Aug 14 Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday
announced its own "ultra premium" dog food, putting the largest
discount chain into more direct competition with specialty
chains such as PetSmart Inc and Petco.
The new brand, Pure Balance, is making its debut as the
ultra-premium part of the dry dog food business grows at a
faster rate that the value category, Wal-Mart said.
Pure Balance, to be sold at Walmart stores in the United
States, is an expansion on Wal-Mart's Ol' Roy brand, which was
named after one of founder Sam Walton's hunting dogs.
U.S. spending on pet food is expected to rise roughly 3
percent to $20.46 billion in 2012, according to the American Pet
Products Association. Overall spending on pets is expected to
increase about 3.7 percent to $52.87 billion this year, the
The industry has seen rapid growth in recent years. A decade
ago, Americans spent just $29.5 billion on their pets.
Walmart stores already sell some higher-end dog food such as
Nestle SA's Purina ONE and Procter & Gamble Co's
Iams. Some other premium brands, such as
Colgate-Palmolive Co's Hill's Science Diet, are sold at
specialty chains such as PetSmart and Petco or through
Walmart is already a big dog food outlet, selling enough
each year to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 2,050 times, it
A 30-pound bag of Pure Balance will be priced at $31.88 for
the chicken and brown rice variety and $39.88 for the lamb and
brown rice flavor. Smaller 5-pound and 15-pound bags will also
Pet food prices vary widely depending on the type of food,
package size and store location.
On Tuesday, a 29-pound bag of Iams ProActive Health Lamb &
Rice dog food was priced at $29.98 on Walmart's website. A
21-pound bag of Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance Grain Free
Chicken & Potato Dinner food for adult dogs was selling for
$44.99 on PetSmart's site.
Pure Balance features no chicken by-products, no soy, wheat
or corn additives, no artificial colors and no preservatives,
Wal-Mart said. The products will start appearing on the shelves
of more than 2,900 Walmart stores over the next few weeks.