Skin care products need to do two jobs: prevent problems and solve problems. Consumers need an array of options to meet those disparate demands. And, as demand for transparency and accountability in the human health and beauty aid industry rises, the same sentiments are trickling into the pet industry. Pet owners demand the same quality and results from their pets’ skin care products as they do for their own.
“Consumers are looking for skin care solutions for their pets that are… effective, convenient and luxurious. As pet parents consider their dogs and cats members of the family, they seek out the highest quality products to pamper their pets,” said Stephanie Boone, CEO of Wondercide. “Wondercide’s pet shampoo bar meets consumer needs because it’s a true soap with a coconut oil base that cleans effectively without harsh chemicals or detergents.”
PL360’s Lori Lefcourt, director of sales and marketing, reported similar demand among her brand’s customers. According to the company’s website, PL360’s mission is to create products that keep “pets healthy, happy and clean in the simplest way possible.”
For the company, “that means using natural ingredients that are safe for pets. It also means finding innovative ways to make pet care easier so [owners and their] pet can get back to doing the things that [they] love.”
“People have learned that what you put into your body will reflect in the appearance of your hair and skin, and it is no different for our pets,” she said.
She also said that the consumer trends driving product innovation include “the level of education on the harmful effects of certain chemicals in many of the products they are using. They will continue to look for safe, natural alternatives that perform at the same level of what they have used in the past.”
PL360’s complete product line is plant-based, and Lefcourt said that its bestsellers in skin care are grooming wipes, Shed No More vitamins and the itch relief shampoo.
“Our grooming wipes are truly unique,” she said. “Not only are they the most durable on the market, but the cold-pressed seed oil blend nourishes the skin and coat. Of course, they contain no harmful ingredients and are gentle enough for sensitive areas like the eyes, ears and mouth.”
Pura Naturals Pet LLC is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products using only the best materials the Earth has to offer, and its president, Jason Riccardi, says that consumers are becoming mindful of the ingredients in products, driven by an increase in allergic reactions and skin irritations.
“The data is all around us as well,” he said. “Natural and USDA Certified Organic food and beverage sales are up 10.7 percent in 2016. As pet parents, we worry about our four-legged friends as well. A visit to the vet with a skin problem is going to be a long and expensive one. There are so many causes including food, allergies and topical reactions. Thus, our in-house research shows natural grooming for pets is up 12.97 percent in 2016, versus a 7.3 percent increase in the general grooming category.”
However, Riccardi said that the prevalence of chemical cleansers with artificial ingredients and preservatives has made it difficult for consumers to find healthy options. Plus, marketing problems—like inaccurate use of terms “natural” and “organic”—make it difficult for consumers to understand what they’re purchasing.
“Pura Naturals Pet was created to solve that problem. We have gone through the full USDA certification process to ensure our customers that what we produce is safe, non-toxic and effective,” he said. “The official symbol and/or certifier statement tells you that the USDA has maintained clear oversight of the production and bottling of this product through inspections and testing. It guarantees the integrity of the product from farm to
store. This product has met incredibly high standards in ingredients and manufacturing. It allows customers to have a brand they can trust, knowing that any product they choose is guaranteed to be safe and effective.”
Topical products, like wipes and shampoos, aren’t the only solution to skin care problems. Bill Chilian, marketing vice president of Barkworthies, advocates for an inside-out solution. His company makes treats and chews that “are completely digestible and contain absolutely no preservative, chemicals or additives,” as per Barkworthies’ mission.
“Omega-3 Fatty Acids are known to be ideal for helping canines maintain supple skin and a glossy coat,” he said. “However, because the canine is unable to produce Omega-3 Fatty Acids on its own, it’s important to provide them with supplemental nutrition.
The Cod Skin Fillets and Salmon Skin Roll-Ups are two of the newest all-natural single-ingredient treats from Barkworthies that are jam-packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Plus, these treats contain healthy fats that are also good for the heart and can help boost immunity. PL360’s vitamins are another example.
“PL360 Shed No More has been our top seller every year for a decade,” Lefcourt said. “It’s a complete fatty-acid solution that supports a healthy skin and coat and reduces seasonal shedding by addressing the key cause of it: lack of omega 3s and 6s in the diet. These vitamins are a proprietary blend of safflower oil, sunflower oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, fish oil and flaxseed oil.”
Whether it’s a bar, a wipe or a spray, skin care products attract customers looking to prevent as well as solve problems. For those who are seeking prevention, make the most of shelf space with clever cross-marketing. Include an array of skin-specific treats, along with vitamins, chews and even food, to round out your skin care offering—there’s something for every customer.