Adding “Pop” to Pet Stores
Jeff Logan, director of marketing for Dexas International, Ltd., discusses how his company has taken its unique brand of innovation from housewares to pet care.
Pet Business: What inspired Dexas to bring its expertise in creating solution-oriented products from the housewares market to the pet industry? How has Dexas’ success with human products informed its approach to creating pet products?
Jeff Logan: Dexas created and introduced a line of collapsible colanders and strainers to the housewares market, called Popware. The colander pops open to be full size, but it can also collapse flat while the legs fold in and underneath, making it easy to put in the dishwasher with the plates. Dexas has always been about solving problems in the kitchen, making family meal preparation more enjoyable. Pets are part of that family too, so it all extended quite naturally to Popware for Pets. The collapsibility and the convenience translated beautifully to feeding pets, both at home and on the go.
PB: What are some of Dexas’ most popular pet products? What are some of the key features of these products?
Logan: Well, our pet travel items continue to grow, led by collapsible travel cups, since they are such a necessity, as well as an impulse item. Our elevated feeders do promote a healthier eating posture, since the bowls are up off the floor, and they look great with a matching Grippmat to catch water drops. But we really hit on a solution for pet owners’ needs when we created the H-DuO and Snack-DuO dual-chamber hydration bottles. Snack-DuO really caught pet retailers’ attention and won some industry awards. Pet parents could easily pack up water and a snack for a dog in the same bottle, and use the clip-on travel cup for serving anywhere.
PB: Tell us about the MudBuster Paw Washer that Dexas recently introduced. How does it work? What makes the MudBuster stand out from other paw-cleaning products on the market?
Logan: As pet owners ourselves, we tried other paw-cleaning devices, but never with much success. We thought there had to be a better, more efficient way to do the chore of crouching down and cleaning four paws. Once again, our experience working with silicone as a key housewares material came into play. MudBuster is a cylinder, but inside it has an array of soft, thick silicone bristles, totally unlike anything out there. You add a little water into the MudBuster, insert the paw all the way in, then gently twist the cylinder as you remove the paw—that’s it. The paw is clean and a bit wet, so you do need to dab it or have them walk on a towel on their way in. We received outstanding feedback on the item at SuperZoo.
PB: In addition to producing a lineup of solution-oriented products, how does Dexas help pet retailers drive sales in their stores? What types of support services do you offer?
Logan: Dexas provides outstanding, flexible packaging, as well as counter display units for our bottle assortments; plus, we have been working to add more point-of-sale materials with great graphics of the products in use.
Our retailers have been giving us ideas, too. Recently a customer asked us to provide some additional samples of our Pooch Pouch treat holder so that her employees could wear them around the store, with sample treats at the ready for dogs who accompany their owners. One of our top independent customers is using a double elevated feeder as a watering station in her store, complete with matching Grippmat to catch any water drips. These are great, low-cost ways to support the stores in their interactions with consumers.
PB: What does the future hold for Dexas in the pet industry?
Logan: We’re thrilled to have been at the forefront of pet travel products, and we’ll continue to create products that just make it easy to include pets wherever life takes you. MudBuster has led us to work on other grooming solutions. Natural and whole food prep for pets at home is a natural place for us to be as well. And we have plans to continue to grow our pet line and be more inclusive of cat people.