Pet Age’s Alexandra Wepner spoke with Terry Gao of Caitec about the company’s start as an importer of bird cages to its current position as a major player in the bird category in addition to its dog, small animal and aquatics product lines.
Q How did Caitec get its start in 1992?
A As a first-generation immigrant, I quickly realized that pets are a really important part of people’s lives in the US. Caitec Corporation was founded in 1992 as an importer of a full range of bird cages. In 1996, Caitec bought its own factories with wood, metal and plastic processing capabilities. We started to offer OEM services for pest control and lawn and garden industries, and in the meantime, we continued to expand our offerings for pet birds. Today, Caitec offers extensive lines of dog, small animal and aquatics products on top of the leading position in pet bird products.
Q Can you describe your role in the pet industry?
A The company has been leading the way in pet product innovation by offering pet owners a wide range of high-quality, affordable pet products. We figure if we do our job well, our customers will be able to outperform the competition in product design, value and delivery service.
Q Your slogan is, “Innovations in pet care for a better way of life.” How does Caitec embody that mission?
A Every product we develop has both the pet and the owner in mind from the minute we begin our development process. We look to solve problems faced by pets and owners—not simply invent products to have more products. This mission has led us to develop some of the most successful products in the bird and now the dog toy categories.
Q How do you balance high quality and affordability?
A Caitec is much different from many product companies in the pet industry. We actually own our own facilities, which allows us to deliver the highest quality products with affordable prices. This is one of Caitec’s core strengths in the industry.
Q What products have been your most lastingly successful? Why do you think that is?
A We offer over 700 different bird toys and accessories, which cover all size groups of birds, materials and functions. Our product development mission is to contribute to pets’ mental and physical health and to increase the bond in between pets and their caregivers. Caitec has been in the pet bird category for 25 years, and there are plenty of products in the line that have been performing for last 25 years and we don’t see them slowing down.
Q It seems that your wheelhouse is the bird category. Why should retailers pay attention to the bird category?
A The bird category is a more profitable segment for retailers. Based on statistics, pet bird caregivers are in the higher bracket of income. They are picky, but they are willing to pay for the quality of the products. It may be smaller than the dog and cat categories, but it can be a profit driver for retail especially if the assortment is right. Many retailers don’t know a lot about how to offer a full bird care solution. At Caitec, we are driving the bird category by offering our knowledge to the industry in terms of what sells and also how to add on sales to bird owners. We have been instrumental in driving bird product sales in lots of different retailers, large and small.
Q What was behind the
decision to expand to the small animal, aquatic and dog categories?
A We realized that our product development approach and mission married up well to other categories. Every pet product category needs solutions to every day pet problems. We know we can use our proprietary development process and expertise in bird products to improve the lives of dogs, small animals and fish as well. We have the passion and capability to contribute to other pets and their caregivers just as much as in the pet bird category.
Q What’s next for Caitec?
AWe are continuing to grow our leading bird business position while developing Hero dog line into a known and respected pet brand through our vision, passion and exceptional product development capabilities.