Ron Cotting, vice president of sales and marketing for Natural Solutions For Life, divulges how the company's pet supplements are formulated to provide unmatched support for pet health.
Pet Business: What inspired Natural Solutions for Life to get into the pet supplements business?
Ron Cotting: It felt like a very natural transition, as joint supplements are our core business. We manufacture the No. 1 show livestock supplements on the market, and in the livestock world, more than 80 percent of the people that win competitive livestock “show” events are using at least one of our products. Those people asked us to provide them with products they could trust for their pets and horses.
PB: What sets Natural Solutions for Life products apart from other supplements?
Cotting: Cetyl myristoleate [is what sets our products apart]—glucosamine and chondroitin are simply not enough. Our solution attacks the source of the problem. Before you can ever strengthen and rebuild, first you should get rid of the inflammation. Also, we offer a more complete ingredient deck, which includes high amounts of glucosamine, MSM [methylsulfonylmethane], yucca powder and HA [hyaluronic acid]. People are getting tired of basic products that only look at the symptoms; they want a more complete supplement that will significantly improve the health and well-being of their beloved pets.
PB: What are the latest product developments from Natural Solutions for Life? How do these products improve on what has come before?
Cotting: We have a lot of new products in the works that we are very excited about and that we hope we will be able to launch at SuperZoo this summer. We also started a human supplement line that has shown to be very successful within a short period of time. We are always looking at new innovation to bring to the pet industry to better our pets’ lives.
PB: What is the company’s relationship with the United States War Dogs Association? What does having relationships with charitable organizations like this mean to the company?
Cotting: Social responsibility is a big part of our core values. Natural Stride partnered with U.S. War Dogs to improve the overall joint health and quality of life for our veterans’ service dogs. This partnership was very dear to us, and we would anticipate similar support in the future. Additionally, we have been looking for ways to support police K-9 dogs on a national level. This has been a bit more difficult to navigate, because you’re actually dealing with the government or local agencies, versus a non-profit organization.
PB: What does the future hold for Natural Solutions for Life, and the supplement category?
Cotting: Natural Solutions for Life will be extending beyond joint supplements. In the future, we will be looking to add both [new lines and line extensions]. Although the category, as a whole, will continue to grow roughly four to six percent during the next five years, in my estimation, the overall number of companies will shrink. This is due in large part to consolidation. Smaller, independent pure-play supplement companies will need to modify their business model to extend beyond the supplement category in order to remain competitive and appealing to large distributors and mass retailers. There are many new entrants in the space, with a lot of differentiation in the category, but consolidation will significantly impact the smaller companies.