September 21, 2016

Dealing with waste is one of the least favorite but most important tasks for any dog owner. Whether it’s addressing accidents in the house, cleaning up the yard or stopping problematic behaviors, waste products are needed by all dog owners. Diversify your product mix and capitalize on cross-merchandizing to maximize these sales. Poop products cross a number of aisles by offering creative product and dietary solutions to messy problems.

Supplemental Solutions
Supplements make up an unexpected but important part of the poop product mix. Dog owners whose dogs exhibit problematic behaviors like coprophagia (stool eating) or butt scooting seek out food, treats or supplements that combat those problems. Solid Gold’s S.E.P. (Stop Eating Poop) product is popular and easy to administer. It makes the stool distasteful to the dog. Likewise, NaturVet’s Coprophagia Deterrent Soft Chews is given like a treat to deter the stool-eating behavior. Both products also include a breath freshener.

For butt scooting, a visit to the vet is recommended to eliminate any underlying medical conditions, but for maintenance, products like NaturVet’s No Scoot meet customers’ needs. For a unique solution, Pet Naturals of Vermont offers Scoot Bars. Scoot Bars provide immune, digestive and colonic support. Pet Naturals’ 2800 mg proprietary pumpkin blend includes three sources of fiber: larch tree extract, digestion-resistant maltodextrin and pumpkin powder. The product, though, is the size and texture of a chew, so dog owners feel like they’re rewarding their pet while treating the condition.

Accidents Will Happen
In case of accidents, a selection of training and clean-up products is at the ready. For puppies and elderly dogs, potty pads and diapers help dog owners keep their homes clean while providing their pet with an elimination spot. Simple Solution, Arm & Hammer and AKC training pads are among the most popular, but this is one category where consumers typically seek the lowest prices regardless of brand because they’re a quickly consumed product. To educate your customers on the best products for the money, consider having in-store demo pads or allow customers to trial a pad from a sample box.

For indoor accident clean-up, the trend is toward natural cleaning solutions that are non-toxic and eco-friendly. Nature’s Miracle is a perennial best-seller and is branded specifically for pet accidents. Skout’s Honor also offers a complete line of eco-friendly, non-toxic stain and odor removers for pet messes.

One eco-friendly brand, PL360, offers a range of pet-safe, non-toxic, eco-friendly products in fresh, modern packaging. The household line from PL360 includes a citrus-scented Stain & Odor Remover, as well as Odor Neutralizing Carpet Powder.

Lifestyle brand ECOS launched an array of pet cleaning products, including a safe, biodegradable Stain & Odor remover. Among the products in their pet line is the innovative Powdered Pick-Up Sponge. The enzymes in the formulation do the work: Sprinkle on pet accidents and watch the mess absorb into the sponge material and disappear. Once absorbed, the pet owner only has to sweep up and throw away.

Picking Up
While there are numerous product lines to diversify your waste product selection, the basics are pick-up bags and poop scoops. With pick-up bags, two major trends are growing: eco-friendly and style choices.

The overarching trend toward eco-friendly options in nearly every pet product category includes pick-up bags, though the options are limited. Poop Bags by Earth Rated hit on a number of consumer demands: They’re an affordable, eco-friendly option with some customization available. The bags, in their traditional green style or white vegetable-based style, are available lavender scented or unscented. Matching dispensers or tissue-box-like dispensers round out the selection.

A wider range of personalized pick-up products appeal to consumers who are searching for ways to show their (and their dogs’) personalities. Bags in different prints and colors, along with leash-clip holders that feature everything from licensed professional sports logos to cartoon characters and fashion prints, allow pet owners to choose products that express individuality.
Pooper scoopers fill out the waste product aisle, and customers who purchase these products are looking for ease of use. Nature’s Miracle offers its Advanced Jaw Scoop made of durable plastic with a special antimicrobial coating that keeps it odor-free and easy to clean. Plus, it enables the pet owner to scoop the poop without having to bend over. Other popular options include cost-conscious pan-and-rake sets.

With the number of waste-related products available, combined with the fact that waste is one of the least pleasant aspects of dog ownership, merchandizing opportunities abound. An aisle dedicated to waste-related products is a natural fit to any store setup, but sprinkling endcaps and free-standing displays throughout the store captures those customers who come in seeking other products. For instance, a display of potty pads naturally fits into any puppy training or puppy product aisle, as does a display of cleaning solutions. Cleaning solutions also fit well among senior-specific products. Since poop bag rolls are a universal need, displays throughout the store, especially at point of purchase, allow customers to stick them in the cart as an impulse. Cross-merchandise and cross-promote waste products where they naturally fit to grow these sales.

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