Monday, May 05, 2008

Pet Business News

VCA Antech, Inc. (NASDAQ:WOOF) reported a profitable first quarter of 2008 as it continues to acquire animal hospitals and grow its laboratory business. Although elective procedures tend to diminish when consumers cut back, this strength highlights the fact that the bar is moving; some services once considered elective are now being considered necessities. VCA seems to be on its way to becoming the managed care company for pets, primarily dogs and cats.

Utilizing the pet industry to differentiate a business in a crowded market has been a popular strategy the last few years. Check out Peninsula House Hound dog-friendly real estate website, with features like 'Search Homes Near Dog Parks'.

Anyone watch Nascar this weekend? Dog food marketing is big business in the U.S., and Mars, Inc.'s Pedigree brand is prominently featured on Kyle Busch's number 18 car. This sports sponsorship by Mars draws an average of about 6 million viewers per race, according to ACNielsen ratings for April and May of 2008. But the company didn't stop there; Mars' Nascar marketing campaign is directly tied to its adoption drive, illustrating the importance of the adoption channel for generating long-term brand loyalty in the pet sector.

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