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Walmart Launches Store-Brand Premium Dog Food

Posted: Aug. 14, 2012, 4:55 p.m. EDT

Walmart, the Bentonville, Ark.-based discount giant, jumped into the premium pet food market today with its own brand, Pure Balance.

Available exclusively in more than 2,900 Walmart stores, the retailer’s first ultrapremium dry dog food contains a blend of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and is free of soy, wheat, corn, artificial colors, preservatives and chicken byproducts.

“Our customers told us they wanted to be able to feed their dogs a dry food made with pure ingredients without having to make a special trip to the pet store,” said Jody Pinson, vice president of pets at Walmart. “We listened and are excited to offer Pure a price our customers can afford.”

The new offering wasn’t cause for alarm with B.C. Henschen, co-owner of Platinum Paws, a holistic pet store and grooming salon in Carmel, Ind. A Walmart store is two miles away.

Walmart's first premium pet food brand, Pure Balance
Walmart’s new Pure Balance pet food comes in two varieties: Chicken & Brown Rice and Lamb & Brown Rice. Photo Courtesy of Walmart
“In our store, education remains the most important thing to assist in selling pet food,” he said. “If a formula looks great, with no fillers, byproducts and such, but has a price that is far lower than the average food of comparable quality, then where are they saving the money--quality, sourcing of ingredients, manufacturing, safety?”

Pure Balance comes in two varieties: Chicken & Brown Rice and Lamb & Brown Rice.

The chicken recipe is offered in 5-, 15- and 30-pound bags priced at $6.78, $16.60 and $31.88, respectively. The lamb recipe is available in the same sizes and retails for $8.47, $21.47 and $39.88.

Walmart, which stated it sells enough dog food each year to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 2,050 times, did not identify the manufacturer of Pure Balance.

A second pet store owner took the Walmart news in stride, too.

“I think this move will be more threatening to the big-box pet supply retailers like Petco and Petsmart than it will to the independent retailers who offer better formulations,” said Michelle McConnell, co-owner of Amy’s Natural Pet Pantry in Osprey, Fla.

“Most independent retailers, like ourselves, have far superior customer service skills and product knowledge than anyone on the Walmart sales floor will possess,” she added.

Phoenix-based Petsmart, one of the nation’s largest pet retailers, declined to comment.


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Walmart Launches Store-Brand Premium Dog Food

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Reader Comments
When Iams products were introduced in Walmart retailers stopped caring Iams in protest. The mystery manufacturer I'm sure, has product in pet stores and veterinarians across the country.

Places like Petco and Petsmart kept their customer base because they kept a full line and full shelves. Their Iams selection has expanded ever since Walmart's introduction. Changing diets on pets because of price is such a small percentage of your customer base.

Walmart shoppers are all about price. Your shoppers are about quality. Play on it. Knit pick how the ingredients are processed and quality of ingredients. Notice Walmart does not have the official list of ingredients on it's website for the shopper to compare. I also checked the guarantee and nothing about it was posted as yet

Knowledge of products is a plus. Variety and selection of quality products is what American shoppers demand and Walmart lacks. Concentrate on your shelves not theirs.

Walmart's standards changes with time. Product quality drops with the lowest bidder. Ride the wave your wiser for it.

Have a customer wanting to try the product?? Encourage them to. They will any why. Tell them the difference before they leave your store. They will have plenty of time to think about those differences while standing in line at Walmart.
Calico, Stuarts Draft, VA
Posted: 8/17/2012 11:33:13 AM
I would not trust a Wal-Mart dog food to be made from the finest ingredients or in appropriate percentages.
Marjorie, Erie, PA
Posted: 8/16/2012 4:58:51 PM
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