It's not hard to figure out what the companies Pet Brands, Pampered Pets and Happy Tails have in common.
Yes, they're all pet companies; private-label pet companies, to be exact.
This year's PLMA show gives these and other companies special attention by featuring many oftheir in the first-ever PLMA Show pet pavillion.
There's good reason pet products are in the the spotlight at this year's show. After all, about two-thirds of U.S. households own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. What's more, these owners will spend nearly $20 billion on food; $12 billion on supplies and OTC medicine, and billions more on vet visits, grooming and other services.
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Pet owners treat their four-legged and other furry friends like family members. They aim to give their cats, dogs, birds and other animals thebest.
But that doesn't mean they are loyal to only national and special brands.
Wal-Mart is one of a growing number of retailersthat knows this. Its Ol' Roy is the nation'sbest-selling dogfood.
Wal-Mart recognized that there were other segments of the category on which to capitalize.So over the summer, Wal-Mart launched Pure Balance, an ultra-premium line that contains no soy, wheat or corn additives, no artificial colors, no preservatives and no chicken by-products. Pure Balance's first and primary ingredient is either real lambor poultry. A five-pound bag for $8.47; 15-pound bag, $21.47; and 30-pound bag, $39.98.
The PLMA show's Pet Pavillion will help other retailers compete more heavily in the category.