Saturday, June 25, 2011

Grammy's Pot Pie and Wild Buffalo Grill

I've promised reportage from Europe, complete with photographs and descriptions and what do you get? Musings on pet food.

At times, I can be such a tease.

The most recent excursion, which likely will get a follow-up post, is to Princeton, New Jersey to catch an exhibit of Kurt Schwitters' work. This 562-mile journey was estimated to take 9 & 1/4 hours, but owing to a tire blow-out on the Interstate, incredibly rusty lug nuts and a missed turn onto Highway 9 instead of 11 in Pennsylvania, the trip took stretched out to 13 hours. Some of those hours included driving rains at night, complete with gusty winds, thunder and lightning.

While waiting for the mounting of 2 new tires the next morning, we wandered the upscale strip mall. The shop that caught our attention was named Utopia for Pets. It featured trendy toys, garments and foods for Fluffy and Rover, or more likely Horace and Killer, Garfield and Bear, given the recent trends in pet-naming.

Marketing strategies that play right into our anthropomorphic tendencies were on full display. Check out the very masculine and feminine appeal of these dry dog foods by Solid Gold. See if you can figure out which is which:

Say, this is kinda hard.

The full line of Merrick's was particularly intriguing. They produce expensive canned cat and dog foods retailing in the neighborhood of $2.49 a can. While the Merrick pet foods are highly rated for their nutritional content, their marketing is decidedly tailored to a specific clientele. Besides the main lines of canned and dry food, there are seasonal varieties. Canned dog and cat food made especially for spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Check out the description written for Burger Pie and Sweetie Fries and the other summer seasonals:
"The summer beckons all of her children to shake off the shackles of spring and frolic in her warm ways. Sun screen, sand in your toes and deliciously healthy outdoor meals are in the sights, sounds and tastes of Summer. Merrick's Summer Seasonals are the very essence of fine Summer cuisine, captured in a can. Give your dog a treat - let him dine outside!"

When I asked the clerk whether guys purchased the more manly sounding varieties like Cowboy Cookout and Working Dog Stew, she pointed out that shopping for dog food is a task that most often falls to the lady of the house. That may help explain why the most popular variety is Grammy's Pot Pie.


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