PetSmart and General Nutrition Centers Inc. (GNC) are launching a line of dietary supplements designed for dogs and cats. This line, made exclusively for PetSmart, will be available at their retail stores and on their Web sites beginning this fall.
The co-branding of a major human supplement brand like GNC into the pet market could be a coup for PetSmart, given the current strong consumer demand for health and human-themed products, says David Lummis, senior pet market analyst at Packaged Facts. "It also syncs up human-brand cross-over-wise with PetSmart's upcoming introduction and exclusive distribution of the Martha Stewart pet care line," Lummis tells Marketing Daily.
Benefiting from current trends such as this, the pet industry will increase its overall value from $53 billion in 2009 to more than $70 billion in 2014, according to Packaged Facts. Driving this growth is strong consumer demand for products and services that both pamper pets and enhance their health.
"I think it's a smart move, albeit not without some risk for both parties since pet supplements still fall into a regulatory gray area," Lummis says. "As a result, unless these supplements are composed entirely of ingredients that are GRAS (generally recognized as safe) and AAFCO-approved, there's a chance some states won't allow their sale."
Pittsburgh-based GNC says the impetus to create the supplements came from customers who repeatedly requested quality products for their pets. Both companies say they view the partnership as a strategic, long-term opportunity that sets them apart in the industry.
The partnership recognizes that pet owners want balanced nutrition for their pets, just as they do for themselves. Like people, pets have unique dietary needs depending on their stage in life, and vitamins and supplements can support growth for young pets and provide enhanced nutrition for aging ones, according to Phoenix-based PetSmart.
"These specially formulated supplements will give our pet parents another unique offering to help them keep their pets healthy and happy and another reason to shop our stores," Matt McAdam, PetSmart vice president of merchandising, said in a release.