From "The Pet Isle", June 2009 supplement to Pet Business Magazine.
While the pet business overall has seen increases of between 5 and 7% per year, and double-digit growth last year despite economic trends, Paul Cooke, vice president and director of trade and industry development for Nestle Purina Pt Care in St. Louis, MO., says, "This picture gets even better when you look at natural pet food sales, which are increasing at a double-digit rate in the natural channel. Overall grocery sales are up 4 to 5%, but natural and organic are up 14%." Natural and organic pet food sales have seen solid double-digit growth for several years.
Cooke says "over 2/3rds of domestic consumers own a pet, and the emotional connection to that pet drives their pet food purchases. They want their pet to be as healthy as the rest of the family."
Everyone seems to agree that the natural pet product market has a rosy future- good economy or bad. For humans and for pets, focusing on natural products just makes sense. "Food is the baseline of your health", Phil Brown, DVM, senior vice president of research and development for Nutri-Vet in Idaho, notes. "If you take better care of yourself, you are going to be healthier. And the same goes for your animals. You can pay now to feed healthy natural products, and you're not going to pay later for taking care of disease."
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