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Can someone answer this?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
It is actually a small group of pet owners(in comparison to the large number of pet owners on the planet) who participate in forums and study in depth the quality of various brands of cat foods. Most people will shop in a grocery store and buy brands such as Iams or Purina because these companies make their foods available to everybody.

Innova, Wellness, Felidae, Life's Abundace, Merrick and so forth are the kinds of foods that people must either go to special stores to find(if they're lucky enough to live in an area where they can access these stores) or they must special order it from a website or catalog and pay extra shipping fees. This is not a convenience for everyone. Many people do not have this option, either they can't afford shipping fees or cannot travel the number of miles necessary to obtain these special premium foods. So what I would like to know is why don't these premium pet food companies make their foods available to everybody like the big name manufacturers of Iams, Purina and Hills do. Don't they realize the profit that can be made in doing so, and the benefit in allowing every pet owner easy access to the best?

What do you think?
post #2 of 15
I know the feeling.

I REALLLLLLLY wish they would start selling high quality pet foods, like the ones you mentioned at grocery stores. They would sell SO much more if they did.

Now you have me wondering, why don't they?
post #3 of 15
I think it has to do with cost of shipping and handling, etc. If those other brands are selling at $18.00 the better brands could be $25 to $28. Surprisingly enough, the grocers have a lot to say about what is and is not put in their stores.
post #4 of 15
I think it's down to economics and economies of scale as much as anything else. Supermarkets and larger stores tend to pay manufacturers a very low price per unit for their products, but if a product sells well the manufacturer can still make a profit by selling lots of units. Premium products are never going to sell as well as they cost more to make (partly due to better quality ingredients) so the manufacturers may not be able to sell enough units to be able to sell to the supermarkets at the price demanded and make a profit. Large stores are also likely to only stock lines that will sell well and may be unwilling to give shelf space to products with low turnover - it's not profitable for them have shelves full of product that doesn't shift quickly.
post #5 of 15
Even the local pet store I buy Merrick's from told me the other day that Merrick's is a discontinued item. They basically have the same stuff I can get at Petsmart, none of which I want to feed my cats.

Even if the supermarkets don't/can't carry the good brands, why can't Pet Supermarket and/or Petsmart carry them? Even the few specialty stores in the area carry junk like Science Diet and act like it's something great.

The biggest problem I have with ordering online is I don't know if my fuss princess will eat the food, and you can only buy it by the case. I have two cases of stuff now that she won't eat that cost me quite a bit of money. I don't mind spending money on my guys, but I'm not exactly rolling in it right now. Being able to buy 3 or 4 cans to test would be ideal.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by moggiegirl View Post
It is actually a small group of pet owners(in comparison to the large number of pet owners on the planet) who participate in forums and study in depth the quality of various brands of cat foods. Most people will shop in a grocery store and buy brands such as Iams or Purina because these companies make their foods available to everybody.
If you assume only a small number of people research what makes a good pet food or what to look for, then why would someone feeding a grocery store brand be compelled to switch to a more expensive food? How would they know it is better quality and worth the cost if their only education on pet food is likely what they see in a commercial for another crappy food that claims to be great? If people don’t know it is better, why it is better, or the advantages to feeding a high quality food the product is just going to sit and collect dust. That is why I don’t think there is as much profit to be made as one might think.

I really feel bad for those that do want to feed better but don’t have access to such foods locally. Online shipping costs are usually not as bad as one might think if it is possible to buy in larger quantities. The place I used to order my Felidae from regularly gave me a volume discount for ordering over 200lbs an order, which actually almost totally offset the cost of shipping.
post #7 of 15
Take a look at the Manufacturer. This may not totally answer your question, but I'm positive it has an influence to the answer. IAMs is a company from Proctor and Gamble. I believe Purina is too and either Whiskas or Friskies is under the Purina name.

Since the local grocery store is buying products from P&G anyway (Tide, Swiffer, Mr. Clean, etc) they get a bigger discount on the order. When "other brands" such as Max, Merrick, etc are of their own label, then its harder to convince stores to buy them as the bulk discount isn't there.

Another thing to think about is prestige. They want to appear more favorable to the general so some of the names may only sell in pet stores as they see that if their customers are "truely" dedicated to their pet, they'll travel to pet stores rather than the local something-mart.

(PS, I'm not writing this to insult anyone, but to give the business perspective.)
post #8 of 15
Price per unit ... Most stores only make 30% on pet food ... Grocery brands are likely 50% and the store get a big mass % off ...

People use what is advertised ... Ie when you first came here you thought Iams was good ...

pet stores have more time to educate their customers or vice veras as I am doing .. but grocery is just that a food store for humans ..I know one two companies that use demo people to teach about there products due to it being cost effective and better for the consumer
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorda View Post
Online shipping costs are usually not as bad as one might think if it is possible to buy in larger quantities. The place I used to order my Felidae from regularly gave me a volume discount for ordering over 200lbs an order, which actually almost totally offset the cost of shipping.
I think it depends on where you are having the stuff shipped. I got a free half case of Merrick food but the customs and duty charges for $10.00 so it wasn't exactly free.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty8723 View Post
The biggest problem I have with ordering online is I don't know if my fuss princess will eat the food, and you can only buy it by the case. I have two cases of stuff now that she won't eat that cost me quite a bit of money. I don't mind spending money on my guys, but I'm not exactly rolling in it right now. Being able to buy 3 or 4 cans to test would be ideal.
I have this problem too!
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty8723 View Post
Even the local pet store I buy Merrick's from told me the other day that Merrick's is a discontinued item.
Did she mean it was just being discontinued at their store? My kitties will only eat Merrick food so I sure hope it isn't going to be discontinued.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny82 View Post
I have this problem too!
My local pet store let me take 2 of each brand and I could bring back and exchange any that I didn't open.

The owner also gave me a free can of another brand to try (I guess he knows I'll be a regular customer).

You can always ask your local store to order food for you as well. My local pet store had never heard of Merrick and now orders specifically for me and started putting some on her shelves and others are now buying it now.
post #13 of 15
MOST premium food s have a garentee on the label ... if kitty doesnt eat it take it back ... the flip side of this is ask if the manufactur gives credit or if the store has to ship back the empty or partial items ... I like the buy two cans idea
post #14 of 15
Kroger supermarkets in this area has started selling Nature's Organics cat food, both dry and canned. No by-products, chemical preservatives, or dyes. It's supposed to contain organic, antibiotic free chicken but I know there really is no standards for the term organic in food.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denice View Post
Kroger supermarkets in this area has started selling Nature's Organics cat food, both dry and canned. No by-products, chemical preservatives, or dyes. It's supposed to contain organic, antibiotic free chicken but I know there really is no standards for the term organic in food.
wowow... I know the dog Natures organics must taste good the kids eat it
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