business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times has a story about how Petco, the pet/pet supplies chain, has signed a deal that will have exhibition kitchens installed in “hundreds” of its stores that will allow customers to see human-quality pet food being prepared “from USDA-grade meats and local produce,” and then “walk out with freshly made food for Fido.”

The deal is with San Diego-based JustFoodForDogs, which will have its staffers in-store preparing the company’s “signature meals.”

The idea, the story says, “is to pull back the curtain on the dog- and cat-food-making process, and, perhaps more important, bring in discerning millennial buyers to Petco's physical stores. The group, known to treat their pets like family members, often patronizes independent pet stores, where they pay a premium for raw, grain-free or organic brands.”

The Times writes that “the kitchens at Petco will be near-replicas of JustFoodForDogs stores and will be staffed by JustFoodForDogs employees, who are trained to provide in-store consultations to curious pet owners. The first in-Petco kitchen should debut before year's end, though similarly branded pantries, stocked with food made nearby, will arrive within a few months.”
KC's View:
That’s more than the vast majority of supermarkets provide to their shoppers, but it also suggests a potential approach that bricks-and-mortar stores could approach when differentiating themselves from the competition.