PORTLAND, Ore. -- Fred Meyer Inc. here has restructured its pet food aisle to create a super premium section, along with a new line of "breeder quality" super premium dog and cat food.
"We redesigned the stores to put a super premium section in," said Gordon Johnson, buyer. "In this section we carry our Fred Meyer Nature's Friend brand, Nutra-Nuggets, Proper Balance and Purina O.N.E." Fred Meyer introduced the Nutra-Nuggets line, manufactured by Diamond Pet Products, Meta, Mo., last month, said Johnson. The brand has been received "quite well" by shoppers, he noted.
Fred Meyer advertised the introduction of Nutra-Nuggets, which isn't carried at any other supermarket or supercenter, with a quarter-page newspaper ad.
"Now this favorite of breeders is available for pet owners or pros only at Fred Meyer," the ad copy read, noting that Nutra-Nuggets is specially formulated "to bring out the luster in his coat, build strong bones and muscles, and give him what he needs to be happy and play hard."
The ad mentioned Fred Meyer's increased emphasis on premium pet products, noting that shoppers no longer have to go to specialty pet food stores.
"Now you'll find Fred Meyer has a bigger, better selection of the best foods and pet accessories for your dog or cat. No more time-consuming trips to a specialty pet store . . . And no more of their high prices. It's just another way One-Stop Shopping at Freddy's saves you time and money!" read the ad copy.
The ad featured a 40-pound bag of puppy/maximum energy formula at $16.69; a 50-pound bag of performance formula dog food, $18.29; 40 pounds of professional formula dog food, created for highly active or lactating dogs, $16.69; 40 pounds of lamb meal and rice formula dog food, $15.69, and 20 pounds of professional formula cat food, $9.29.
"We are doing demos and also sampling. We are giving shoppers little bags to try at home," Johnson said.
Mark Brinkmann, general manager for Diamond Pet Products, said the Nutra-Nuggets line, which is about eight years old, was created to provide extra energy for working dogs, show dogs and large breed dogs that need a lot of stamina. The brand has a strong following among breeders in the Pacific Northwest, said Brinkmann.
Besides Fred Meyer, Price/Costco is the only other retailer to carry the line. Its future at Price/Costco is questionable because the retailer has introduced its own private-label line of dog food.