Blue Buffalo Expands Into Mass and Grocery Stores
Blue Buffalo revealed its decision to expand distribution of the Blue Life Protection Formula (LPF) product line to mass and grocery retailers in a letter to its retail partners last week. The company has already begun shipping LPF products to Target, Kroger, Meijer and Publix with the expectation that they will appear in store this month.
LPF is Blue Buffalo’s entry-level natural pet food line and is one of five distinct product lines belonging to the company. The company felt that broadening the distribution of LPF was a natural evolution of its go-to-market strategy for the brand. Blue Buffalo’s other lines—Wilderness, Basics, Freedom and Earth’s Essentials—will continue to be sold exclusively in pet specialty stores.
“We designed our entry into the mass and grocery channel to be as incremental to our pet specialty business as possible,” said Modestino Mele, senior vice president of North American sales, in the letter.
Key differences separate Blue Buffalo’s pet specialty and grocery/mass distributions. For the mass and grocery channel, the company is focusing on offering smaller bag sizes, mainstream formulas, wet foods and treats solely from the LPF line. As a result, pet specialty retailers will have a greater variety of offerings and exclusive access to the largest bag sizes.
The company also plans to heighten awareness of the exclusivity of the Wilderness, Basics, Freedom and Earth’s Essentials to pet specialty stores. As part of an increase in advertising starting in Fall 2017, the four lines will have an added “tag” at the end of their commercials that reads “available at your favorite Pet Specialty store.”
In light of these changes, Blue Buffalo affirmed its commitment to quality. “There will be absolutely no compromise in ingredient quality in any of our products, in any channel,” said Mele. “All LPF offerings will be the same wholesome natural formulations that pet parents have come to expect from Blue Buffalo.”