Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another Terrific Article From Guest Blogger Brandon Of Canadian Pet Connection - "Must Have" Products For Food Retailers

Top 5 Pet Food Types Pet Health Retailers Should Offer

Deciding which pet foods to sell can be tricky considering the multitude of brands and formulas on the market competing for your precious shelf space.

How do you know which products to carry?

In no particular order, here are the top 5 pet food types pet health retailers should offer.

1. Grain Free

With pet food allergies on the incline, many pet owners are abandoning traditional grain-based pet foods for their grain-free counterparts. The demand for grain-free diets is growing by the minute, so make certain your store provides different grain-free options as this segment is projected dominate pet health food sales in the near future.

2. Raw

Also known as the BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), raw diets are intended to reflect the evolutionary diet of a wild animal. Largely consisting of organ meats, bone, cartilage, connective tissue, fruits and vegetables, these diets are fed in their raw state. Consumers in this category feed raw for many reasons: no heat used to cook the ingredients, improved dental health, no preservatives, etc.

3. Cans

Canned pet foods are nutritionally complete products on their own (unless listed otherwise), but most consumers in this category feed canned food to compliment to an existing diet of dry kibble. It is wise to offer numerous choices for canned food, as consumers generally prefer to feed a variety of different formulas, flavours and textures (pâté, chunks & gravy, etc)

4. Dietary Base Foods

Dietary base formulas are intended for consumers who prefer to make their own pet food. Providing the base for a homemade diet, consumers then select their own meats, veggies, supplements, etc. These do-it-yourself formulas give your customers the most control over their pets’ diet, and provide excellent opportunities for add-ons to compliment their purchase (vitamin supplements, skin and coat oils, etc).

5. Whole Grain Foods

Even though grain-free diets are more popular than ever before, traditional grain-based pet foods will still make up the majority of your pet food sales. Focus on brands who offer good quality whole grains, rather than grain fractions and by products. Grain-based foods come in every variety imaginable, so ensure you provide hypoallergenic options for consumers whose pets may have certain grain sensitivities.

Brandon Forder is a pet health professional with Canadian Pet Connection.