Solving the Pet Waste Problem
Paul Cannella, president and founder of PoopBags.com, discusses how his company continues to stand out in the pet industry more than a decade after it first innovated the pick-up bags category.
Pet Business: This year marks PoopBags.com’s 15th anniversary. How has the company evolved since you founded it back in 2003?
Paul Cannella: When we first started, we had one Made in the USA SKU. From that initial product, we now have built 12 PoopBags SKUs, Catfidence and PoopChute in our product lineup.
Overall, I would say this category has been commoditized quite a bit. That’s why we strive for innovation and differentiation. We are the only company that makes compostable, USDA-Certified biobased and recycled product lines. We’re quite proud that we’ve won more Pet Business Industry Recognition Awards than any other waste bag company.
Our crown jewel is our patent-pending Count Down Rolls. This year, we are making the USDA biobased rolls with the Count Down feature. Due to more investment in machinery that improved efficiency, we are lowering the price to $3.50 wholesale per eight-roll pack, so our retailers are loving this news.
PB: What sets PoopBags.com waste bags apart from other options in the industry?
Cannella: You have to be different, otherwise it’s a race to the bottom on price. Aside from the features and certifications mentioned above, we’ve always stayed true to the pet independents. Many bags are sold by the big-box pet retailers and discount retailers, both in store and online. I think as the little guys try to survive, they are going to seek out brands that are independents-focused.
PB: How does PoopChute make cleaning up after pets easier for consumers?
Cannella: The PoopChute is a patented waste bag organizer and dispenser for inside and outside the home. The majority of dog owners don’t use a leash dispenser and just have rolls of bags in their house, drawers, pockets, car, etc. The PoopChute keeps them in one place and allows users to pull out the amount of bags they want for the walk. They’re great for pet stores, doggy daycares, vets and baby changing areas—and the list is growing as more people are exposed to it. More versions for the car, leash, outdoors, etc., are on the way.
PB: What is special about Catfidence litter?
Cannella: Catfidence is a 100 percent organic, all-natural bamboo-based cat litter. It contains no additives for absorption or for odor control. Due to its cellular structure, bamboo is super absorbent and soaks up the urine, water and odors. It’s three to five times more absorbent than clay litters. I’ve been using it for my cat,
Mr. Theodore, and you wouldn’t even know there was a litter box in my basement. Oh yeah, and a seven-pound bag lasts an entire month.
PB: What does the future hold for PoopBags.com?
Cannella: As we expand our product lineup, we are quickly becoming a pet waste solutions company. Our goal is to continue to focus on bringing products to the market that solve problems and make life easier, all while being as green as possible. In addition to launching Catfidence and PoopChute, we’re launching a value-price waste bag line, as well as our commercial product for parks, governments, HOA’s, etc.—called Natural Pet Partners. The pipeline is full. PB