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Bad for pets, good for pet stores. . . sort of

Ashley Milne-Tyte Mar 23, 2007

Bad for pets, good for pet stores. . . sort of

Ashley Milne-Tyte Mar 23, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: The lawsuits are piling up against a Canadian company called Menu Foods. They make pet food that’s sold as Iams and other popular brands. Their pet food was recalled last week after 14 animals died. Now people with pets are looking for alternatives, even with dry food. Here’s Ashley Milne-Tyte:

ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Annual sales of natural and organic pet food have been growing three times faster than regular pet food sales. Still, they make up a tiny fraction of the $14 billion pet food market.

But this crisis could change that, says Dave Ratner, owner of four pet stores in Massachusetts.

DAVE RATNER: Sales of every brand of all-natural products are through the roof.

Up 20 to 30 percent this week alone.

Ratner says the problem for retailers is keeping enough organic and natural food on the shelves — or even getting it there in the first place.

RATNER: The company that makes it is all of a sudden so backed up trying to fill orders from the big guys, that they don’t even wanna talk to me now.

Still, he says, the pet food recall has been good for business: Pet owners who usually shop at the supermarket are flocking to his stores for specialist advice.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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