Ware Pet Products (formerly Ware Manufacturing, Inc.) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. As he marks the milestone, John Gerstenberger, VP of Product Development and Sourcing for Ware, spoke to Pet Age about several trends and topics, including his company’s newest products and developments.
Q Why do you feel the backyard/urban farmer trend has been on the rise, and how has Ware responded to it?
A There’s been an increased interest in farm-to-table food sourcing; consumers want to have the transparency of where their food comes from. Parents want to teach their children about where food comes from (includes gardening, not just the eggs), and great satisfaction comes from being more self-sustainable.
Q What have been the exciting developments coming from Ware in 2018?
A We have several this year:
• Coop-Control: Coop-Control not only offers superior odor control but also soil improvement. Coop-Control is non-toxic and safe for chickens to ingest.
• Kapok Build-A-Bed (New Product Showcase entry and winner at Global Pet Expo 2018): We are very proud that Ware’s Kapok Build-a-Bed, Build-a-Hut and Build-a-Nest won the Global Pet Expo New Product Showcase Award 2018. This product is very unique and sustainable, as the packaging transforms into the product itself. The soft bedding keeps small critters cozy. Eco-friendly, the packaging for these products actually transforms into the product itself, turning into a bed, a hut or a nest. Each product is printed with vegetable-based inks making this product convertible, efficient and safe to chew.
• Bird Central: There are two versions of this new Bird Central (one for cockatiel and conure and one for parakeet and finch). This easy-fill control feeding station offers toy access and a pull out for quick and easy cleaning.
Q What are the benefits of Ware being a privately held company?
A As a small company, we are proud to celebrate 25 years serving the pet industry and pet parents everywhere. We take great pride in operating our company with family values of integrity, hard work and innovation. The Ware team provides a true feeling of family whether it is developing products, working with customers or prepping orders. When many small companies are being gobbled up by big corporations, the Ware Pet family/team is proud that it’s continued to innovate and grow as a private company to be able to move quickly and continually serve our customers in a better, more personal way.
Q What are the logistical benefits of Ware having West Coast and East Coast manufacturing facilities?
A This gives us reduced shipping time/costs from our suppliers as well as reduced shipping time/ costs to our customers. There are full assortments (U.S. made and import) at both facilities.
Q Considering that cat furniture is a big part of Ware’s business, what is unique about its cat furniture lineup?
A USA Carpet Tough by Ware is very important to us, offering customers durability of carpet where they can feel great that the carpet is made and sourced in the USA. The structure itself is also proudly made in the USA. Carpet is a highly durable surface that is superior to many cat tree materials when it comes to instinctual scratching and cleaning of their nail sheaths. The carpet used is the same carpet produced for use in homes—the best chance of finding something that will match and complement existing home decor in best-selling colors. New in 2018, Ware is proud to launch its new RTA (Ready To Assemble) line of carpeted cat furniture; that is a space saver for retailers with small retail spaces and is more efficient for shipping and also makes it easier for the cat owner to transport the products home after purchase.