percent of the total and cat food was up to 18.3 percent.
This privately held company is the largest producer of pet foods in the world. Mars was originally founded as a candy company selling Milky Way bars, but it is now an $18 billion business operating in 65 countries. Mars shipped 33.8 percent of pet food worldwide in 2005. In the United States, Masterfoods USA, a division of Mars, markets Pedigree and Cesar for dogs, Whiskas and Sheba for cats, and Waltham Diets for both dogs and cats. The Waltham name covers a research foundation and symposium as well as pet foods.
Masterfoods also produces Buckeye feeds for horses, birds, and rabbits and guinea pigs as well as for cats. The company is developing a new dog food line.
Nestlé Purina PetCare is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé a Swiss company. Ralston Purina was founded in St. Louis in 1894 by William H. Danforth and his partners. The company initially marketed horse and mule feed made of corn, oats, and molasses. In 1902 the name was changed to Ralston Purina, to stress the healthful qualities of its cereals and animal feed. The company began selling food for working and hunting dogs through Purina dealers in 1926. With the introduction of extruded Dog Chow in 1957, Ralston Purina moved into pet foods for the general consumer market.
After a period of acquisitions and spin-offs, Ralston Purina spun off its other businesses, including cereals, and focused exclusively on the global pet products business. In a 2001 merger, the company became part of Nestlé S.A. The North American headquarters for Nestlé Purina PetCare remains at Checkerboard Square in St. Louis, Missouri.
Ralston Purina products include Alpo, Dog Chow, Mighty Dog, ProPlan, HiPro, Kibbles and Chunks, Moist and Meaty, and Purina One dog foods, as well as a number of dog treats. Cat foods include Cat Chow, Deli-Feast, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Kit 'N Kaboodle, Pro Plan, and Purina One.
Beneful is another Purina brand launched in 2001 as a premium dog food with nuggets that look like chunks of meat and vegetables, and a newer line of Beneful wet products have been particularly successful in winning market share.
Procter & Gamble PetCare (P&G PetCare)
This market leader had 11.3 percent of worldwide sales in 2005. P&G PetCare markets Iams and Eukanuba dog and cat foods. The company sells its dry and canned dog and cat foods in 70 countries and employs more than 2,500 people.
Iams was founded in Dayton, Ohio, in 1946 by Paul Iams, who was interested in animal nutrition. Iams, historically sold by veterinarians and other specialty channels, entered the mass market in 2001, two years after Procter & Gamble acquired the brand. The company showed steady growth after its acquisition in 1999, more than doubling sales from less than $800 million then to $1.8 billion in 2006.
Eukanuba, which was launched by Iams in 1969, was first sold to breeders and kennels. By 1973, pet food shops and other retailers around the country were ordering the high-quality, high-cost dog food. Eukanuba contains a high level of protein and is formulated for dogs' size and stage of life.
Hill's Pet Food
A division of Colgate, Hill's Pet Food was in fourth place with 9.8 percent of the global market in 2005. Hill's produces Science Diet and Prescription Diet. Science Diet comes in canned and dry versions for dogs and cats. Prescription Diet is aimed at pets with specific problems, such as allergies, dental disease, diabetes, heart or kidney disease, or urinary tract infections.
In fact, the company was founded in 1939 when veterinarian Mark L. Morris, Sr., was asked if anything could be done to save a guide dog who was suffering from kidney disease. The food he developed for the guide dog became the company's first product. The product line is still sold by many veterinarians, as well as by specialty pet stores.
This company is a relatively recent entrant in the pet food market. It moved into the pet food business in 2002 with the purchase of North American pet food from Heinz, having 6 percent of the 2005 global market. Brands acquired included Kibbles 'N Bits dog food and 9 Lives cat food. The company also manufactures Ol' Roy wet dog food and dog treats as well as Special Kitty cat food for Wal-Mart.
Private Labels such as Ol' Roy represented 11.8 percent of the global market in 2005. The market share of private labels has slipped somewhat because of the growing popularity of premium brands, but the sale of private label foods is still significant. Chicago-based Information Resources, Inc., reported that U.S. sales for the 52 weeks ending May 16, 2004, (excluding Wal-Mart) totaled $940 million for private label cat foods and treats and $621 million for private label dog food and treats. While some of these private label products have been furnished by major companies, there are also companies that manufacture only private label pet foods.
Menu Foods, which was the first to be involved in the 2007 pet food recall, is the largest manufacturer of wet dog and cat food in North America. Its headquarters are in Streetsville, Ontario, Canada, but it also has production facilities in the United States. It manufactures pet foods that are sold by other companies under a wide variety of labels.
Doane Pet Care Co., the largest manufacturer of private-label pet food and the second largest manufacturer of dry pet food overall in the United States, was also an independent supplier to private labels and other brands until 2006 when it was sold to Mars.
MATERIALS & SUPPLY CHAIN LOGISTICS
Pets have traditionally been fed low-cost ingredients such as grains and meat, poultry, and seafood by-products. The 2002 Economic Census lists major materials, in terms of costs, consumed by dog and cat food manufacturers as meat meal and tankage—animal residues that remain after rendering fat in a slaughterhouse—($301 million), whole grain field corn ($253 million), fats and oils ($186 million), cornmeal cake and meal ($160 million), corn gluten feed and meal ($138 million), soybean cake and meal ($90 million), and poultry feather and byproducts meal ($75 million).
Dog and cat food manufacturers are generally located near agricultural and/or fishing areas to reduce the cost of getting raw materials to the plants. Census data for 2002 show California to be the largest producer of dog and cat food, with $984 million in shipments, or 9.2 percent of the U.S. total. Ohio was second, followed by Pennsylvania, Missouri, and New York.
As more owners have come to view pets as cherished family members, however, higher priced dog and cat foods with high quality ingredients have gained popularity. This trend has been accelerated by incidents of pet food contamination.
The pet food industry has long been concerned with such dangers as mycotoxins (toxic metabolites of fungi) in cereal-based foodstuffs and has responded with screening, new cereal processing techniques, and dietary supplements that counteract the effects of the toxins. If companies take shortcuts, however, pet deaths can occur. In 2005–2006, for example, corn with high levels of aflatoxin, one of the mycotoxins, killed dozens of dogs. U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors concluded that the Diamond Pet Foods plant in Gaston, South Carolina, had not followed its own testing guidelines for the corn.
The largest recall in recent years was in 2007. After pet foods manufactured by Menu Foods of Canada caused widespread death and illness among pets, it was discovered that producers of wheat gluten in China had added melamine, a toxic chemical used to make plastics, to their products.
Some pet owners began cooking their own pet foods, while others began buying from specialty firms making premium foods from all-natural ingredients. The Honest Kitchen of San Diego, California, for example, which makes chemical- and preservative-free cat and dog food, reported that dollar sales of their foods doubled after the contamination scare.
Dog and cat foods can be bought in grocery stores, pet stores, large discount stores such as Wal-Mart, and pet food megastores such as PetSmart and Petco. Some foods, particularly those marketed as therapeutic, are sold by veterinarians. Specialized products can also be bought over the Internet.
Pet food distribution can be either two- or three-tier. Large retailers such as Wal-Mart and the pet megastores buy directly from producers, while smaller outlets rely on wholesalers.
With the growth of discounters and pet megastores in the 1980s and 1990s, grocery stores have lost market share. A study by Packaged Facts, published in September 2006, showed that supermarkets accounted for only 26 percent of cat and dog food sales in 2005. Mass merchandisers accounted for 34 percent and pet specialty stores, 25 percent.
This was a continuation of a trend illustrated by statistics released in 2004 by Mintel International, Chicago. In a study that included both pet food and pet supplies, Mintel reported that retail sales at supermarkets were $7 billion in 2003 (37.1 percent of total sales) down from $7.2 billion (42.3 percent) in 2001. During the same period pet superstores climbed from 21.5 percent to 22.3 percent, mass merchandisers from 14.5 to 16.2 percent, farm and feed stores from 5.4 to 16.2 percent, and veterinarians and kennels from 5 percent to 5.1 percent.
Delivering product to these retailers is an important strategic factor for manufacturers. The dominant position of a few large companies has allowed them to establish efficient distribution networks across the country. In 2006, for example, when Mars acquired Doanes, Mars representatives said Doanes's 20 plants and two distribution centers in the United States would help establish a more efficient, geographically distributed network, which could respond more quickly to shifts in customer orders.
Since more than half of U.S. households have at least one cat or dog, a large percentage of the population buys cat or dog food. In addition to pet owners, purchasers include kennels, breeders, ranchers, police K9 units, and others who use dogs to perform such tasks as hunting, tracking, pulling sleds, and serving as watch or guard dogs.
In addition to pet foods, a variety of pet accessories, supplies, and services compete for the dog or cat owner's dollar. As can be seen in Figure 173, the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association (APPMA) reported that pet owners spent $38.5 billion in 2006, which was expected to increase to $40.8 billion in 2007. Of the 2006 total, food was the largest expense at $15.4 billion.
Cat and dog owners buy collars, leashes, toys, bedding, clothes, cat litter, flea and tick preparations, shampoos, grooming tools, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and doggie breath mints, among other supplies. In addition to health care, which can be a major expense, many owners also pay for kennel care or pet walking and sitting services or have invisible fences installed. At least one firm even offers a spring cleaning service to pick up dog wastes that have accumulated over the winter. For those who have struggled house breaking a puppy or caring for an aging dog or cat may even consider carpet cleaning equipment and products to be an adjacent market to the markets for pet food and care products.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Most major pet food companies conduct research on pet nutrition and other issues affecting the cat and dog food they sell. The Purina Pet Care Center, which opened 45 miles southwest of St. Louis, Missouri in 1926, is the oldest and largest facility in the world for research on pet nutrition and care. Studies at the center focus on five primary areas: growth, maintenance, digestibility, reproduction, and palatability. The 60,000-sqare-foot research facility includes equipment for molecular biology, genomics, immunology, cell physiology, food processing, and food and aroma chemistry.
The center also studies other issues of importance in the manufacture of pet food, including quality standards for raw ingredients, consistency in manufacturing, product freshness, packaging safety, and product integrity as it passes through warehousing and transportation systems.
In January 1999 the company opened the Purina DNA Distribution Center, designed to provide scientists worldwide with genetic material that can be used for developing the canine marker map. At that time, Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine turned over DNA from a set of dog pedigrees to serve as the principal resource for the new center.
The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in Leicestershire, United Kingdom, is the research arm for Mars pet foods. The center published its first paper in 1963, and since then has shared its findings in more than 1,500 publications, as well as regular communication with the scientific and pet care communities. Mars established the Waltham Foundation in 2001 to support scientific research on nutrition, health, behavior, and welfare of companion animals around the world. The foundation has provided more than $500,000 for research in 20 countries.
When Procter & Gamble acquired the Iams pet food line in 1999, the company inherited a tradition of nutritional research. Company founder Paul Iams began creating his own recipes in 1950, relying heavily on animal proteins instead of the more commonly used grain proteins.
The company opened the Paul F. Iams Technical Center in Lewisburg, Ohio, in 1987 to study the emotional and physical needs of companion animals.
Procter & Gamble has been able to leverage some of the research conducted for its health care business to improve Iams products. In one example, university research showed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) enhanced brain development in babies. Iams researchers verified that it had a similar effect on puppies, and the company introduced its Iams Smart Puppy formula featuring high levels of DHA.
Under Procter & Gamble's leadership, the company opened an Iams Pet Imaging Center in Vienna, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., in early 2002. The center has provided free MRI services to monitor 24 search and rescue dogs used after September 11, 2001, in rescue operations at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The Hill's Science Diet company was founded on the basis of nutritional research in 1939, when Dr. Morris, formulated food to save a guide dog with kidney disease. Colgate, which markets Hill's Science Diet largely through veterinarians, continues to stress nutrition, noting on its Web site that its "staff of veterinarians and nutritionists publish more than 50 research papers and textbook chapters each year and teach at leading schools of veterinary medicine all over the world."
One problem companies face when conducting nutritional studies is the charge by some animal rights groups that they injure and kill animals as part of the research. The companies devote considerable effort to countering such reports. As of November 2006 Iams conducts studies only at its Pet Health & Nutrition Center, in pet owners' homes, and at locations where dogs and cats are already living in kennels. Iams also has an agreement with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which conducts regular inspections of Iams laboratories. The ASPCA participates on the Iams Animal Care Advisory Board, which provides input to the company on research issues. The application for Waltham Foundation grants states that research will not be funded "that causes suffering or results in euthanasia of the animals involved, or studies whose subjects have clinical conditions which have been artificially induced." Iams and Hill's also stress on their Web sites that they only conduct dog and cat studies that are the veterinary equivalent of nutritional or medical studies acceptable on people, and that all pets in their care are kept in a loving, safe, playful, and clean environment.
In addition to nutrition, there is substantial research in packaging cat and dog food in ways that will appeal to consumers. Recent innovations have included a standup pouch with a built-in handle and reclosable seal, a flexible sealed container that can withstand thermal processing for long shelf life, and new bags with built-in zippers.
As has been seen, recent trends include increased pet ownership, particularly by empty nesters or young professionals, and greater consumer spending on pets that are generally seen as best friends, companions, or family members. Specialty pet foods are gaining in popularity as dog and cat owners worry about their pets' health and are willing to spend more to assure that they are getting the proper nutrition.
Reduced-calorie foods have led the trend. A Food and Drug Administration report estimated in early 2007 that 48 million dogs and cats in the United States were either overweight or obese. In response, pet food companies have been tailoring their foods to both the size and age of the pets, recognizing, for example, that senior dogs need fewer calories. Just as in human diets, there has also been more attention to carbohydrate quality and glycemic index.
Some companies have been successful in selling organic pet foods. Newman's Own Organic pet products, which had been sold mainly by veterinarians and health food stores, were introduced in early 2007 in New England at all Shaw's Supermarkets. They contain no poultry by-products, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, chemical additives, wheat or corn, artificial flavors, or artificial colors and dyes. Other companies advertise that they use human-grade materials, free of hormones and antibiotics.
Sales of pet treats that help solve such problems as dental tartar or hairballs have also been strong. Customers are also willing to pay for convenience, favoring, for example, cat foods in single-serving disposable containers.
These trends are not surprising in an environment in which many pets live in the lap of luxury, traveling with their owners to pet-friendly hotels and resorts, wearing designer clothing, and relaxing at feline or canine spas.
TARGET MARKETS & SEGMENTATION
Pet food buyers come in all economic ranges, with some looking for the cheapest store brands, others willing to spend more for perceived improvements in health and flavor, and a few who feel money is no object, according to the American Pet Product Manufacturing Association (APPMA).
Pet food manufacturers have been introducing a wide variety of products aimed at attracting new customers and increasing their market share by offering specific health and nutrition benefits. These products are sometimes introduced with elaborate marketing campaigns to bring them to the attention of the target audience, often focusing on the emotional attachment between pets and their owners. Many of these products are aimed at specific sections of the Baby Boom generation such as empty-nesters, who are no longer spending as much on families and are willing to splurge on pets that fill the void.
This trend has been so successful that it is affecting even private label producers, with giant Wal-Mart leading the way. If a name brand offers vitamin enrichment, there may well be a less expensive vitamin-enriched store brand sitting next to it on the shelf.
Some specialty products are being sold as good enough for humans to eat. Whole Foods Market, a health food chain, is marketing dog food to its health-concerned customers as having nutritionally balanced ingredients hand-processed from humanely treated animals. Actor Dick Van Patten markets a brand called Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs that is said to be good to eat for both humans and dogs. Flavors include Chinese Take-Out, Irish Stew, and Hobo Chili.
Meanwhile, Ultra Pet in South Carolina introduced ZenPuppy, a new line of treats made with human-grade ingredients. Formulas include ZenPuppy Agile to reduce inflammation in aging dogs with arthritis, ZenPuppy Beauty to sooth irritated skin and reduce bad breath, and ZenPuppy Energy to encourage increased activity in overweight, aging, or inactive dogs.
Other products on the market are said to safely calm dogs and cats, eliminate hair balls, and provide antioxidants to prevent formation of harmful free radicals. Tofu and vegetable offerings are available for vegetarians to feed their pets.
Eukanuba has taken another approach to appeal to certain market segments, introducing a new breed-specific line that provides food for Labrador retrievers, boxers, dachshunds, German shepherds, and Yorkshire terriers.
The gourmet appeal of certain brands is supported by elaborate marketing campaigns. When Nestlé Purina added 10 new high-end Elegant Medley products to its line, offering such taste treats as shredded yellowfin tuna in savory broth, an extensive television and print campaign was aimed at women over 35 who own cats. The campaign was launched with a gala event at the Aspen (Colorado) Food and Wine Festival.
Aiming at a younger group of pet owners, Scholastic Entertainment signed Clifford the Big Red Dog's first food-licensing agreement to support Tummy Teasers, new peanut-butter-and-jelly-flavored dog treats.
When Del Monte's Meow Mix introduced its first wet food, the company went all out to attract owners of cats that ate wet foods. In addition to a multi-million-dollar ad campaign, the company opened a pop-up store in New York City, inviting people to bring their cats in to sample the new food and receive coupons for its purchase. Most of the companies also reach out to consumers with interactive Web sites that offer advice, entertainment, newsletters, and contests.
RELATED ASSOCIATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS
American Kennel Club, http://www.akc.org
American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, http://www.appma.org
American Veterinary Medicine Association, http://www.avma.org
Association of American Feed Control Officials, http://www.aafco.org
Pet Food Institute, http://www.petfoodinstitute.org
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see also Canned Food