Glenn Polyn//September 1, 2023
Glenn Polyn //September 1, 2023
Supplements have come to the forefront of the pet industry, thanks to the growing focus on health and wellness by pet parents. Several types of supplements are earning attention from retailers and consumers alike, with trends including condition-specific formulas, life stage-focused and veterinarian-developed products. Among the specific health issues, digestive support supplements are among the categories that have seen the largest growth, with probiotics leading the way.
Annamaet Petfoods, a family-owned and operated company located in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, has been providing optimum nutrition to dogs and cats for over 35 years. Endure, one of the brand’s most popular supplements, is a powdered canine joint supplement that is designed to help maintain joint integrity and gut function. Endure is formulated with glucosamine and chondroitin, which are the building blocks of not only cartilage, but also tendons and ligaments.
“All current studies have shown that by starting supplementation at an earlier age you may prevent their breakdown and improve the longevity of the dog’s performance life in general,” explained Rob Downey, president and CEO of Annamaet.
Annamaet Endure also includes Green Lipped Mussel, an edible shellfish from New Zealand long known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This super-food also contains six types of glycosaminoglycans (GAGS). Glucosamine enhances glycosaminoglycans synthesis, enabling joints to hold more moisture thereby increasing joint flexibility. Chondroitin Sulfate is also a precursor needed to improve the viscosity of synovial fluid.
To help with gut function we include psyllium, a soluble fiber that can help improve gut villi nutrient absorptive capacity. By helping the gut villi, a dog may be less prone to digestive upsets that may include among others diarrhea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Psyllium can also act as a prebiotic promoting healthy colonies of probiotics to grow in the gut, thus improving digestion and strengthening the immune system.
After 10 years of development, Annamaet recently launched Recovery Chews, a soft chew version of Glycocharge. Recovery Chews are an ideal post-exercise treat that can also be used during exercise for an immediate energy boost. Just like Annamaet Glycocharge, these chews help to replenish muscle glycogen stores after a period of work or exercise. Glycogen is a stored form of glucose used as fuel by the body during strenuous exercise and is synthesized from carbohydrates to provide endurance. These soft chews contain Maltodextrins and Betaine Anhydrous, which research has shown benefits active dogs to rebuild stores of muscle glycogen back to the level they were at before exertion.
Additionally, Recovery Chews contain coconut glycerol for immediate muscle fuel for the canine athlete. These innovative, post-exercise chews were formulated with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, and they are backed by Annamaet’s 40 years of experience with canine athletes.
“Another advantage of Annamaet Recovery Chews is that you won’t get an insulin spike because we use a glucose polymer instead of simple sugars or honey,” noted Downey.
Recovery Chews offer feeding directions for three different variations of work, depending on the intensity level of exercise. Ranging from Light to Moderate and Heavy Exercise, Recovery Chews are beneficial to dogs doing activities of a wide range.
After leading the U.S. in both dollar and unit sales in the pet supplement industry, Zesty Paws was recognized in July as the country’s top brand of pet supplements by Euromonitor International, a global market research company. Zesty Paws continues to sustain high double-digit revenue growth and is positioned as one of the omni-channel brands with leading market position in e-commerce channel, and a growing footprint in the pet specialty, retail, and independent pet stores with products in over 10,000 stores across the country.
With a focus on creating innovative formulas, Zesty Paws has consistently delivered premium products that address a wide range of pet health topics. From joint and gut support to digestive health and calming solutions, Zesty Paws offers a comprehensive line of high-quality functional supplements backed by science to meet the nutritional needs of cats and dogs in all life stages.
The omnichannel pet supplement brand has launched several functional pet supplements for cats and dogs over the years, with such products lines as Hemp Elements Plus and Vet Strength Bites enabling it to be a driving force in the pet industry.
Founded in 1994 by Scott Garmon, NaturVet was acquired by Swedencare in 2022 for $447.5 million. NaturVet’s facility in California manufactures its portfolio of premium products in approximately 20 pet health categories. NaturVet is one of the largest and most profitable U.S. companies in the premium segment for supplements for the pet healthcare market, according to a report by Pet Food Processing.
The NatureVet product portfolio includes health areas such as joint, digestion and allergies. In 2022, the brand launched Evolutions, a line of premium dog supplements that promote joint health, skin and coat health, digestive health and a natural sense of calm using only clean, veterinarian-approved ingredients. All six Evolutions products are veterinarian-formulated and made with no soy, corn, wheat, GMOs or artificial preservatives.
Also in 2022, the brand released Evolutions Full Spectrum Hemp products, a line of premium dog supplements that promote a natural sense of calm, joint health and support for aches and discomfort. All three Evolutions Full Spectrum products – Calming Support, Joint Support and Aches & Discomfort – are veterinarian formulated and are made with no soy, corn, wheat, GMOs or artificial preservatives.
VetriScience, a FoodScience brand, has been at the forefront of the animal health industry with the formulation of nutritional supplements for dogs and cats since the company was founded. For more than 40 years, VetriScience has been setting new standards of quality and safety in products for companion animals.
In June, VetriScience strengthened its line of advanced allergy and immune health supplements for dogs by launching its advanced Allery Plus supplement to join its Immune Plus and Omega Plus supplements. Thus, the brand’s recent innovations will provide pet owners with a suite of immunity products to address seasonal and environmental allergies, overall immune health and skin and coat health for their dogs.
Veterinarian-formulated Allergy Plus is recommended for maintaining a pet’s healthy skin and coat, supporting animals with sensitive skin and soothing skin-related issues associated with seasonal or occasional allergies. The active ingredients in Allergy Plus include Omega-3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants and probiotics that work together to regulate and minimize the immune system’s response to common allergens. The supplement promotes a stronger immune system, a healthy histamine response and brings soothing comfort to dogs that suffer from occasional, unpleasant seasonal or environmental allergy symptoms.
Since 2002 Pet Alive has been offering the best natural, safe and effective remedies on the market. PetAlive was created to be a natural choice for keeping beloved pets happy and healthy.
“We have the largest assortment of remedies on the market, a lot of them being ailment specific,” noted Jeanne Jacobs, PetAlive’s leader of business development. “PetAlive products are formulated by our team of experts in naturopathy, homeopathy and other natural remedy disciplines, with a collective passion to ensure delivery of the highest quality, efficacy and safety. We always do third party certified laboratory-testing and formulate our remedies in therapeutic dosage. We are committed to preserving the balance of our environment by using sustainably and organically farmed or ethically wild-crafted ingredients whenever possible and the full-spectrum method of extraction to maintain the plant’s natural integrity and balance.”
PetAlive offers more than 50 herbal supplements and homeopathic medicines to address common ailments that pets may experience during their lifetime. The health brand formulates an extensive line of remedies crafted to naturally support the quality of life of companion animals, with pet-friendly doses and remedies that can be easily administered.
According to Jacobs, the brand’s No. 1-selling product line is Cushex–S and Cushex–M.
“We take a dual modality approach to address common symptoms of Cushing’s disease and support endocrine system health in dogs,” she added. “The dual modality approach uses both herbal and homeopathic products in tandem for holistic health. That’s what makes our company different from a lot of others in the industry. The –S items are Herbal and the –M items are homeopathic. Both Cushex products are liquid and come in 2-fluid-ounce bottles.”
It’s important for retailers to position themselves as a one-stop shop for pet parents. To do that, stocking a variety of brands that are transparent with their offerings as well as products that create condition-specific solutions is a must.
In addition, education is critical when it comes to the pet health sector. The objective of healthcare is to provide pet parents with products and services that enable them to give their companion animals the best quality of life and, if possible, increased longevity. To assist consumers with that goal, many brands agree that it’s beneficial for retailers to build relationships with veterinarians in their area.
Price is a big consideration for consumers as they make their buying decisions; however, they also care about quality and may be willing to pay more for a product that is independently audited to quality standards, certified for good manufacturing practices, and in the case of pet supplements, tested to ensure it meets label claims.
According to Bill Bookout, president and co-founder of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), quality is a competitive advantage. By stocking third-party certified products and educating pet parents about them, retailers help to create positive outcomes for pets and, in doing so, will develop loyal customers who will return to the store for future purchases.
As Bookout wrote in “Never Assume Quality,” his 2023 Health & Wellness Guide article that appears in Pet Age’s July issue, “third-party certification is a quality control process provided by an independent organization that does not have a financial interest in the manufacturer. The organization reviews a company’s manufacturing process and/or products against its established evaluation standards to ensure compliance with those standards. Once certified, the company may display the certifier’s seal or mark on its packaging and promote it in marketing materials.
“Manufacturers that spend the time and money to be certified by an independent, third-party entity not only increase consumer confidence but also lend credibility to label claims and drive sales through trust born out of transparency. Since the goal is to have the pet respond favorably to a product, consistency in production processes is vital to achieving consistency in product quality and consistent outcomes. Inconsistency in product quality may mean the pet does not respond favorably and the customer is lost forever,” he added.
The health market is a vital one for retailers to achieve success, and pet store owners can thrive with quality supplements as a focus with the support of proper education and product awareness. As Bookout explains, retailers help bridge the trust gap with pet parents by recognizing the value of third-party certifications and prioritizing shelf space for brands that have gone the extra mile to obtain a recognized, independent quality certification seal or mark.