Peering Into Private Pets

Pet product manufacturers will showcase their goods at the PLMA’s 2016 Private Label Trade Show.


As the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) gets ready to host its 2016 Private Label Trade Show in Chicago, private label pet products are holding steady on store shelves. 

Consumers are seeking high quality store brands for their pets, and stores are responding, says Brian Sharoff, president of the New York-based PLMA. “A general trend is that the pet categories, whether food or pet care, are commanding more and more attention from retailers, as consumers are looking to spend more money on their pets,” he says.   

According to PLMA and Nielsen, for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 31, sales of private label pet products in supermarkets totaled more than $248 billion, or 17.9 percent of the nearly $1.4 billion pet category sales total. That 17.9 percent dollar share was down 1.1 percent compared to 2014. In units, private label pet products had a 22.1 percent share, which, although that too was down 1.1 percent compared to the previous year, it still means that one of every five pet products sold in supermarkets is a store brand. 

Sharoff says the outlook is positive for store brand pet products and lauds Walmart’s model as one retailers could follow. “Other retailers really have to make their pet lines as attractive as possible to consumers, he says. “They should be thinking of new product assortments and new product concepts. Other retailers need to be as creative as possible and not take the pet market for granted.” 

At the 2016 Private Label Trade Show, which will be held at the Rosemont Convention Center November 13-15, manufacturers will show their foods, treats, healthcare products and other items. More than two dozen companies that offer pet products will exhibit. Here is a sampling of what to expect: 

C.J. Foods
C.J. Foods is a co-packer with a 30-year history of manufacturing foods for pet food companies in the super premium category. The Pawnee City, Neb.-based company will introduce two items at the show. 

Chicken & Brown Rice with Veggie Inclusions features carrots, parsley, green beans and peas. Company officials say the new food represents a significant opportunity to position proprietary brands in a new platform to engage valuable consumers. Officials add that the new private label entrant appeals to a wide set of consumers that are both health conscious and want to provide their pet with a unique meal that looks like what they would serve at home. Chicken & Brown Rice with Veggie Inclusions will be available in first quarter 2017.  

Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog food is intended to appeal to consumers looking to provide their pet a diet with simpler ingredients, often as a skin and allergy solution through their pet’s food. Consumers choose the Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) category for several reasons, including skin sensitivities. Officials say that C.J. Foods has expertise with producing LID formulas within multiple protein profiles that are easily digestible. Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog food is available in duck, salmon and chicken recipes, and will be available in first quarter 2017. 

Claudia’s Canine Bakery
Claudia’s Canine Bakery has been specializing in quality, wholesome dog treats since 1997. The gourmet treats are made with all-natural, human grade ingredients and are specially styled to be attractive to both pets and owners, for impulse purchases. The Maumelle, Ark.-based company makes specially designed treats for birthdays, Halloween, Christmas and any other treat-worthy day of the year. Among the products that Claudia’s Canine Bakery will present at the show are Pumpkin Luv Bones Pumpkin Treats, Holiday Tin with Peanut Butter Treats, and Halloween Tub with Bats and Candy Corn, featuring Vanilla, Carob Bats and Candy Corn Treats. 

Perrigo Co.

Perrigo Animal Health is a division of Perrigo Co. a global manufacturer of over-the-counter healthcare products. The Omaha. Neb.-based Perrigo Animal Health is comprised of Sergeant’s, SENTRY and PetArmor brands, and makes flea and tick treatments, health and well-being solutions, and consumables for dogs and cats.

Perrigo will display its TRU harvest with Ancient Grains treats line at the New Product Showcase. According to company officials, 19 percent of adults purchase ancient grains for themselves, and ancient grains are making an entry into dog food. Ancient grains are a rich source of nutrients because they have remained untouched by modern plant science over the years. 

TRU harvest with Ancient Grains are naturally low in fat and contain more nutrients than common grains. The treats combine ancient grains such as barley, spelt and quinoa, with lean proteins such as turkey or chicken, and also pumpkin or sweet potato. They feature real meat as the No. 1 ingredient, and contain no wheat, corn or soy. They are available in several forms, including Wavy Strips, Bitty Bites, Hearty Chews and Chewy Bars. 

Pet Brands
Pet Brands, based in Dublin, Ohio, was launched in 2004 and produces treats, dental chews, biscuits, snacks, toys and accessories. Brands include American Kennel Club, Country Kitchen and Clean Science. Company officials say they are committed to the safety and health of pets, and Pet Brands products are independently safety tested by the most reputable testing facilities in the world. The manufacturing partners are required to operate to the highest U.S. and European standards of safety and goods manufacturing practices, and all ingredients are tested and fully traceable.

QT Dog
QT Dog offers organic, all-natural dog treats and chew bones. The Dallas-based company is known for Antlerz made from shed deer antlers, Himalayan chews made with yak milk, Buffalo Hornz water buffalo chews, oven roasted Steer Jerky and other items. 

The company will feature the newest trends in Natural Dog Chews and Treats. The hot items now are Water Buffalo Horns, Deer Antlers, and Himalayan Yak Cheese, and QT will display their newest variations. Also new is a line of combination Buffalo Horn Rope chew toys. 

Rush Direct 
Rush Direct is a WBENC Certified Woman-Owned Business that launched in 2003. The founders, Charles and Vera Ferreira, had worked in the pet industry for 18 years. Rush Direct, based in Wood Dale, Ill., offers rawhide made in South America, treats Made in the U.S.A., chewy bones and sticks for dogs, and treats for cats. The family-run company also makes stainless steel feeding bowls. 

Vets Plus 
Vets Plus began in 1990 as a manufacturer of bovine oral gels. Today the Menomonie, Wis.-based company is ISO-9001, NASC, FDA inspected, AAFCO regulated and SQF certified, and company officials say its products, procedures and manufacturing methods exceed the highest standards available. Officials add that Vets Plus can handle any size order and packaging requirement including form-fill-seal pouching, gels and pastes, creams and lotions, bolus and tablets, granular and liquids/drenches. 


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