News Retail Chain To Ban Artificial Ingredients



Retail chain to ban artificial ingredients
23rd November 2018

By Karen Pickwick

Leading US retailer Petco is to stop selling food and treats containing artificial colours, flavours and preservatives for dogs and cats by May next year – and is calling on other pet businesses to follow suit.

It is believed the move makes Petco – which has more than 1,500 outlets across the US, Mexico and Puerto Rico – the first and only major retailer of pet food and treats to take a stand against such ingredients.

“Since our first store opened in 1965, Petco has been dedicated to ensuring the well-being of pets. That commitment continues today, with our decision to not carry food and treats for dogs and cats containing artificial flavours, colours and preservatives," said Petco CEO Ron Coughlin.

“Some may question whether this makes good business sense, but putting pets' health first has always been the right thing to do for Petco. This is both a major step forward for pets and a natural next step on our journey to become a complete partner in total pet wellness. We hope the rest of the pet industry will join us on this path to better health for the pets we love.”


In 2014, Petco became the first national specialty retailer to discontinue the sale of China-made treats in the wake of consumer concerns about safety – and other retailers soon followed. The company says it aims to ‘raise the bar again’ for the entire pet retail industry.

In January, Petco will begin removing dog and cat foods and treats with artificial ingredients, both from store shelves and ecommerce, with a commitment to complete the process by May. Some of the more than 40 artificial ingredients the chain is eliminating include FD&C Red No. 3, Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated hytroxytoluene (BHT), Glycerol tributyrate, and benzaldehyde, among others.

“We’re inviting pet food companies to join us on this journey, even working hand-in-hand with some to pursue potential ingredient changes to meet our new stringent ingredient standards,” said co-chief merchandising officer Nick Konat. “In cases where an existing brand is unable to update some or all of their products to meet our criteria by May of 2019, we will not carry either specific products or the brand entirely – and we’ll help pet parents affected by such a change to safely transition to a new food or brand that we believe is healthier for their pet.”