Monday, March 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Shops say pet owners choosing food with care

By
From page C4 | May 18, 2014 |

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Some pet supply store owners say the trend of customers seeking pet food containing all-natural ingredients might cost customers more, but it has brought a growing number of better-informed pet owners into their shops.

In 2007, a massive recall of pet food that contained the chemical melamine, which is used in fertilizer and plastic utensils, shook customers’ preferences from generic food that contains corn, wheat or soy toward hormone- and steroid-free, grass-fed, all-meat ingredients, owners said.

In fact, through May 2013, the percentage of dog food brands claiming to be “gluten-free” was 28.6 percent, up from 12.6 percent in the full year of 2012, according to a report on United States pet food trends last year by Supply Side Animal Nutrition Insights. In the same report it said natural pet food accounted for $1.5 billion in sales in 2009, and was projected to outpace the sales of traditional pet food over the next five years.

This shift in what customers wanted to feed their pets forced some store owners to expand their offerings of pet food, which added costs to their bottom line. But it also helped build trust with their customers. While large retailers like Petco offer organic and all-natural food, the owners said being a smaller store offers them the opportunity to talk one-on-one with customers and offer specific food recommendations for certain breeds of dogs.

“There is absolutely a push for better ingredients,” said Susan Weinrich, the owner of Westwood Pets Unlimited in Westwood, N.J. “Customers now want grain-free, high-quality food for their pets.”

Weinrich said over the past five years the number of brands offering higher quality ingredients in their pet food has skyrocketed. She estimated that as many as 25 to 30 brands are offering holistic ingredients, and her store offers about 10 of those brands, she said. Over the past few years, Weinrich said she has attended trade shows, seminars and devoted hours to self-educating herself about the ingredients used in pet food.

But the demand from customers for higher-quality pet food has driven up the cost on both ends of the purchase. Weinrich said a five-pound bag of lower-quality food once cost her about $8 to order, where the higher quality food popular today will cost between $16 and $18 for a 5-pound bag.

“The idea for customers behind good quality food is that you’re spending money now, but will save it in the long run when you don’t have to go to the vet down the line,” Weinrich said.

Shawn Kim, the owner of Mama’s and Papa’s Petshop in Englewood, N.J., said he has seen an influx of customers coming to his store looking for better quality food, rather than shopping at supermarkets or chain stores.

While the high-quality food costs him up to 15 percent more for each bag, Kim said his customers are willing to pay higher prices on the retail side of the purchase.

“At least in our community, we are seeing that customers are willing to pay a little extra because in the long run, they are actually saving money with the healthier food,” Kim said.

Karl McQuilken, the owner of New Jersey’s Wholistic Paws in Ridgewood and Bark Ridge in Park Ridge, said his stores sell only all-natural pet food.

“People love their pets and are passionate about their pets, and we’re seeing that at our store,” said McQuilken.

But Weinrich said that while all-natural pet food is driving traffic to her store, the food has the lowest markup of the items she sells, so the key to remaining profitable is getting customers who come in for the healthier dog food to buy some of the other items she sells in the store — such as accessories or toys for their pets.

“The dog food isn’t a money maker, that’s for sure,” Weinrich said. “When people realize that our store is knowledgeable and can direct each individual customer to a specific brand of food that is the right fit for their dog, they will oftentimes find something else in the store to buy. That’s where we make the money.”

McQuilken said most of his customers ask questions about different ailments their pets might have, and he then directs them to the best pet food that would fit that individual pet.

“While the all-natural food is a little more expensive, most people are willing to pay it because of the connection they have with their pets,” McQuilken said. “How can you put a dollar sign on that?”

Hackensack Record

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Easter activities, events abundant

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Christians begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday celebrations

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

2 drivers killed in same area, an hour apart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Police investigate shooting off North Texas Street

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Vallejo police seek leads in weekend homicide

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Biz Buzz: Wiseman officer names Perez to key post

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

 
Biz Buzz: Re/Max hires new Realtor

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Biz Buzz: PAL receives donation from glass company

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

Police ramp up rail-crossing citations after recent crashes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Analysis finds unequal pay for women on California Capitol

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Songwriter injured in California crash; motorcyclist killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Taylor Swift wins artist of the year at iHeartRadio Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Drownings along Rio Grande spike after enforcement surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Grandma is a centerfold: Rest home bares all for calendar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police: 2 bodies found in NYC building explosion rubble

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Islamic State group beheads 8 Shiites in Syria’s Hama

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Waving fronds around the world, Christians mark Palm Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Air Canada plane makes hard landing short of Halifax runway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Small tsunami generated in Pacific after earthquake

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: March 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
Horoscopes: March 31, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Michelle Obama declares ‘Black Girls Rock!’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Spartans Final Four-bound after 76-70 OT win over Louisville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Duke back in Final Four after 66-52 win over Gonzaga

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Montoya holds off Power to give Penske 1-2 sweep at St. Pete

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Randle chases school scoring record, title at NIT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hamlin wins for 25th time, and fifth time at Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hamlin wins for 25th time, and fifth time at Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimmy Walker wins hometown Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Oakland OF Josh Reddick won’t be ready for start of season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

California Chrome heads to Britain, to race at Royal Ascot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vettel wins Malaysian GP to end Mercedes streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joe Gibbs on son: most courageous person I’ve been around

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chodounsky defends slalom title at US Alpine Championships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

South Carolina earns 1st Final Four berth, beats FSU 80-74

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Turner says Saturday regional finals highest-rated in decade

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Apology for wrong anthem for El Salvador before game in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cain goes 4 innings in Giants win over LA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Graveman pitches into 7th inning as A’s beat Brewers 7-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Robert Roberts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janice Jewel Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baldo March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C. March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Wizard of Id March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baby Blues March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Frank and Ernest March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Blondie March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Peanuts March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Baldo March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Rose is Rose March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dilbert March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Zits March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sally Forth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Word Sleuth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Bridge March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Sudoku March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Cryptoquote March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8