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The latest evidence – as if any more were needed – that man’s (and woman’s) best friend has become a full-furred member of the family is Stew Leonard’s introduction of the Bubba’s Barkree all-natural line of homemade dog treats, made by team member Barbara Bucknam “from scratch fresh daily using … ingredients in [the grocer’s] very own bakery department.”
In fact, the company proudly proclaims, “There is not one ingredient in these treats that Barbara or Stew Leonard Jr. wouldn’t eat themselves!” Incorporating such “human” fare as sweet potatoes, eggs, pumpkin puree and brown rice, the exclusive-to-Stew’s line consists of Biscuits, Corn Dogs (made with real hot dogs), Snacks, “Pup-Cakes” and Biscuit Bites, and retails for $2.99-$4.99.
In rolling out the new products, the grocer cited research from the American Pet Products Association finding that Americans spent $61 billion on their pets in 2015, $23 billion of it for treats, so it’s no wonder the five-store chain would be tempted to get a piece of that action.
The launch does beg the question, however, of what we’ll see next on grocery store shelves for the nation’s pampered pets: Since the HBW section seems a good place to develop with regard to animals, how about paw spas, or treatments to add curl and bounce to limp, listless fur? The possibilities seem almost limitless as shoppers keep digging deep into their pockets to provide their four-legged friends with the best.