Pet food is a priority for Ryan Oaks, general manager of Mini-Critters in Sioux Falls, S.D. The owner of the 30-plus year old pet specialty store shares which foods are top sellers in his store and the food trends he keeps a close eye on.
Pet Product News: What are the top-selling products in your store right now?
Ryan Oaks: Raw and freeze-dried foods are hot right now. Answers Pet Food, Stella & Chewy’s, Rawbble and Primal. From a top-selling standpoint, it is always dog toys and treats—keeping our pets busy and fed!
PPN: What is your favorite product right now?
Oaks: Answers Pet Food’s Fermented Fish Stock. It smells fishy—pun intended—but it is an amazing product for dogs’ joints, hypertension and kidney relief.
PPN: What industry trends have you been keeping your eye on most closely?
Oaks: Raw dog and cat foods and grain-free kibble.
PPN: What business challenge are you currently in the process of tackling?
Oaks: The first challenge is always attracting new customers to our store and setting us apart from the competition with our knowledge and customer satisfaction.
PPN: What business goal are you hoping to achieve this year?
Oaks: To expand our self-serve dog wash customer base and, as always, to continue to expand our education on dog and cat foods.
PPN: What is your best tip for connecting with customers?
Oaks: Face-to-face interaction. Social media is a good tool, but nothing takes the place of one-on-one interaction.
Get an inside look at Mini-Critters in our gallery below.