Showing the Love
Eric Abbey, president and founder of Loving Pets Products, discusses how the company constantly invests in providing only the highest quality products for the benefit of pets and retailers alike.
Pet Business: Loving Pets has been innovating the treat and pet bowl categories for more than a decade now. How has the company evolved in its approach over that time?
Eric Abbey: We believe it is very important to constantly be looking at the market and other non-pet avenues for trends in health, nutrition, brand names, ingredients, price points and so much more. We believe this puts us a step ahead in delivering our Loving Pets mission of healthy and affordable solutions for pets and the people that love them.
Our team looks to outside markets, especially to healthy solutions in human nutrition, since humanization always find its way into the pet category at some point or another. Loving Pets wants to remain an innovator and stay at the forefront of anticipating these trends. One great example of this is Loving Pets creating a whole new treat category—"Snackfood" from Loving Pets.
PB: Loving Pets recently made a major expansion to its manufacturing facilities. What went into this expansion? How has it affected your production capabilities?
Abbey: Loving Pets is proud to announce the expansion of our production floor. We’ve added new state of the art equipment in both packaging and manufacturing—technology, production, quality control.
The expansion was a big undertaking, as we had to design, build and convert the space, basically from scratch, to accommodate our increasing production needs and new technologies.
The expansion not only allowed for additional equipment that has increased production capacity, it also allowed for a separation of our manufacturing and packaging facilities. Our original production space is fully dedicated to producing products, while our new space is fully dedicated to packaging those products.
PB: With pet owners more concerned and educated than ever about the quality of the products they provide to their animal companions, how does Loving Pets ensure that it consistently offers high-quality products?
Abbey: Loving Pets always carefully sources the ingredients that go into each of our products by working with local suppliers. We take all customer communication/feedback received seriously, and we review our processes regularly to continue to improve upon our products. We also continue to test products to ensure quality so that we can be a confident leader in the category among our incredible key account/retailer partners, and also for our pet-parents/end customers.
PB: What are some of the latest and greatest products from Loving Pets? What are the key features of these products?
Abbey: We recently introduced ActivPetz USA Treats with Supplement and Ora-Bone USA Dental Chews for Dogs.
ActivPetz are affordable, USA-made dog treats that combine real meat and fish, with significant levels of veterinarian-recommended supplements, providing a cost-effective and tasty way to give pets supplements that are essential to supporting a healthy, active lifestyle. They are grain, wheat, gluten, soy and corn free, and they are available in four delicious nutritionally focused formulas, with two varieties per formula: Hip & Joint Health, Digestive Health plus Probiotics, Multivitamin and Immune Booster, and Skin and Coat.
Ora-Bone offers a patent-pending design that features twice the cleaning surface area of similar products. These USA-made chews also promote better movement in the mouth and improved interaction with gums, teeth and tongue. The varied textured surfaces remove tartar and prevent buildup for improved oral/dental health and three breath-freshening ingredients refresh a dog’s breath, targeting the mouth and gut. Available in three sizes—small, medium and large—Ora-Bone is great for any breed or size of dog.
PB: Does Loving Pets have any product launches currently in the pipeline? If so, how will these products continue the company’s tradition of innovating the product categories it participates in?
Abbey: Taste Buddies is a new line that will be launching at Global Pet Expo. It is definitely a unique product and caters to our Americana favorites that we believe retailers and customer will all love.
PB: Aside from producing high-quality products, how does Loving Pets help drive success for pet stores? What types of sales, merchandising and marketing support can retailers expect from the company?
Abbey: Loving Pets has sales representatives and staff on the road at all times to help support pet stores and drive their success collaboratively. Our team goes into stores, to detail the shops, as well as train staff on the products.
We always work hard to improve and offer, not only a direct line of communication with our retailers, but also a presence working with them in their stores.
Loving Pets also has our store locator program on our website, which drives consumers looking for products to brick-and-mortar locations, as we believe this is very important to supporting our retail partners.
PB: What does the future hold for Loving Pets?
Abbey: Loving Pets is going to continue to innovate in the treat and bowl/bowl accessories categories. We still feel that there are new materials, new ingredients and new products to offer for a long future with a lot of growth and innovation ahead. PB