BY: Jim Reimann
A few years ago, American Pet Nutrition noticed a pattern. Dog food manufactures were cranking out an abundance of overpriced, super-premium dog foods to sell online and in independent stores. Caring dog owners who wanted to give quality, healthy food to their dogs without spending a fortune had very few choices. Independent retailers were even more constrained—not only did most of the innovation come with a higher cost to the consumer, but nearly all of the products were also sold online.
The limited options for great dog food at great prices is precisely why we decided to collaborate with more than 40 independent retailers and distributors to create Elevate dog food.
Neighborhood pet specialty retailers are the experts in pet nutrition, and they have a passion for sharing that knowledge with customers. It’s one of the main reasons why so many dog owners turn to them for advice. We wanted to tap into this amazing expertise and create a brand of dog food that retailers were looking for but couldn’t find.
We started by asking independent retailers and distributors what their ideal dog food would look like, and they told us, among other things, that nutrition—above all else—is key. They were irritated with foods that didn’t adapt over time to cater to dogs’ main dietary needs, or with brands that don’t provide options for dogs that react to certain ingredients.
Independent retailers told us they wanted a limited assortment of SKUs. They were frustrated by brands that launched with 50 different varieties with no thought of how to put them all on the shelf. So we kept it simple.
In the subsequent months, our research and development team worked diligently with these partners, carefully formulating, validating and reformulating the product until we all felt like we had achieved something truly special.
The result is Elevate dog food.
Elevate comes in both cans and as kibble in five flavor recipes, including chicken-free and poultry-free options. That’s it. And Elevate is grain-free, potato-free and sweet potato-free. Because potatoes are high in carbs and starch, they can contribute to obesity and even heart problems for pets. Instead, every Elevate product is packed with highly digestible protein and premium ingredients, and real meat is always the first ingredient.
Elevate is also made with a blend of antioxidants. We chose real fruits and vegetables that are naturally full of antioxidants to support the immune system and help digestion. And our food only uses natural flavors and preservatives for a cleaner, healthier product.
We didn’t stop there. We put just as much time and effort into taste. Dogs prefer Elevate dog food on an average of five to one versus a leading independent pet specialty brand.
Knowing that safety is important to both retailers and consumers, we manufacture Elevate at our company-owned plants in the USA. Independent pet stores have confidence in knowing that our plants have reached the highest level of SQF certification, exceeding FDA, USDA and AAFCO safety and quality standards.
We truly believe in Elevate, and you can be sure that every can and bag provides optimal nutrition, excellent quality and a great taste that pets crave—all for about $20 less than other super-premium options.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s become an incredible success story of a manufacturer, independent retailers and distributors working hand-in-hand-in-hand to improve the lives of pets and the people who love them.
Today, we’re just as committed to the industry as we were when we first started. After all, our success is driven by the partnership we have with our independent stores. It’s why Elevate is only available at pet specialty retailers, not sold online or in big-box stores.
If you’re an independent retailer looking for a dog food you can recommend—that delivers on everything both you and your customers want—look at what Elevate has to offer.