There was a very short list of questions to get answered at the Trade Show this year. This was fortunate, since there was so much else to see a longer list may not have gotten the proper amount of attention. We had a question for Bravo, Champion, Chicken Soup and Glacier Peak Holistics. Here’s what was uncovered.
Earlier this year, Bravo sent out a notification that they were moving the manufacturing of their beef products back to the US. Bravo had been packaging some of their beef products overseas using Australian and New Zealand grass-finished beef.
The notice specified that production was returning to the US, but was unclear whether that meant the beef would now only be US-sourced. New Zealand and Australian beef is typically grass-finished, while US beef is typically grain-finished. For those clients who have a preference, the distinction is quite important.
According to a manufacturer’s rep at the show, all beef will now be US-sourced and packaged. Their lamb will continue to come from New Zealand.
Next up was finding out about Chicken Soup shortages
For most of this year, it’s been hit and miss trying to get Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul canned products. Our regular supplier had it briefly earlier this year, but it has remained out of stock since.
According to a company rep at the show, they have been dealing with both ingredient sourcing and production issues. The ingredient challenges have been resolved. Since the food is produced in a plant that makes dozens of other formulas, it may still be a month or two before it becomes available again.
The company is well aware of the frustration caused by the ongoing shortage. When pressed, the initial estimate of 1-2 weeks became a more realistic 5-7 weeks. While 1-2 weeks may be the timeline of production, there’s a huge backlog to fill and getting the finished product into all the distribution channels will most likely require another month at least.
This brought up some bad memories about Orijen and Acana
We’ve been trying to get a straight answer from Chanmpion Pet Foods about when we would be “allowed” to begin selling Orijen and Acana foods again following their plant fire in the Fall of 2012. At the time of the fire, were were told it would be about 6 months before production returned to normal.
Since then, we have repeatedly been offered different excuses as to why the food has not been made available to us, when it has returned to most other outlets in the area. A conversation last year with the company indicated it was our supplier who had made that decision. A subsequent conversation with the supplier indicated otherwise.
After being passed from one rep to another, it became apparent that Champion has decided to enforce a policy which was not in place when we brought the food in originally and helped to establish it in the area. They now make a distinction between a home delivery service and a retail store. They also make a distinction between online retailers and retail stores, although those restrictions remain a rather gray area since the food remains available online.
As a result, after more than 2 years of waiting, we finally got a straight answer— we will no longer be allowed to sell their products. Not the answer we wanted or expected, but at least we can now move on and stop wasting time fighting a losing battle. While this decision appears unfair on many levels, it is theirs to make, so we will no longer waste time appealing to reason. My sincere apologies to those clients who have been waiting for us to resolve this differently. We had expected a different outcome as well, based on everything we had been told until now.
A Happier Outcome is Expected With Glacier Pet Holistics
We’ve got quite a bit more research to do into this intriguing company and its products. I spent far more time speaking with them than in any other booth, and still have unanswered questions.
GPH produces a Sensitivity Assessment Kit which is simple and inexpensive in comparison to the traditional options available. The kit uses a sample of your dog’s hair and saliva to produce a detailed analysis of sensitivities. Some of the sensitivities will be addressed by changes in diet, while others are addressed with an herbal supplement which is custom-blended based on the analysis.
The cost of this approach is far less than traditional allergy testing, and the ongoing cost for maintenance supplementation is right in line with other over the counter nutritional supplements. You’ll be hearing more about this product a bit later in the year.
That was the “short list” for SuperZoo this year
If you missed out on getting your question answered, there may be a couple of additional opportunities before the end of the year. Just let us know what’s on your mind and we’ll be happy to follow up with any manufacturers we cross paths with at the upcoming supplier Open Houses.