Panel discussion: Pet food, retailer and e-commerce execs: the new world of selling pet food

Join executives from top pet food companies and leading pet retailers to learn how to navigate today’s disruptive, continually morphing world of distributing and selling pet food. Pet owners have more choices than ever for finding and purchasing their pet food, from burgeoning e-commerce options to “click and mortar” to customization to traditional neighborhood pet shops, superstores and grocery/mass market outlets. Distributor consolidation is also playing a role. With this explosion of market changes and options, how can pet food brands figure out the best channels and retailing strategies for their products?

Panel members:

Nathan Marafioti, group director of e-commerce with Nestlé Purina North America

Brock Weatherup, EVP strategic innovation and digital experience with Petco

Moderator Ed Yuhas, managing partner with Kincannon & Reed Executive Search

Panelist bios:

Weatherup is responsible for fostering and accelerating innovation across Petco’s business, incubating new ideas and ensuring the company’s long-term relevance, and leads Petco’s e-commerce and digital strategy. He joined Petco in 2017 when the company acquired PetCoach, of which he was CEO and co-founder. PetCoach is a first-of-its-kind pet care store concept offering a high-quality suite of personalized pet services, products and experiences, designed through a veterinary lens to address total pet health and wellness. Previously, Weatherup was a venture partner of tech accelerator ICONYC Labs and managing director of his angel investment fund, Atai Ventures. He also served as senior vice president and chief digital officer at PetSmart after selling Pet360, a venture-backed leading consumer engagement, digital media and subscription e-commerce company, where he was CEO for five years. Weatherup was co-founder and CEO of startup Fathead and a senior leader at InterActiveCorp, a media entertainment company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and tourism from the University of Colorado.

Yuhas is a managing partner with Kincannon & Reed Executive Search. Prior to joining Kincannon & Reed, which places senior-level executives in the agribusiness, food and life sciences industries, Yuhas spent 30 years in leadership positions in the food, lawn and garden, and companion animal/pet food categories — all in consumer-packaged goods. A classically trained marketer by background, he has also led sales organizations and served as a general manager with complete profit and loss (P&L) responsibility for plant operations, quality assurance/food safety, research and development (R&D), finance and human resources. Yuhas has worked for a broad range of companies including Borden, Spectrum Brands, Nestlé and Mars. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in business administration from Drexel University.