Do you have an idea for a new pet food company? Did you come up with a solution to fill a gap you see in the market? When you have a truly unique idea, there’s always room for another pet food brand.
If you haven’t come up with your unique selling point yet, here are some ideas to get you thinking, along with some tips for creating a profitable pet food business.
1. Invest in helpful equipment
No matter what ideas you come up with, you’ll need equipment to be profitable. Having manual labor for every task will only take you so far.
Large pet food companies use equipment like pneumatic conveying systems to move both raw ingredients and finished goods. They also use machinery to fill bags, weigh bags, and palletize products.
Depending on how fast you plan on growing your company, keep this type of equipment in mind because when you grow, you’ll need machinery.
2. Focus on quality first
It’s no longer acceptable to start a mediocre pet food business and expect to thrive. While certain mediocre brands are popular, they’ve been around for decades and people don’t like change.
Today’s consumers expect new pet food companies to bring something better to the table than a cheap price. Consumers care about their pets’ health and don’t want to feed them junk food.
Source only high-quality ingredients. Go completely organic whenever possible. You will have to charge more for higher quality food, but customers are willing to pay for quality ingredients.
If you can’t make your pet food business work without cutting corners, it’s not worth pursuing. Find a way to source the high-quality ingredients that customers have come to expect.
3. Cater to pets with food allergies
You would think more pet food brands would cater to animals with allergies, but that’s not the case. While some brands have limited ingredient lines of food, even those contain allergens.
For example, many dogs are allergic to:
- Sweet potato
Although many of these allergens are common, most pet food manufacturers use them with recipes that would otherwise be allergy-friendly.
For instance, some dogs do great with pure beef, but it’s hard to find beef kibble that doesn’t contain lamb. Many turkey recipes contain chicken or chicken fat. And a large number of limited ingredient single-source protein foods contain potato or sweet potato.
Some dogs are allergic to sweet potato, but not lamb. Others are allergic to lamb, but not chicken. Not having many options makes it hard to find good food.
A great example of a single-source protein kibble that doesn’t contain a bunch of allergens is Stella & Chewy’s limited ingredient turkey raw coated kibble. This is one of the only sources of turkey kibble without allergens on the market.
You’d have a significant advantage if you created single-source protein options for meats like beef, bison, lamb, chicken, duck, and venison.
4. Create outstanding branding
Even when you create the most amazing pet food in the world, you still have to market your product to pet owners. This requires a strong marketing strategy, but also powerful branding.
Your brand will determine your profits. Pet owners won’t give your food a second glance if your packaging and branding aren’t attractive and alluring. That’s unfortunate, but it’s the way people operate.
Work with a branding specialist to come up with a strong brand for your company. You’ll need a simple, memorable company name, a logo, colors, and imagery that you can use on your packages, merchandise, on your website, and in print.
You’ll also need to come up with a mission statement and an official story about your company. Start thinking about why you created your company in the first place.
What did you want to change and what is your vision for the future?
Your story will help sell your brand. For an example of this in action, look at Blue Buffalo. When their dog, Blue, developed cancer at a young age, the owners decided to start using natural, high-quality ingredients to support better pet health.
Don’t forget about your profits
The pet food market is highly profitable. According to market research, the pet food industry is expected to reach $30 billion by 2022, with an annual growth rate of 3.36%.
If you’re hesitant to focus on the numbers, that will be your downfall. There’s nothing wrong with profiting from your business. When you create a good product, you deserve to profit from your contribution to the world.