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Pet Care's New Pedigree

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: November 4, 2008, from the November 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

Professional and mass beauty brands are expanding into the pet care segment.

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Currently, Petco.com’s exclusive Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan brand utilizes Emsar’s foam pump for dispensing its natural conditioner and shampoos, which are available in a chamomile and lavender blend, as well as in raspberry. “It’s the only squeezable foamer of its kind that I know of,” McEttrick says.

Although the bulk of Emsar’s business stems from the personal care and household goods, she sees pet care as another growing, lucrative arena. “Consumers think of their pets as family members,” she says, “and they’re willing to spend money on them.”

From a consumer standpoint, McEttrick believes the Dog Whisperer products work efficiently due to smart packaging design. “The products have a shorter, wider shape,” says McEttrick. “They’re more stable, and you’re less likely to knock them over, especially if you’re washing a larger dog.”

Pet Market Alternatives

While some personal care and hair care brands have created brand extensions for the pet care bath and body industry, other industries such as fashion, beverages, supplements and air care have also positioned themselves in the market. Humanizing pet care products has become a major focus for pet care manufacturers who look to the fashion industry to draw inspiration for their new products, according to the U.S. Commercial Service. Juicy Couture, for instance, launched a dog-themed spinoff of its brand in 2007. Juicy Crittoure, which features luxury pet-sized clothing, as well as the Pawfum fragrance, a paw balm, a tearless shampoo, and manicure and pedicure polish, is available in U.S. Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus department stores.

In the beverage industry, brands are looking to the success of nutricosmetics via dietary supplements and fortified waters touting skin care benefits for humans, such as Bio-Synergy’s Beauty from Within drinking water, sold in Tesco supermarkets; furthermore, in 2008, Cott Corp. launched vitamin-enhanced Fortifido waters for dogs. So far, the line features beverages for healthy bones, skin and more.