The health food trends of human food brands are now being marketed to man’s best friends. Now more than ever before, pet owners have an overwhelming variety of healthier choices to feed their beloved pets. Gone are the days of fillers and mystery meats. And gone are the days of marketing healthy food only to humans.
According to Nielsen Reports, today’s dog foods are becoming humanized. Dog food Brand Managers and Marketers should absolutely be taking a serious look at human food trends, because pets are officially members of the family.
Here are some of the top food trends for both man and his furry friend.
People are more concerned about organic food not only for themselves, but for their pets as well. Organic food can cost as much as 30 percent more than non-organic, but an increasing number of dog owners are willing to pay the higher price for the family pooch. California Natural is a great organic brand that has set itself apart from other organic brands due to their strictly enforced manufacturing guidelines. grown amidst this trend. The product is made for pets with food sensitivities in mind with only 3-6 ingredients.
Dr. Jean Hofve author of “Paleo Dog: Give Your Best Friend a Long Life, Healthy Weight, and Freedom from Illness by Nurturing His Inner Wolf”, has an interesting insight on the Paleo diet. She compares it brilliantly to “taking your dogs out of your purse and putting them on the grass.” The Paleo Diet has a firm foothold in the dog food industry—creating a new sector of “ancestral” foods reflective of earlier diets of canines that are focused on the high quality of proteins and grains in pet food. Sojo’s “wholesome raw” pet food offers two types of innovative products for the Paleo movement. The Complete and The Pre-Mix. The complete comes with raw freeze-dried meet to the other raw ingredients. The Pre-Mix is allow you to mix in your pup’s favorite protein.
Inspired by the success of human food brands, half of new pet foods have added vitamins, antioxidants, protein, DHA for puppies, and no fillers, artificial ingredients or byproducts. Lucky Dog Cuisine makes a product that is appropriate for all stages of a pet’s life. They use meat with a butcher-like quality and all fruits and vegetables are GMO. Specific product blends are most importantly filled with healthy vitamins and prebiotics.
Made in the USA
Patriotism has even made its way to the dog bowl, with 51 percent of dog owners believing that “Made in the U.S.” is a very important package claim as fear of contamination and product safety is a large concern among pet owners. Grill-icious dog treats from Loving Pets come in chicken, turkey and beef. They are made in New Jersey from USA sourced ingredients.” They are even gluten and soy-free. These treats have zero additives or preservatives.
The best meals get us excited even before we take our first bite. And dog food brands know this too. That’s why a top driver of sales in pet foods includes adding “excitement” to the dogs’ diets via flavors, gravies, look-alike human recipes, and meal specific foods such as appetizers and breakfast. It makes sense. A happy dog is a happy dog owner. Marketing healthy food through appetite appeal works on both humans and dogs. Hill’s awesome Balance Breakfast Medleys are waffle shaped and are meant to be breakfast treats for your dog. They are naturally made with no grains or wheat, proving that even dog treats are made healthy now.
With the popularity of grain and gluten-free options for humans, it’s no surprise that the trend is creeping into the dog food aisle. Theoretically, there is no reason dogs couldn’t be gluten intolerant. And “wheat is not an essential food for dogs,” says Marion Nestle, professor of food studies at New York University, so there’s no harm in trying a gluten-free diet if your dog has allergies, skin problems, digestive issues, or other health ailments. Nestle-branded Organix know grain-based foods don’t work well for all of our dog friends, which is why it uses tapioca (a gluten-free starch) as a substitute.
When it comes to dog food, humans are your best focus group.
Since our pups are basically our children, when it comes to selecting food we only want the best for them – just like us. While humans see the word “healthy” flashed on numerous puppy chow bags, the real print we should be paying attention to is the nutrition facts. So when it comes to marketing healthy pet food to humans, the key is being upfront about all the great benefits of a premium and specialty brand. It’s also about embracing the trends and varieties that consumers crave. True pet parents want what is best for their pets. The trick is figuring out what that is.