DENVER — An e-commerce platform with a unique twist launched in late October with the goal of offering product transparency, from pet food and treats to personal care products and household cleaning supplies, for the modern consumer. The platform, Pure Market, rates products based on up to 400 safety, quality and integrity attributes to “empower consumers to make more informed shopping decisions,” the company says.

“Customers expect transparency from companies, but sometimes it’s hard to cut through the marketing clutter to understand whether or not a product label is accurate,” said Sunny Kapoor, senior vice president of digital product management for Pure Market. “Our company mission is to level set the industry and go beyond product labels and marketing speak to provide true, unbiased insights to shoppers on what exactly is in the products they consume — and feed their families and pets — every day.”

The long list of attributes on which products are rated requires testing for environmental contaminants, pollutants, heavy metals and pesticide residues, analyzing nutritional content, and verifying label claim accuracy, to name a few.

The platform only carries products that it has tested and granted a B- rating or higher. Most of the pet food and treat products currently on the site are judged primarily on purity and nutrition.

“For pet food and treats specifically, we test for heavy metals, pesticide residues, plasticizers, melamine and its analogues [ammeline, ammelide and cyanuric acid], mycotoxins, antibiotic residues and acrylamide,” says Tyler D’Spain, lab director for Pure Market. These tests mainly contribute to a pet product’s purity rating.

“For our pet food nutrition rating, we look at a number of factors, including things like protein content, and the usage of specific ingredients and filler ingredients,” he adds.

Based on these ratings, Pure Market also lists the top brands for each of its product categories, including pet food, beverages, CBD products, health and fitness and more. According to the platform, the top five pet food and treat brands based on their Pure Market ratings are Full Moon, American Farms, Kibbles ‘n Bits, HolistaPet and Great Life.

D’Spain explains that Pure Market uses analytical chemistry testing to sample and test the products they offer, then compares it with historical benchmarking data of similarly formulated products within the same category to come up with its final rating.

“The product rating and lab grade that you see is a blend of test results and benchmarking,” he says. “For nutrition, a pet food product would need to have high levels of multiple nutritional measures and be formulated using high-quality ingredients – all relative to similar products.”

On the other hand, D’Spain says if a pet food or treat product is found to have low nutritional benefits or is formulated with low-quality ingredients, it will receive a low score and not be offered on the Pure Market platform.

Jeremy Dodge, senior manager of digital and e-commerce for I and Love and You, a brand of pet food and treats, commented, “Consumer trust is everything, and Pure Market’s unbiased analysis of our products provides us with invaluable data that verifies the high quality and safety of our pet food.”

Consumer packaged goods brands can request product reviews and testing by Pure Market, and consumers can also suggest brands or products for the platform to test. It also monitors market data, such as from Nielsen or IRI, and monitors bestseller lists from popular online retailers, such as Amazon, Walmart and Target, to add to its collection of rated products.

Since launching in late October 2019, the platform has rated and offers more than 3,300 products, including 208 dog treat products, 287 dry dog foods, 212 wet dog foods, 127 dry cat foods and 174 wet cat foods.

While Pure Market’s end-goal is to sell all the products it has rated on its own platform, it does not yet. “Our goal is for many of the high-ranking products on our site to be available for purchase in the coming months,” D’Spain concluded.

Find more articles about e-commerce in the pet product industry.