Optimism in Growing Pet Food Business in 2009

Chino, CA (RPRN) 08/10/2009–Petropics, LLC of Chino, CA makers of Tiki Cat and Tiki Dog, experienced a 94% increase over the prior year and 39% increases in the first quarter of 2009. Petropics formed in 2005 and launched nationally at Global Pet Expo in the Spring of 2006, winning the blue ribbon for best new vendor booth. Since the launch, the company has grown US distribution to cover the entire US territory now servicing over 3,000 retail accounts and has developed international business in 3 countries.

“I believe the economic environment is causing consumers to draw distinct lines in their spending habits with some no longer having the luxury of buying mid to upper end foods or simply they are not satisfied in the results that come from grocery or low end economical brands, until a wellness issue arises. For others, where pets are members of the family and their value and expected returns from their food are higher, these customers are going the extra mile to seek out foods that are top of the line and pet retailers focused on natural foods are reaping the benefits”, said Christine Hackett, President of Petropics, LLC.

News from retailers in recession states such as Michigan and Florida reveal interesting trends in the natural food category that prove to be the key to the successful growth of Petropics across the country. Retailers dedicated to natural pet foods and wellness are growing and picking up new customers, while other pet stores have unfortunately had to close their doors. Surviving Retailers directly attribute their success and sustainability to their business philosophy and business model, which has everything to do with strict product selection based on a natural food criteria and wellness education passed on to their customers. According to data research, consumer buying trends are showing a decline in mid-line premium foods. It appears consumers are weighing out the cost benefits of the foods they are feeding and choosing quality or price and leaving less room for middle of the line products.

“Our no compromise food philosophy positions us on the top shelf in terms of quality and price, but also offers more food per ounce, real food you can share with your pet with unmatched palatability. We are developing relationships with vets and consumers across the country, as we service nearly every special dietary requirement and nurse many sick dogs and cats back to health. There are a number of traditional prescribed foods for special dietary requirements and wellness issues that are not yielding the best results for our sick animals. Consumers are now becoming more savvy and actively engaged in pursuing natural alternative treatments, directly tying the impact nutrition has in restoring their pets’ health. Common sense is becoming the rule of the day, as more people come to the conclusion that real whole food nutrition is best for prevention and treatment for our pets, just as it is true in people. Processed foods for pets, including dry kibble and canned meat loafs are simply FAST FOODS for pets. Consumers are now re-thinking their pet nutrition philosophy and treatment strategies, and looking for real solutions, “explained Hackett.

To go beyond our real Whole Food formulations which provide USDA Human grade ingredients, we have delivered a food with FAMOUS feeding experiences! We ask our sales representatives to open a can in every new store they visit to demonstrate the clear distinction of Tiki, so appetizing that customers taste the food themselves and actually enjoy it. In addition, reps are asked to feed it to their own pets and pass samples on to test feed on family, friends, and favorite customers to prove our reputation for being the best feeding experience ever. The natural food category continues to be the fastest growing segment of the pet food industry with many great brands and menu choices, however Tiki Cat and Tiki Dog stands head and shoulders above the rest in delivering the complete experience. When a customer opens up a can of cat or dog food that makes them want to take a nibble, they dish it out and not only discover the incredible amount of food and value, but they also observe their pets responding to our foods like no other product. This is what generates consumer loyalty, rapid word of mouth marketing, and return business that retailers need to survive in any market condition. We came to this market with the objective to deliver real food, real nutrition, recognizing that dogs and cats have real palettes & preferences. We found that pets and owners alike appreciate our foods.

“It’s amazing to me how much time and money has been invested through the years in lab research to develop pet foods from non-food sources for the sake of economy and profit margin. I’m in awe of the fact that people in the business world check their consciences at the door and commit themselves to compromise for the sake of a dollar. This is outrageous when you are dealing with real people and the pets they love as family members. I ask myself what the consequences are for these actions, how much have we tampered with shortened life spans, degeneration of inherited genes, wellness issues, and so on…. How does one profit from cheating the pets and pet parents from the best of health and wellness, while marketing a product as scientific and healthy. Common sense says real food makes real sense and in the long run makes a real impact on the quality of life and wellness of our pets. As a woman, mother, pet parent, and now business owner, I am living the American Dream as an entrepreneur and I absolutely want to watch our company grow and build a family heritage, but I will do this with integrity, without compromise, and will grow this business because of the value and blessing that we bring to people’s lives and not from exploiting them.” Hackett states.

“Above and beyond our mission to serve our customers the best food, we understand there is a great deal of energy and expense that retailers invest to launch a new food line to their customers with a large list of products to choose from -many times hedging their bets that they have made the right product choices and suffer losses when a product can not deliver. We have a great deal of respect and appreciation for retailers that place our product in their store, and we understand the challenges retailers face in terms of developing a new brand, educating the customer through initial introductions, merchandising, and finding space. Our marketing efforts and energies have always been geared directly to the consumer and private retailer to support the line from start to finish. We are hopeful that this economy will stabilize in the 3rd quarter as the FED predicts, that our unemployment rates will turn around quickly, and that America will stand strong and weather this economic storm together, prevailing in the end. I believe in sharing knowledge and assistance, when and where I can, whether it is with customers or competitors and we look forward to closing out 2009 with another year of successful growth, thanks only to our loyal customers and partnerships in the industry that have brought us to where we are at today “ For further information, please contact Christine Hackett at Petropics, LLC or visit www.petropics.com.