Senior pet market analyst says Natura brands will be in big retail stores by year end and suggest Purina Pet Foods will be the next to buy up a smaller premium brand. Who will we lose to Big Pet Food next?
EarthTimes.org provides some interesting insight to what is around the corner for pet owners. Quoting David Lummis, senior pet market analyst for Packaged Facts “Based on Procter & Gamble’s core distribution strengths and past history with Iams, I suspect that 2010 will see a key Natura brand cross over into mass channels, which would be a very big deal.”
Of further concern, addressing the Packaged Facts statistics that natural/organic pet foods sales have remained strong in a slow economy, Mr. Lummis states “What these figures tell me is that the time is ripe for a ‘true’ natural brand to enter the mass channel,” Lummis says. “And now that Natura is, pending regulatory approval, under Procter & Gamble’s wing, P&G is the perfect company to make that happen. If P&G does take a Natura brand mass, it would broaden the consumer base for natural pet food virtually overnight. It could also spur Mars to follow a similar path with its Nutro brand, and Nestlé Purina to consider acquiring a ‘true’ natural band of its own.” http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/press/mass-channels,1347562.htmlP&G%20article%20Natura
Well…I think there is one element the ‘experts’ are forgetting about. Educated pet owners. ‘We’ are growing in numbers by the day. ‘We’ have been burned by Big Pet Food in the worst of ways. ‘We’ have learned valuable lessons from our scars; lessons ‘we’ will never forget.
From my perspective, the majority of pet owners that purchase from Big Pet Food are unknowing consumers. They have not learned the ‘truth’ yet. Yes, for a short time, some of these unknowing pet owners might purchase Big Pet Food’s new Natural Brands; but just for a short time. One day they will meet a pet owner that has learned the hard lessons; they will see the scars Big Pet Food has left in their wake. Then the unknowing pet owner will become knowing; avoiding Big Pet Food at all costs.
There will be some unknowing who buy. There are two categories of unknowing petsumers; (1) those that simply do not know that regulations allow pet food to directly lie to consumers (and so much more); and (2), those that simply cannot afford to purchase anything other than discount pet food. In group number (1), some are determined to feed their pet foods influenced by fancy advertising. The following was very recently posted on TruthaboutPetFood.com – a year old article about Purina’s Chef Michael’s Pet Food…
“I don’t care whether Chef Michael is a person or not, nor do I care if Aunt Jemima or Uncle Ben was a real person. I just watched a TV commercial because it had a dog named Bailey on it. I don’t care if the dog’s name was really Bailey, but he does look sort of like one of my two dogs. I don’t even know whether the food he seemed to be eager to eat was really Chef Michael’s, or if it had been treated with some special flavoring. “Bailey” is a cute dog, and I plan to try Chef Michael’s just because he got my attention. If my dog’s don’t care for it, I’ll go back to Eukanuba and Beggin’ Strips for treats. Thanks, Bailey!”
Despite millions spent on misleading pet food advertising, the growing majority of pet owners are educated. Tricks that worked in years past no longer fly with educated pet owners. These folks ignore the fancy advertising; some have been known to throw objects at the TV during those types of pet food commercials :). Educated pet owners know to read the ingredients, call to learn the country of origin of ingredients and what pre-manufacturing preservatives were used on ingredients. Educated pet owners know who and where their pet food is made. Further, educated pet owners know the ‘other’ history of Big Pet Food that industry analysts don’t speak of.
From my perspective, I don’t believe there is anything Big Pet Food can do to gain the trust of the growing number of educated pet owners. I think ‘they’ (Big Pet Food) are a dying breed. Yes, Natural Brands sales are growing; but they are growing for a completely different reason than industry analysts and Big Pet Food are banking on.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
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