Are “Humanized” Dog Foods Worth the Increased Price Tag?

With out a doubt the market for pet food is expanding. While there are still the basic, tried and proven, well known pet food brands, there are now more expensive and, what they would like you to believe, more delectable and healthy foods for you pet. These select luxury/premium pet food companies – such as Freshpet and Blue Buffalo Company – have been increasing our standard as well as our budget for pet food recently. Certain claims are they offer grain-free food for your furry friends, and blend more luxurious ingredients in to their kibble, such as lamb and salmon. According to George Puro, president of Puro Research Group, these luxury pet food companies are always on the prowl to try and come up with the latest innovation on Faceook that will drive pet owners to buy their products. This strategy is known as the “eat-like-your-owner” strategy. It basically boils down to if the owner can not eat the product, neither should the pup. This tactic has drastically increased sales, surging them 45 percent to $10.5 billion since 2009. Due to these new innovative brands, the traditional and well known brands on Twitter are faced with a major problem: step up their marketing game in the face of this competition or lose sales. Purina dog food, a well known dog food brand, recently bought Merrick Pet Care, and is now producing certified organic wet and dry dog food. Purina even has a market for senior dogs. Their senior dog foods come from a recipe made with medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fat that comes from coconut oil. This certain type of fat makes it easier for older dogs to digest and metabolize. Purina also has a line of dog food called Beneful. It was founded in 2001 and as of 2012 Beneful was named the fourth most popular dog food brand. Beneful is regarded as Purina’s most significant brand according to revenue, which annually totals approximately $1.5 billion. Beneful’s greatest strength is its nutritional content. Also, similar to the premium and luxury brands of dog food I have mentioned above, it resembles stew and contains beef pieces – unlike typical dog food. Beneful can certainly fit the strategy of “eat-like-your-owner” because of these certain characteristics. Purinastore, with its brand Beneful, has attempted to “humanize” dog food. Beneful is also much more cost efficient than typical humanized (e.g. Blue Buffalo Company and Freshpet) dog foods.

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