Trends in Pet Products Webinar: Health & Wellness Leads the Way

Kurt McCracken of Simmons Pet Food and Louis Greth of Walmart joined Store Brands Executive Editor/Associate Publisher Greg Sleter to discuss how the pet food category is evolving.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Store Brands Trends in Pet Products Webinar

With pet ownership in the U.S. at an all-time high, the opportunities for pet retailers are seemingly endless, including when it comes to developing private label food, treats and supplements.

Kurt McCracken, VP of Business Planning & Category Development at Simmons Pet Food, and Louis Greth, senior director of Private Brands, Pet & Baby at Walmart, joined Store Brands Executive Editor/Associate Publisher Greg Sleter to discuss the category’s trends at the recent Store Brands Trends in Pet Products webinar.

The prevailing trend in the category has been health & wellness, much like food, beverage and supplement trends that pet parents have gravitated to for themselves.

“Shoppers are really looking for science-backed food solutions, similar to how we eat on the human consumption side,” said McCracken. “Whether its absence of negatives or functional health benefits for their dog or cat, we’re seeing a lot of those trends as well. Humanization and 'premiumization' are two big things that are similar, yet different.”

On the retail side, Greth said that offering higher-demand premium private label pet food solutions has been a balancing act, as inflation continues to impact ingredient availability and manufacturing costs.

“Customers are unwilling to compromise, just because times are tough they don’t want to necessarily go to something that may not be healthy or beneficial for their pet,” he said. “It’s really incumbent upon us as a retailer to ensure that we’re still delivering that. How are we still delivering high-quality products at the best value we can even when times are a little bit tougher and there’s a lot of cost pressures?”

The event can be viewed on-demand here.