Capturing consumer demand for better pet food may be a matter of location

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Capturing consumer demand for better pet food may be a matter of location

EarthWise is in a strong position as a pet food franchise because we operate in urban markets where pet spending is on the rise

A woman and man and cityscape are in the blurry background of a cream-colored dog running happily up a concrete pathway toward the camera on a cloudy day.

Americans’ interest in our pets is collectively growing, and as we obsess over our furry little sweethearts, we want nothing more than to feed them better so they can live longer. EarthWise Pet was a very early adopter of this philosophy, having switched to exclusively offering all-natural foods back in the 1980s.

We’re the Whole Foods of pet food and supplies. Prices are affordable, but higher than what customers might pay for a mass market food brand. And like Whole Foods, we take care to locate stores in areas where people have the money and the motivation to pay more for natural products they trust. 

We seek out more densely populated areas for our pet food franchise locations. Research reveals that urban dwellers are much more likely to buy the kinds of products we sell. Higher-income earners as well as younger pet owners are making the biggest impact on the pet food market, Petfoodindustry.com reports. 

At the same time, higher-income earners and young professionals are increasingly moving closer to city cores so they can enjoy the amenities of city life while cutting out time wasted in long commutes. Intentionality is at the core of their decision-making processes. They trade away extra square footage in the suburbs in favor of stylish and convenient urban spaces. They tend either to have not started families or to be empty nesters, so they don’t need extra bedrooms for kids. But they haven’t given up their fur babies. Instead, they are investing in the health and well-being of their pets. The same intentionality that brought them to the urban core also attracts them to healthier options for their pets.  

Becoming the pet food experts

With so much misinformation being spread right now about the best way to feed your pets, EarthWise took a deliberate course of action to become the experts. “We created a pet dietitian program so that at least one person at every one of our stores is a certified pet dietitian. And all of our retail sales associates are pet nutritionist specialists with at least 20 hours of nutrition education,” says EarthWise CEO Mike Seitz.

There’s also a pet dietitian on the corporate staff to train store dietitians and help support what franchisees are doing at the local level. At a time when people have embraced pets as part of their families, it’s so important to provide expertise on the kind of nutrition a pet needs to help him or her live a longer, healthier more fulfilling life.

EarthWise fills a specialty niche

You only have to step inside an EarthWise Pet Supply to see that our pet franchise does things a little differently. Unlike a big warehouse store where customers might or might not be greeted and offered help as they stroll the many aisles, EarthWise stores are small enough — typically around 1,600 to 2,200 square feet — that customers are greeted the moment they step inside.

Whether they’ve come for full-service grooming, the self-wash station or just to pick up a basket of all-natural goodies for their four-legged friends, customers know they can turn to our associates with questions about our specialty pet food lines.

We carry raw food, wet food, dry food, freeze-dried and rehydrated food from manufacturers who offer 100% satisfaction guarantees. If the food customers choose doesn’t work for their pet (or even if their pet is merely picky and doesn’t like it), EarthWise will take it back. We want the customer to be happy, and we want their dogs and cats to be happy, too. We work with manufacturers who share those same values.  

Pet-related spending has been on the rise for the past several years, and all experts point to the continuation of that trend. Pet fanatics love being able to shop where other pet lovers shop, and they also love being able to connect with a real human who’s qualified to answer their questions. The forecast for a pet food franchise like ours is looking really good. If you’re curious about starting your own business, now is a great time to learn more.

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