Ava Olsen, brand manager for Charlee Bear Products, explains why an increasing number of pet owners are demanding healthier and cleaner treats for their pets. Olsen also shares her perspective on effective methods retailers are using in-store to educate shoppers about treat safety.
How is Charlee Bear Products addressing consumer’s demands for cleaner, healthier dog treats?
Charlee Bear starting making our treats over 20 years ago. We were one of the first natural, low calorie, dog treats. Our vision from its beginning meets the demands of today’s consumer. We have always had a simple, wholesome ingredient statement and a product made in the USA. Clean, healthy treats have been the basis of our products from day one. “Treats with a healthy purpose.”
How does your company determine which ingredients to use?
We take into consideration the nutritional aspects of an ingredient, the taste, the availability and whether or not it will work in our process in production and shelf stability. We are looking for ingredients that will provide, great taste, nutrition and still allow us to meet our low calorie claims and come from the USA. Charlee Bear works on the principal that it is a dog’s food that provides the basis of daily nutrition. For us treats have always been a way to have fun and enhance the bond between dog and human. We want people and their canine companions to have fun, treat often and not fall into the trap of canine obesity that is a problem for so many dogs. When dogs are overweight not only are they not able to do all the fun things dogs should do, it also increases their risks for serious diseases like cancer and arthritis.
Our treats are perfect for training when it is important to have treats with great palatability but still remain low in calories so they can be used frequently. We support training as an important way to socialize our canine companions and make them great family members. We look for ingredients that will keep our treats “pocket perfect” so people can carry them along when training or just on walks or even around the house.
People have been asking us for a Grain Free treat and we just introduced Bear Crunch in three flavors. This new product was developed to have simple, wholesome, ingredients, be low in calories and have a great taste and a Light Crunch dogs love but no grains.
Why is this focus on offering pets increasingly nutritious and clean diets so important to pet owners?
According to the APPA there are over 83 million dogs in the US in over 56 million households. Dogs are everywhere and they are part of our families. More and more of them are going on vacations with us, many sleep in our beds, they provide companionship and we love them. As our overall awareness of how diet impacts health grows, we are applying the same standards to the diets of our dogs that we would apply to everyone in the family. Often people are more determined to provide healthy food for their dogs than they are for themselves. The pet industry understands the desires of consumers and works to provide choices and education. More and more people are understanding that what dogs eat has a major impact on the quality and length of their lives. We love to see the way our dogs love life and we want to see them healthy. At Charlee Bear our goal has always been to provide a treat that is great for training or fun and is a great part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
What have been effective methods retailers have used to educate consumers about treat safety and how your company is ensuring treats are safe for pets?
Many retailers are looking for Made in the USA treats with simple, wholesome ingredients from known companies. Charlee Bear Dog Treats have been made for over 20 year so we have a long history with many trainers, retailers and consumers. We work with trusted suppliers with whom we have had long term relationships. Every batch of our treats is tested for microbiological activity, E. coli and salmonella and there are Certificates of Analysis for each batch. All lots are analyzed for adherence to our Nutritional Guarantees. Every bag is coded with a lot number and date and time of production for traceability. In addition we maintain an 800 number and a website where we welcome any calls or emails from consumers or retailers with questions. For us, our excellent, long history makes us a trusted brand.
How does Charlee Bear Dog Treats strengthen trust among retailers and consumers when it comes to ensuring your treats are safe?
Our 800 number and website helps to provide open lines of communication. Our long history of making an excellent product has won us many fans among consumers, trainers, dog clubs vets, retailers and of course dogs. As we continue to take the care and time to provide good, safe products, our fans and supporters help us to grow the trust in our brand by telling the people they know about Charlee Bear Dog Treats.