UPDATE (Dec. 9, 2020) Word on the Street: Champion Petfoods Is Returning to Chewy
Two pet food manufacturers have severed ties with Chewy.com. Fromm Family Foods in Mequon, Wis., and Champion Petfoods, which has U.S. offices in Auburn, Ky., announced that they will no longer sell their products through the online retailer, which was acquired by PetSmart in May, earning both companies praise from fast-growing pet retail chain Bentley’s Pet Stuff.
"The decisions made by Fromm and Champion Pets this past week prove to me there are companies who do not choose the bottom line above all, and made me have some extra hope," said Giovanni Senate, vice president of Bentely’s Pet Stuff. "Yes, we know that some companies see the opportunity in the industry as a big one, but independents make choices day in and day out to not make decisions based on market share and profit."
The retailer also praised Tuffy’s Pet Foods, maker of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Plant brands, which terminated its relationship with Chewy.com in April.
"Fromm and Champion didn’t drop Chewy to make it more difficult for their customers," added Senafe. "They did it to try and help their advocates (the independents) survive…at Bentley’s we believe in rotating and being loyal to the quality of the products we carry, not the brands behind them, but I am saying they are tremendously different than the hundreds of other brands being sold on these online sites or even in some brick-and-mortar stores… Thank you for giving the independent a chance. Thank you for realizing a small selection is harder not easier."
Fromm Family Foods announced its decision on its Facebook page.
"Fromm Family Foods is a fifth generation family owned-and-operated company with a long history of selling our products exclusively to independent pet retailers," the manufacturer wrote. "Fromm believes our products are best sold by retailers who know our product and can offer pet parents what’s right for their specific dog or cat. As a result of Chewy’s sale to PetSmart, they are no longer an authorized retailer of Fromm products."
Fromm directed customers to its website for information on local retailers that will continue to carry their products, as well as a current list of authorized internet retailers.
Champion posted a similar note on its Facebook page. "For more than 25 years, we’ve been committed to the pet specialty channel," the manufacturer said. "We choose to work exclusively with pet specialists who have intimate knowledge of our foods and are committed to providing expert advice to pet lovers. Chewy has been a longtime retail partner, and we’ve enjoyed our association with them. However, due to their recent acquisition, Chewy no longer meets our pet specialty requirement to be an Approved ACANA and ORIJEN Retailer."
According to PetSmart officials, Chewy will continue to be led by CEO Ryan Cohen and operate largely as an independent subsidiary of PetSmart, focusing on its current business strategy, while PetSmart will continue to execute its strategic initiatives across the combined company. Both companies will use their shared innovative capabilities and offerings in order to deliver the most value and convenience to customers, officials added.