Is Made-in-the-USA Cat Food Catching On?
While locally sourced and American-made products for both humans and dogs have taken off in recent years, according to many industry insiders, the trend has yet to flourish in the cat food and treats categories. This might give some retailers pause, but they should be patient. Dog products tend to follow the most closely on the heels of what’s hot in human products, with cat products, eventually, benefiting from the trickle-down effect.
Here’s what a few retailers and manufacturers had to say:
Is demand for USA-sourced-and-manufactured cat food keeping up with the canine category?
“It’s not. We touch on every section—foods, play, sleep, grooming, health and wellness. We grow fresh cat grass, but, unlike canine counterparts, cat people just don’t see a cat as an investment. Since felines are so much more biologically sensitive, it’s amazing to me that consumers often don’t see it that way.”—Trace Menchaca, owner of Flying M Feed Co. in Houston
“While demand for USA-sourced-and-manufactured products for cats has changed dramatically in recent times, it is still lagging slightly behind the demand on the canine side. We expect they will soon be equal as more pet parents are tuning in to the importance of sourcing for both raw ingredients as well as the manufacturing side of the production equation. This is in part driven by media attention given to the issues of imported dog foods, which has focused owner awareness on the risks of non-USA-sourced-and-manufactured products.”—Melinda Miller, CEO of Bravo Pet Foods in Manchester, Conn.
“The demand in the cat category has been trailing the dog category when it comes to reading ingredient panels and verifying quality. We have found this to be typical within the categories, much like we witnessed in the grain-free category. There are many low-end treats and foods that occupy the cat space, but we are seeing the consumer pay more attention recently in the cat category.”—Glenn A. Novotny, president and CEO of Emerald Pet Products in Walnut Creek, Calif.
“From our experience, most cat owners are just as selective about the provenance and preparation of the diets they purchase for their cats as for their canine counterparts.”—Adrian Pettyan, CEO and co-founder of Caru Pet Food Co. in Vero Beach, Fla.
To read more on what pet owners are demanding from manufacturers in terms of cat food and treats sourcing and how companies are responding, check out PPN’s story on the made in the USA cat consumables category in the February issue.
Lizett Bond contributed to this report.