Friday, July 31, 2015

Pet Product News announces Editors’ Choice Winners

Pet Product News has announced its 2015 Editors’ Choice Winners, including pet product companies.
The awards include:

Bosch Tiernahrung to acquire Harrison Pet Products

Bosch Tiernahrung will acquire Harrison Pet Products Inc. of Canada. Harrison Pet Products will continue to operate as a separate stand-alone Canadian company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Former vice president of Harrison, Holly Morrell, will continue to operate the company as international managing director. Morrell will work with the existing distribution network and looks to grow within those countries with the added marketing and promotional strength of Bosch Tiernahrung as well as with the addition of new products and new segments.
Harrison’s Canadian recipes will be continued with the added benefit of the strong scientific and technical expertise of Bosch Tiernahrung. Harrison developed and built the brands Genesis, Chicopee and Titan, with distribution in more than 35 countries. In addition to the current distribution areas, there are aggressive plans in place to develop in countries yet untapped.
 Development opportunities in the bakery/treat segment will be an extension to Genesis, Chicopee and Titan’s dry and wet dog food, dry and wet cat food, extruded small animal food and cat litter products.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Freeze-dried pet foods show strongest sales growth

Pet owners who splurge on the freshest, healthiest food continue to spur sales growth at pet specialty retail outlets. According to new data from GfK’s point-of-sale panel in the US, freeze-dried products have shown the strongest sales growth at pet retail, but grain-free and other established categories remain “most valuable players” in this $7.6 billion market.
In the past year, pet specialty retail sales of freeze-dried dog and cat food have jumped 64%, from $25 million to $40 million. These figures do not include pet food products that combine kibble with freeze-dried pieces.
Grain-free also remains a powerhouse in terms of sales growth, posting a year-over-year rise of 25% and now accounting for $2.4 billion annually (dog and cat food only) at pet specialty. Over the past 12 months, there have been more than 1,500 new grain-free products introduced in the US for cats and dogs, compared with 1,280 the year before.
The natural category – which includes most grain-free, freeze-dried, and similar products – continues to dominate the pet specialty market, accounting for $5.2 billion in sales out of a total of $7.6 billion in total pet retail food sales. But non-natural still represents the remaining $2.4 billion in cat and dog food sales at pet specialty – roughly one-third of the market.
Other food categories (cat and dog only) posting notable growth at pet specialty retail include:
  • “Part freeze-dried” – sales surged 83% in May 2015 year over year
  • Frozen – sales rose 32%, from $52 million to $69 million
  • Dehydrated – saw 42% growth at the register
“Having a data-driven, nationwide perspective on the pet specialty marketplace is essential for retailers and manufacturers alike,” said GfK’s Maria Lange, business group director, POS tracking. “With a clear view of the market, stores can make smarter stocking and discounting decisions, and manufacturers can design products that truly meet the needs of today’s pets and pet owners. While the natural trend is still driving most pet food growth in the specialty retail channel, stakeholders need to find the right balance between ‘rookie’ categories – like frozen and freeze-dried – and proven ‘stars.’”
GfK’s POS tracking division uses the world’s largest retail network to track products and deliver market insights based on point-of-sale (POS) data for countries worldwide. The team can look at which channels are popular with retailers and manufacturers and why, as well as which retail trends are affecting the overall market.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nestle Purina PetCare to purchase Merrick

Merrick Pet Care has signed an agreement for Nestle Purina PetCare Co. to purchase the company from its private equity owner, Swander Pace Capital. Terms were not disclosed.
With SuperZoo as the back drop, Merrick Founder Garth Merrick said, “I believe NestlĂ© Purina is the right company to take what I, along with others, have built to the next level. I’m proud my name will continue to be on the door as we remain committed to making the best food for the best pets ever.”
Merrick is one of the fastest-growing natural and organic pet food companies in the industry, and will continue to operate as an independent business with no planned changes to its management or operations.
Merrick has more than 350 employees located primarily in Hereford, Texas, USA; Amarillo, Texas, USA; and Evanston, Illinois, USA.
With this agreement, which is expected to close over the next several months, Merrick will be able to further build upon its record of providing pets with industry leading nutrition, quality and food safety, while taking advantage of new global resources and innovations.
“The Merrick team has built an extremely strong portfolio of natural and organic pet food and treat brands that are helping millions of pets thrive,” said Joe Sivewright, CEO of NestlĂ© Purina PetCare. “We admire Merrick and what the team is doing to provide pets with nutritious, quality and safe food and are excited about how the Merrick brands will broaden the Purina portfolios.
Merrick offers a wide variety of USA-made dry and wet foods, as well as treats, that are available nationally at independent pet specialty stores, Petco, and online via select retailers. In April 2012, Merrick Pet Care Inc. acquired Castor & Pollux and its ORGANIX branded portfolio. These brands are available at PetSmart, natural grocery, and online via select retailers.
Merrick’s manufacturing facilities are Safe Quality Food Level III certified and in 2012, Merrick’s facilities became the world’s only known organic certified manufacturer for dry and canned food for pets under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP).

Petco to donate $25,000 to Coral Restoration Foundation

Petco will donate US$25,000 to Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) to support its work to restore critically endangered coral reefs. The donation will help to protect and restore coral reefs throughout the Florida Keys.
“We know Petco is committed to building a better world for people and pets, and we’re proud to be a new recipient of the company’s support,” said Martha Roesler, chief development officer for CRF. “This generous donation will help our efforts to restore reefs that provide habitat for 25% of our planet’s aquatic life.”
Petco is an advocate for reef conservation and reef and marine life aquaculture initiatives. Today, most of the company’s freshwater fish and all of its marine corals are aquacultured, meaning they are captive-bred and not taken from the ocean’s reefs.
 “At Petco, we’re committed to responsible marine life practices and we’re proud to support the Coral Restoration Foundation,” said Marcie Whichard, Petco’s vice president of industry and public affairs. “We applaud the work CRF is doing to safeguard one of our planet's most precious resources -- our coral reefs.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mars sued over Greenies ‘#1 Vet Recommended’ claim

Netherlands-based Paragon Pet Products Europe B.V. has filed a lawsuit accusing Mars Inc. of deceiving and misleading dog owners with a claim that its Greenies dental chews are the “#1 Vet Recommended Dental Chew.”
Paragon says the claim is unsubstantiated and false. A footnote on the back panel of the packaging suggests that Greenies is not, in fact, recommended by most or even a plurality of veterinarians.
On July 20, the judge hearing the case in the Southern District of New York – Paul A. Engelmayer – granted Paragon’s application for an order directing Mars to produce “all substantiation (e.g., documents, reports, studies, data, emails, and so forth” for the claim, “#1 Vet Recommended Dental Chew.” A hearing has been set for July 28 to consider next steps – including Paragon’s request for preliminary injunctive relief against Mars.
Paragon manufactures and sells Whimzees dental chews in competition with Greenies dental chews. Paragon’s complaint seeks an injunction requiring Mars to halt further use of the “#1 Vet Recommended Dental Chew” claim, to offer refunds to deceived purchasers of Greenies dental chews, and to correct and abate prior false advertising statements, including by correction or recall of Greenies retail packaging which contains the “#1 Vet Recommended Dental Chew” claim. Paragon is also seeking monetary relief.
 The complaint is Paragon Pet Products Europe B.V. vs. Mars Inc.

Survey: Optimism high among pet retailers

 A new survey report, Future of the Pet Industry 2015, from Pet Product News, shows optimism among retailers is high, with most pet product retailers anticipating healthy sales growth in the next year, with premium pet food expected to be a high-growth area.
One in four stores anticipate sales being more than 10% higher in 2015 than in 2014, and 90% of stores expect sales to be the same as or better than last year.
The survey findings include:
  • Retailers expect the two biggest areas of growth over the next five years to be premium pet food and grooming and other services. Fifty-two percent of retailers anticipate selling more premium/custom food in the next five years.
  • 53% of retailers said food was their biggest-selling dog product.
  • 49% said food was their biggest-selling cat product.
  • 24% of stores now sell live animals compared with more than 40% five years ago.
  • More than half of all pet stores are now either owned or managed by a woman. And that proportion is growing because new businesses are even more likely to have a female in charge.
  • 57% of pet retailers sponsor or support rescue and shelter organizations and 24% host in-store adoption events.