LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW
Thursday, July 12, 2018
LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW
by Beren Dere
All pet owners are responsible for the feeding, health and physical care of the pets they host in their homes. We need to make sure that they have the things we care about in our own lives. We are responsible for providing the best life for our pets. We are filling our market baskets with Eco-Friendly and organic products for ourselves, we have to feed our animals in the same way as healthy. To this end, with its 4 brands, Treat Planet offers over 150 Eco-Friendly and Organic Dog Treats that made of 100% natural ingredient. In order to learn more about Eco-Friendly and Organic Treats, I talked to Douglas Martin, Founder and President of Treat Planet.
Douglas, before talking about Treat Planet, could you tell us about your background?
I have an industrial engineering background and spent my early adult years helping manufacturing plants automate and streamline their manufacturing operations. However, I have had an entrepreneurial spirit my entire life. Growing up, I had my own lawn mowing service and fishing supplies business. I have loved the idea of building businesses from an early age. Therefore, I decided to leave the automation world and start my own business. I started with a manufacturing business and then quickly moved into medical technology. With the help of a great team, I built a cancer diagnostics business that was a world leader in consumables and instrumentation with operations across the world and over 100 employees. I sold that business to Danaher Corporation in 2008. In 2009, I decided to get back into business and asked my operations partner, Sherry Huber, to join me on the journey as a partner to building another great business.
How did you decide to establish Treat Planet? What inspired you?
We picked the dog treat industry because we were totally inspired by the passion of the industry. People have such a bond with their dogs and pets. The industry has a great spirit and openness that was very inviting. We knew that if a company providing high-quality products that enhanced pets lives, it would be a success. We also believe that it is our community that enhances our lives. We want to make sure we are a partner in growing that community for everyone and their pets. One example of that commitment is how we structure our manufacturing. As a part of our manufacturing team, we also employ a dedicated team of 30-40 adults through Goodwill Industries with intellectual and/or physical disabilities. This team is supported by a supervisory team to diligently work every day to label our extensive chew line. Associates range from 18-75 and can work at whatever speed they are capable of completing. The partnership like these give associates the opportunities to achieve independence in a social setting. Every chew that is sold helps someone have a meaningful work life and some independence that may not have been possible.
Could you tell us more about Treat Planet?
Treat Planet is dedicated to providing high-quality dog treats to demanding pet parents. We focus all of our products on 100% US ingredients with a natural ingredient deck. We have multiple brands that range from market-leading chews to USDA certified organic treats. Treat Planet works closely with independent pet stores across the US and Canada. We also don’t just sell our treats to pet stores. We help them merchandise our treats with award-winning displays. We truly work to be a partner with our retailers so our customers totally understand the core of our brands – high quality. Treat Planet is also one of only a handful of companies that is a supporter of HABRI. HABRI is an organization that is taking the benefits of the bond we have with our pets and putting science behind them. They are doing scientific studies to document what many of us pet owners already know. Pets enhance lives in many ways. These scientific studies can then be used to enhance lives through smarter investments, laws, and enhanced understanding.
What is "eco-friendly pet products" mean?
Eco-Friendly means that we focus on using only natural ingredients. Today’s pet parents don’t want lots of chemicals or processed treats for their pets. They want something all natural and healthy. We use these as guiding principles for all our product developments.
Treat Planet offers four different brands? Could you briefly explain to us your brands and their features?
Treat Planet has multiple brands to focus on pet parent needs. If someone is looking for a baked organic product we give them our Snicky Snacks products. If they want outstanding chews and meat based products – Etta Says is the brand for them. Our Hare of the Dog brand caters to people looking for unique proteins for reasons from health to allergies. Hare of the Dog is a 100% rabbit based line that offers great benefits in those areas. We also have a 100% US made treat line that is available in convenience stores across the country for those pet parents that are on the go and traveling. When they know that their beloved dog is the first thing that will greet them when they get home or is waiting in the car for them, they want to give them a treat they can trust. Cosmos is that brand.
How many different tastes do you offer to dogs?
The great advantage of Treat Planet is that we cover every category of the pet treat world. We have a treat for every dog's favorite taste. If they love baked, we have them. If they prefer a soft moist meat treat, we have those! Our products range for great chews to natural body parts like pig ears, a dog favorite!
Dogs can not talk. How do you understand that they love Treat Planet products?
We receive stories every day from our pet parents that totally demonstrate why are treats are the best. Our favorite is from a pet parent who was waking up at 3 AM in the morning to a strange noise in her kitchen. When her husband had come home late, he placed the days' mail on the kitchen counter. In that mail was a box from Treat Planet that had one of our bags of treats in it. The dog quietly went to the kitchen when everyone was asleep and knocked the box off of the counter. He proceeded to open the cardboard box to get to the bag inside and help himself to the Treat Planet treats! The mom was a little shocked at 3 in the morning to find him enjoying a late night snack!
Where do you supply your ingredients from? How do you ensure the sustainability of quality? Where are Treat Planet products are made in?
All of our products are 100% made and sourced in the US. Our manufacturing facility is based in St. Louis Missouri. We inspect and approve every chew in our facility before it is ever packaged. We audit our suppliers with annual trips to their facilities. Our philosophy is a simple one. If we are not willing to feed it to our pets, we won’t ship it.
What can Treat Planet offer us that other brands have not?
First, customers should know that by supporting Treat Planet products, they are supporting great efforts that enrich lives. These range from helping support someone with disabilities strive for independence to funding research to show how valuable and important pets are in our lives. Further, they can be assured that the products they are giving their pets were made with a passion that totally understands the importance of quality and nutrition.
How can our readers buy Treat Planet? What type of options do you offer?
Treat Planet products are found at independent pet retailers across the United States and online at many retailers. Pet parents can buy many of our single serve items for a quick treat or splurge with an entire bag of great products like wild boar jerky. Whatever their dog enjoys, Treat Planet has an option.
What is next for Treat Planet? Should we wait for new brands?
Treat Planet is a fast-growing company that has been blessed with growth annual compound growth of over 50% every year of their existence. This growth allows us to constantly look for ways to truly be the Best Darn Treats on the Planet as our tagline states. We started with one brand and 3 products 8 years ago. Today we have 4 brands and over 150 products.
Thank you Douglas.