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From the Editors: A spot at the table

Editor in chief Seth Mendelson discusses the growing role that private label can play as retailers look to build out their pet care approach.
Seth Mendelson
Publisher and Editor in Chief
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Do private brands have a place in the booming pet care/food categories?

The answer, of course, is a resounding yes. As overall pet product sales continue to grow at significant and consistent rates, and more retailers look for greater options for their customers, private label products are getting a second and third look from many merchants. 

The reason is simple. Private brand products in the pet category allow retailers to offer their shoppers a larger assortment of products, at varying price points and the opportunity to make more money from the category. They also give a retailer an opportunity to develop a loyalty program with consumers, who might be attracted to a specific private label item that is only available at that chain. 

But retailers and suppliers still have their work cut out for them in this category. First, suppliers must come up with the right products and the right ingredients to satisfy a demanding consumer base. Second, attractive and informative packaging is playing a much larger role in the consumer’s decisions. Third, retailers, working with their private brand suppliers, must develop the right pricing structure to entice shoppers.

Fourth, and most importantly, retailers must be willing to give private label a significant amount of space in their pet sections. The key, many say, is to offer consumers alternatives to national brands, giving them reasons to try a new product. 

Many mass retailers involved with the pet category are finding that private brands are a great alternative and addition to the category. Now might be the right time for private label suppliers to turn the heat up a bit and for retailers to take a chance with what the category has to offer.

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