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Retail giants face off over dog food

TWO OF the UK’s largest retail outlets are on a collision course over an argument about dog food.
Leading Supermarket chain Tesco are reported to be stocking batches of 'unofficially supplied' Eukanuba pet food in some of its stores, a move which is said to have angered Proctor & Gamble, the makers of Eukanuba and Iams.

Procter and Gamble currently supply the Iams brand to the large national supermarkets but Eukanuba is stocked exclusively in pet shops and vets' surgeries.

Tesco is believed to have put the brand on shelf as it attempts to position itself as a specialist pet-food supplier.

The move has attracted criticism from some within the pet sector. Rob McIntyre, a director of Jollyes Petfood Superstore said: ‘Jollyes Petfood Superstores fully endorses Proctor & Gamble’s decision to fight to stop Tesco supplying Eukanuba. This is a premium product which is designed to provide the exact nutritional requirements for different sizes, ages and breeds of dog.

‘An incorrect selection of any dog food will fail to provide the optimal nutrition for the dog and, in particular, developing puppies and large breeds of dog have very specific nutritional requirements.

‘Jollyes works hard to ensure we have in-store staff with the experience and knowledge to offer our customers specific advice on their pet’s nutritional needs as selecting the correct food can be confusing for the inexperienced owner.

‘To assist our customers with their pet’s nutrition we are planning a series of pet health days in our stores across the country at which owners can have access to specific health advice on the best types of diet and lifestyle for their animals.’

A spokesperson for Procter & Gamble appeared to take Jollyes' side saying: ‘Procter & Gamble remains firmly committed to exclusively supporting Eukanuba in the pet speciality channel, where owners can receive information about the nutrition and health benefits of these premium products to guide their choice.’

Tesco, however, appeared unrepentant about stocking the food and over-riding any other agreements between P & G and Jollyes. A Tesco spokesperson commented:, ‘Customers like Eukanuba dog food, which is sold through a variety of retail outlets, including the Internet. We want to make sure we don't disappoint them - which is why we have secured a some of these products from other reputable sources within our supply chain.’