PET Food Processing - June 2020 - 10

TAGLINE

Left: Ree Drummond,
also known as
The Pioneer Woman,
partnered with Purina in
April 2019 to launch a
line of dog treats
featuring home-style
cooking flavors.
The Pioneer Woman

Right: Rachael Ray, a
celebrity cook and TV
personality, partnered
with Ainsworth Pet
Nutrition in 2008 to
develop her Nutrish line
of super premium pet
food and treats, which is
now owned by The J.M.
Smucker Company.
Cindy Ord, Getty Images

10

Phelps Pet Products, Rockford, Ill., agreed human
brands that have built a reputation on quality resonate
with pet parents, especially newer pet parents.
"First-time pet parents often are faced with new situations and decisions they never have made on their own,"
Ruffolo said. "Similar to human parents who are faced with
decisions for their first baby, these new pet parents look to
experts - other pet owners, doctors/vets, and influential
brands - to help guide or validate their decision-making.
This also is why familiar brands and retail private labels that
consumers know and trust can be very important."
Additionally, more human brands are able to find success in the pet market thanks to changing marketplace
dynamics. Flickinger cited the experience that some
CPG leaders have brought to pet brands from the human brand space and the acquisition of pet product
portfolios by venerable CPGs.
Similar observations have been noted by Ruffolo, a
behind-the-scenes contract-manufacturing partner.
"We clearly have seen the expanding influence that the
humanization trend has on the pet food and pet treat market across multiple platforms," he said. "You see it with the
continued acquisitions by large CPG companies such as
General Mills' acquisition of Blue Buffalo and Smucker's
acquisition of Rachael Ray's [Nutrish brand]. The human
food brands recognize there is a blurring of the lines between what's right for me/my family and what's appropriate for my dog. There clearly is opportunity for the brands
to extend their equities into the pet market."
A popular company that has extended its brand equity to the pet sector is Omaha Steaks, which launched
a line of pet treats using all-natural ingredients in 2018.
"As America's Original Butcher, Omaha Steaks is
known nationwide for our legendary steaks, and our
line of dog treats are carefully crafted with the same

premium quality ingredients that customers expect in
everything we offer," said Todd Simon, senior vice president and family owner. "The packaging also shares the
same butcher-quality look as our iconic product boxes."
It was a natural decision to segue into pet products for
this Omaha, Neb.-based company.
"For generations, Omaha Steaks has been bringing
families together around the dinner table and we are
sure that many dogs have enjoyed bites of filet mignon
slipped to them under the table," Simon said. "With our
line of pet treats, we wanted to offer something made exclusively for the family dogs to make sure they were fed
just as well as everyone else."

"We clearly have
seen the expanding
influence that the
humanization trend has
on the pet food and
pet treat market across
multiple platforms."
Rick Ruffolo, Phelps Pet Products
Celebrity chefs and personalities are also getting in
on pet food products, building on their human brand
capital. Rachael Ray's Nutrish line of pet foods, part of
The J.M. Smucker Co. in Orrville, Ohio, includes offerings for dogs and cats and spans dry and wet food, soft

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PET Food Processing - June 2020

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