Kevin Metz with Bags on Board said he expects to see a change in consumer behavior with the onset of bag taxes.
“People are taking fewer grocery bags home with them. That drawer with the leftover bags is shrinking in a lot of cities,” he said. “It’s become a regulatory environment. The category is going to naturally continue trending upward as people search for alternatives to waste pickup outside of their grocery bags.”
Give Them Choices
Variety will help drive success in this category. The Earth Rated line includes multiple waste disposal options.
“Our bags are available in both lavender-scented and unscented varieties and are extra long, extra strong and totally leak-proof. Our rolls’ cores and packaging are also made of recycled materials,” said Garland. “We know all pet owners are different, so we have something for everyone.” Their product line, which they manufacture with a light-hearted approach, includes refill rolls for their decorative dispensers, bulk packs and bags with handles for easy-tie convenience, which Garland suggested are great for cat litter cleanup.
The waste pickup category is capitalizing on consumers’ demands for eco-friendly products, too. According to Metz, Bags on Board is launching a new GREEN PUPS line in August.
“Eco-friendly-type bags have really taken off. We started researching a couple years ago and it was an interesting process because the two main technologies that were out there we deemed not eco-friendly enough for our brand. We went out into the market to look for a new way to do things,” said Metz.
Made from lignin, a byproduct of paper production, the product received a positive response, according to Metz.
“When people touch and feel the bag, it has a soft, natural feel to it,” he said. “It has a natural color from the lignin. The lignin has a naturally-occurring scent to it—a smoky, campfire scent—so we add a little bit of odor-control technology to the bag. The feedback that we’re getting is that it’s coming across as very authentic.”
It Pays to Accessorize
In addition to bags and dispensers, accessories like the H-Clip make it easier for dog walkers to transport their waste bags after they’ve been used.
“Our H-Clip is a single-bag poop bag carrier that allows you to seal any plastic bags temporarily and without a knot,” said David Krysak, president of Krysak Industries. “The advantage to not tying a knot is that the same bag can be reused throughout the walk or with a pair of dogs. The end result is a reduction in the amount of plastic waste bags used and that’s really our goal. Now many people and companies are migrating to a type of degradable bag but in reality the process and time each of these methods take can vary greatly, as well as the end results.”
Krysak predicted that the legislation on plastic bags will affect H-Clip sales, too.
“We see the H-Clip gaining traction, especially with a shift in legislature on plastic bags in general. We put a lot of thought into our H-Clip and that is one of the reasons we have a patent on the technology,” said Krysak. “We would enjoy partnering with existing manufacturers in the poop bag sector on new and complementary retail product offerings to their current lines. I think you can expect to see variants of the H-Clip through licensing partnerships in the near future. Visit us at SuperZoo this year to see where we are heading.”
The Bottom Line
To drive sales of poop products within the store, Metz splits the category into two parts: regular poop bag shoppers and those who are impulse-driven.
“They’re not there to buy pickup bags. They see something unique that catches their attention,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success bringing retailers the secondary displays but with innovative items that drive those impulse purchases, piquing shopper’s interest with a unique offering and interrupting them elsewhere in the store if they’re not already heading down the waste pickup aisle.”
“The pet product industry is always evolving,” she said. “The sky is the limit and we won’t hesitate to see where that takes us. But for the moment, and when it comes to risking poop on your hands, we take no chances.”