Modern pet owners prioritize spending time with their pets, even going so far as to celebrate the animal’s birthday in some cases. Now, those same pet owners are throwing back a drink or two with their pets as well.
Pet Winery, in Fort Myers, Fla., offers a wide-array of mock-adult beverages for cats and dogs. Only a year and a half old, Taryn Nahm, the company’s co-founder and CEO, says Pet Winery has been able to thrive due to the shifting outlook of modern pet owners.
“It’s more of a recent trend with people wanting to feel the connection between their pets and make them really part of the family,” she said.
She pointed out that while some adults are waiting to have human children, or perhaps avoiding it all together, they are often turning to “fur kids” that are treated the same as human members of the family.
One way in which pet owners are forging a bond with their furry friends is including them in happy hour.
The drinks, such as the Cat-Tini and the Purrgundy “wine,” will “help your cat to feel a little silly,” she said. They contain valerian root, which—like catnip—can induce relaxation or euphoria in feline companions.
The selections are shaped like traditional adult human beverages. Though they aren’t actually alcoholic, the drinks may give cats a buzz, but they also contain salmon oil, which is good for the pet’s skin and coat.
Dog owners are not left out and can turn to selections such as the Barkbrew ale. The dog options are “purely healthy treats,” according to Nahm. They contain glucosamine, which helps hips and joints, and peppermint for breath, but are completely free of any mind-altering substances.
Eight-ounce bottles of the dog-oriented beer cost $11.50. A five-ounce bottle of Purrgundy will run a cat owner $9.99, while an eight-ounce Cat-Tini costs $14.95.
Pet Winery’s products are available in big-brand stores such as TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, as well as other pet stores. Its grocery presence is smaller, appearing on the shelves of Nature’s Batch in Everett, Mass.
However, a specialty product such as this may allow larger grocery retailers to capitalize on pet owner traffic, even as the demographic is being lured away by technology.
While most grocery retailers have yet to stock this brand of pet mocktails, it is currently appearing on the shelves of about 50 stores nationwide.
Nahm said that while digital is a significant driver of sales for her business, presence in physical stores is very important to her.
“Retailers will always be a big deal for me just because of the connection and the brand awareness,” Nahm said, referring to physical stores as “a big, big backbone” for her operation.
“You see it online but you can’t have that touch and feel,” she continued. “What the retailers are able to do is be me in the store.”
Nahm stressed the importance of pet owners being able to hold her products in their hands before deciding to purchase.
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