(Sponsored by Nestlé Purina)
As more and more pet owners are becoming actively engaged and informed about their four-legged friend’s health, targeted or functional food and treats are growing in popularity. Consumers are looking for nutrition that’s not only enjoyable, but also healthy and enables their pet to live his best life.
In fact, when it comes to pet treats – a category that has always held great potential for retailers as a basket builder - 25 percent of the category is currently made up of functional treats. It’s these better-for-you treats that are growing faster than the rest of the treat category (at nearly 5 percent growth vs. 3.6 percent). Pet treats that specifically address dental health make up 12 percent of the total pet treat category.
Since February marked National Pet Dental Health Month, it’s important that consumers and retailers alike understand the importance of good oral care for pets, as well as the opportunity dental treats present to build sales in the treat aisle.
Oral Health Concerns for Pets
Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease found in both adult dogs and cats. It develops as a result of bacteria and plaque that make their way under the gum line. Signs of periodontal disease include bad breath, redness along the gum line, tartar accumulation and oral pain. As the disease progresses, it becomes painful, and if left unchecked, will result in the loss of the tooth.
The good news is that with consistent home dental care and regular vet visits, periodontal disease can be prevented.
At Home Dental Care Solutions
As functional pet treats increase in popularity and demand, a number of new products, specifically those formulated to help maintain good oral hygiene, are hitting the marketplace.
Purina launched the successful DentaLife brand of dog and cat treats early in 2016. DentalLife treats are made with wholesome ingredients and feature a crunchy exterior and chewy, porous inside that pets love. The treats, which are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, help clean hard to reach places and are scientifically proven to reduce tartar buildup on a dog’s teeth.
Under the same DentaLife brand, Purina introduced the Advanced Clean Dental Chew for dogs. The new treats are made with a dense, chewy texture designed to keep your dog chewing longer. Together with its patented twisted triple-ridge shape, DentaLife Advanced Clean is able to reduce tartar buildup and deliver a powerful deep clean.
Purina DentaLife also released ActivFresh in January 2019, which is a revolutionary scientific break-through in combatting bad breath. This new proprietary recipe fights bad breath at the source versus the traditional method of masking it.
The Dental Opportunity at Retail
Pet retailers can take advantage of this trend by brushing up their treat sections to focus on these functional snacks. Retailers should consider a monthly merchandising program that uses new merch units and secondary placements, plus highlight new items in the oral health segment. In doing so, they can realize incremental sales and profits.