There is a new product hitting the streets called CARU. This stuff is so expensive that we’d have to take out a mortgage just to stock it on our shelves. The manufacturer claims that it is better than any other formula that has ever called itself a pet food. Companies that are into pure marketing will say anything to sell less for more. Let’s put our money into products that dispense with the gimmicks and tell us the truth. CARU has good ingredients, and I assume it is of at least good quality. Can you probably spend less for the same quality? Absolutely. Look at the nature of celebrity-based marketing. How much do you think Ellen DeGeneres knows about pet food?
As pet owners (and we as retailers that are here to represent you), food manufacturers barrage you with claims of “best quality” and “complete and balanced.” I don’t know about you, but I get more jaded as time goes by. There is no such thing as perfectly balanced pet food any more than there is a perfectly balanced human food. Medical science is always arguing about the components of a good diet. We can’t even decide if we should eat high protein, low carbohydrate or high carb, low protein.
Science Diet just came out with another product line called Ideal Balance. The name tells you everything you need to know about this product. The name indicates it is a perfect food. That is 100% pure nonsense. How could anyone create the perfect food for every pet, simultaneously providing the full nutritional needs of that Malamute puppy or that senior Pekingese. Apparently (and I’m basing this expressly on their product label), they are saying that 21% is the ideal protein level, no matter the protein source. Hogwash. If this food was so good, they wouldn’t be buying prime retail space in pet supply stores and demanding placement and recommendations for discounts. This should be illegal. Many years ago, radio stations demanded fees to play certain music. This became a big stink called “Payola” and was deemed illegal. Yet some companies still get away with it. Human and pet food companies have been selling that approach for 50 years in grocery and big box stores.
Be wary of any food selling itself as Natural, Ideal such and such, Holistic, Pure anything, etc. I can give definitions from a biological sense about the concept of “Natural Holistic” or “Pure” but I sure cannot explain how food companies define those terms. I can guarantee you, however, that they won’t provide the same definition.
An important message from Burton regarding the pricing of Hill’s Science Diet at Burton’s Total Pet.
You may have noticed an uncharacteristic discrepancy between our price and that of our competitors on large bags of Science Diet. I apologize for the inconvenience. We cannot get any sort of price cooperation from Hill’s Science Diet because I refused to sign a contract guaranteeing prime placement in our store and a place among my top three pet food recommendations. I do not consider Science Diet to be in the 100 best formulas, let along the top three. I would lose credibility if I recommended a food because Hill’s paid me to do so. This is an all too popular way for some pet manufacturers to sell certain brands. Think about where the money comes from to pay for this type of marketing. It comes directly out of the food’s overall quality. Again I apologize for the difference in pricing, but I will not be blackmailed. I will not recommend a food that I believe to be of lesser quality.