Non-Pet Food Companies Pursue Pamparing Pet Parents
By Rick Moss
Attention frozen food category managers: make room for doggie. According to the Chicago Tribune, Dreyer’s is scoring a big hit with its Frosty Paws Frozen Treats for Dogs
and it’s extending the brand. The nation’s largest ice cream company reports that the items, which wears a Purina logo (both companies are controlled by Nestlé), have become
its most profitable product line.
Frosty Paws’ success should come as no surprise to those following the “pampered pet” phenomenon. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association estimates that $35.9 billion
will be spent on pets in the U.S. this year, more than doubling the 1994 total. Of the estimate, $14.5 billion is attributable to food purchases. An average dog owner in this
country will spend upwards of $68 annually on dog treats alone.
The original Frosty Paws flavor is “a sort of doggie vanilla” and, in its more than 10 years on the shelf, has grown to a $10 million product line. The suggested selling price
is a high-margin $3.59 for a four-pack of 3.5-ounce cups. A new flavor introduction, peanut butter, is said by the company to be more palatable to dogs than traditional doggie
flavors like…say beef, and certainly more appealing to the human decision maker.
Dreyer’s product is representative, says Bob Vetere, managing director of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, of a trend in which “human product makers are making
line extensions into the pet business.”
Moderator’s Comment: Will other “human product makers” follow suit and pursue opportunities in pet foods and treats?
There aren’t too many categories presently in grocery that offer the growth opportunities that you’ll see in the Pet aisle. And there seems to be no end
in sight to the indulgent lengths pet owners will go to express their love and adoration for Sparky and Snowball. Seems like a formula for success to me. –
Rick Moss – Moderator