Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Organic pet food industry

The USDA reversed an earlier decision and will continue to certify 'USDA Organic' labels for pet food. Although organic food - made without pesticides, chemicals or hormones - represents only $14 million out of the $14 billion pet food segment, sales increased 63 percent last year, according to the Organic Trade Association.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

PetSmart to rebrand with new logo

PetSmart, the nations largest pet retailer, will reposition its brand in the marketplace, introducing a new logo and nationwide advertising campaign on September 7.

"Mart to Smart" represents the culmination of over a year of planning, according to the company, and the new marketing strategy aims to develop brand awareness and bring in new customers in target markets.

Nationwide television, magazine and radio advertisements will emphasize pet food and low prices, introducing the new brand in the company's largest ad campaign in the last few years.

The retailer will emphasize 'Smart' over 'Mart' and has released previews of the new PetSmart TV commercials.

Related Posts:
Target Pet TV Commercials
Pets in Advertising
Pets in Catalogs

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dreyers dog treats

The Los Angeles Times reported today that Dreyer's, the nations largest ice cream company, is expanding further into the dog treat market by offering a second flavor of ice cream for dogs.

The first flavor of Frosty Paws Frozen Treats for Dogs has been around for years and, according to the newspaper, has become a $10 million product line generating the highest profit margins of all Dreyer's products.

The article discusses how the new flavor addresses an interesting marketing issue: how to sell dog food and human food in the same aisle, even the same freezer. Since both Purina dog food and Dreyer's ice cream are controlled by Nestle, the result is a peanut butter flavored, Purina branded dog treat.

("Dreyer's Scoops Up a Share of Doggie Treats Market," by Jerry Hirsch, Times Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, Aug 18, 2005)

The founders of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, sold as Edy's east of the Rockies, invented Rocky Road ice cream during the depression from their headquarters on Grand Avenue in Oakland, California.

There's a handy store locator on the website: frostypawstreats.com.

And the San Francisco Chronicle just published (Aug 23) a comprehensive history of Frosty Paws here.

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Friday, August 12, 2005

MWI Veterinary Supply

A vet supply company goes public. Although MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc. has been around for over a decade, it was acquired in 2002 by a private equity firm that apparently had its eyes on the pet industry.

Distributors to 14,000 vets of 10,000 products from 350 vendors, MWI Veterinary Supply consolidates a large number of products in a strong growth sector of the still fragmented pet industry. Serving the production animal line (cattle, for example) as well as companion animals, MWI is seeing approximately equal growth in both.

The company said third-quarter profit rose to $1.4 million, or 24 cents a share, from $71 million, or 12 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the quarter rose 30 percent to $138 million.

President and CEO Jim Cleary noted that eCommerce sales as a percent of total sales was 20.7 percent compared to 17.4 percent in the same quarter last year.

This company reminds me of Central Garden and Pet a number of years ago, as it transformed from a distributor to a major producer of pet products by acquiring the best of its suppliers. MWI Vet finds itself in a good position to follow that strategy, and shows signs that it will. Having acquired Vetpo Distributors in January 2005, the company has produced $8.7 million in sales from the transferred sales reps since then, and mentioned in the earnings conference call it will pursue more strategic acquisitions.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Pet industry trade shows 2005 2006

Please see the updated post listing pet industry trade shows in 2006.

Get off the beach and start thinking about the holidays and 2006. Its trade show season for the pet industry.

Global Pet Expo 2006
Mar 23-25, 2006
San Diego, California

H.H. Backer Christmas '05 Trade Show
Oct 7-9, 2005
Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois

Pet South America
Oct 5-7, 2005
Sao Paolo, Brazil

Pet Fair Asia
September 21-23, 2005
Shanghai, China


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Pets in catalogs

For the first time, IKEA introduced dog and cat accessories in its catalog. Food bowls, cat toys, pet baskets, and a blanket, most priced below $10, with the slogan 'creature comforts at humane prices.' To see all the items, visit the pet section of IKEA's website.

Just received the latest batch of Drs Foster & Smith catalogs for dogs, cats, birds and aquatics, and am impressed. As a case study in marketing techniques, this is the opposite of how its done at the specialty stores. Only products reviewed by veterinarians are included in these catalogs. Walking into any large pet retailer, however, the migraine-inducing blast of color that greets the consumer from the vast selection of products should be a reminder that these products are marketed toward the owner, not always with the pets best interests in mind. Dogs are color blind, remember?

The back page seems to be popular for home improvements, art and design catalogs. Trendy dog collars are found on the back of the latest summer catalog from Flax Art & Design, a San Francisco-based art supply and creative retail store.

Related Posts:
PetSmart rebrands, previews new TV ads
Target Pets TV commercials
Pets in advertising

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