How great would you feel about serving these foods to your family?

High quality proteins and vegetables prepared by real people, cooked at low temperatures in small batches to preserve the high quality vitamins and minerals.

Or even better, fill out a survey that includes your age, weight, and allergies and get a food plan designed just for you, delivered weekly on ice packs, portioned into trays for your exact serving size needs.

Both of these meal plans are for pets, not humans. The first is Ollie and the second is Farmer’s Dog. These new pet food brands are taking the models of food delivery services and extreme personalization, like Freshly, and making human grade dog food. Both brands are personalized and ready to serve.

This is a complete 180 from traditional pet food.

Right now, the FDA regulates commercial pet food under the same category as animal feed- AKA food for hens or fish. That means any part of an animal that does not make it into human food can make it into pet food. It’s processed at high temperatures, which makes it deficient in nutrients so manufacturers then have to add supplements back in.

Like with human food, pet food consumers are saying “that’s not good enough for our pet children”. They are looking for stories about ingredients they recognize, and a process they can understand. “Processed” pet food is quickly coming under the same scrutiny as some of the stuff we loved as consumers like sugary cereals and diet sodas. We’re buying less of them for ourselves and our kids because we know that it’s bad for us. Now we’re making the same assumptions about pet food.

Is it really better and does it even matter?

A study at the University of Houston found that consumers tend to view food products with health-related euphemisms as healthier regardless of what’s actually included on the nutrition information. This is no different for pet food.

While this homemade food may sound better to the health-conscious consumer, we really don’t know if it is actually better for dogs. There appear to be plenty of healthy dogs thriving on kibble from legacy dog food brands. Marion Nestle, a former professor of nutrition food studies and public health at New York University says “there is no data that one brand was better than another or that pets eating homemade foods were healthier and lived longer”.

So why are consumers so willing to pay so much more money? The same reasons we are buying RX bar and Noosa yogurt. They’re telling compelling, transparent stories on their websites and social media that make us feel better about what we’re offering our families, even the four-legged members.

Need help getting getting your consumers to feel really good about your brand.

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