Pick up your copy of the Pet Business Retailer Handbook and turn to page 64 and 65. Ark Naturals since 1996 has taken the Natural Health and Remedies category by storm. Read below the full article on Ark Naturals, including a snippet about our Gray Muzzle Senior Products Line.
Natural Remedies and Health
Susan Weiss, president of Ark Naturals Products for Pets, says educated retailers with a variety of natural health products for everyday problems will see great sales over the next year.
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR NATURAL REMEDIES AND HEALTH PRODUCTS THAT CONSUMERS ARE GIVING THEIR PETS? WHY DO YOU THINK THEY’RE SO POPULAR?
Dental, joint, flea and tick, and herbal calming products – Products that are popular tend to be products from which the human can visually see a benefit. Products that are less popular are the vitamins, antioxidants for exactly the same reason. The benefit is hard to measure and see visually. It’s not because the products are ineffective, it’s because the nature of the antioxidants.
WHAT TREND SHOULD RETAILERS LOOK FOR IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
Great Sales! Education, blogs, websites and social media have made it much easier for the consumer to feel more comfortable purchasing natural remedy products.
I believe that now is a great opportunity for retailers to re-set their stores and make this category more visually important. Make it easy for the consumer to see what the retailer has to offer. The most successful retailers are the ones that are nimble, adaptable and wiling to think outside the box.
HOW IMPORTANT IS EDUCATION IN THIS CATEGORY? WHAT ARE KEY SELLING POINTS RETAILERS SHOULD KNOW FOR THESE PRODUCTS?
In 1996, when I started Ark Naturals, it was a monumental challenge to convince retailers that remedy, wellness and natural lifestyle products could sell. Many of today’s retailers have not been in business long enough to remember that.
Products that are made in the USA and are natural solutions for everyday problems should be emphasized. More importantly, retailers have to do the same thing as their customers and should be educated and read blogs and manufacturer websites. You can’t sell what you don’t understand.
WITH ALL OF THE “GREENWASHING” THAT GOES ON TODAY, HOW CAN RETAILERS ENSURE THAT THE PRODUCTS THEY CARRY ARE TRULY NATURAL?
There is no definition for natural. It’s the same thing for foods that label themselves “premium”. They are self-styled words, sort of like crowning yourself the prettiest girl at the party. All-natural is another issue. For example, glucosamine and chondroitin are not really natural. Natural is something that grows on a tree or in the earth, and glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and others are neutraceuticals, which is something that started out from a natural source.
WHAT SHOULD RETAILERS LOOK FOR IN A SUPPLIER OF NATURAL REMEDIES AND HEALTH PRODUCTS?
The company’s longevity – The category suddenly got hot, and we see new brands. Most of the “newbies” are only in it because it’s become popular – not because they have a passion for helping animals naturally. The few companies that have been around for years are passionate about the potential of natural. We understand the potential benefits and can talk about it more easily than the newbies.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR RETAILERS TO MERCHANDISE THESE PRODUCTS?
Endcaps – one suggestion is a monthly calendar where the retailer features a different issue each month. Handouts pointing the consumers to information would be helpful. Network with vets and nutrition specialists, and ask them to come to your store. Also, don’t be lazy – re-setting your store multiple times in a year freshens up the store.
WHAT TYPES OF PRODUCTS LEND THEMSELVES TO CROSS MERCHANDISING WITH THE NATURAL REMEDIES AND HEALTH PRODUCTS?
We just introduced a line of senior products, branded as Gray Muzzle. We have a contest running across the USA for stores to set up exactly what you are talking about.
Most of us who have a senior dog or cat for the first time what to do the right things for their pets but may not know everything that is available in the senior category. So, ramps, special leashes, softer toys, special shampoos, piddle pads, etc…, would be a great fit with Gray Muzzle.
Article and Graphics Courtesy of Pet Business Magazine