The pet care market keeps growing; in 2013, the pet food segment alone was estimated at $28.2 billion consumers spend more and more disposable income on their pets, the opportunity and the competition for pet treats brands increases as well.
In a growing market dominated by emerging trends like health, convenience, safety, humanization, premiumization, on-the-go, and many more, successful brands must develop packaging that helps deliver and enhance the product attributes that are important to pet owners, and that ultimately drive purchase decisions and brand loyalty. We decided to connect our knowledge and insights about pet owners from more than a century of package design, giving you the ideal link between package development and speed to retail.
In 2013, 56.5% of U.S. households had at least one pet, with dogs accounting for 38.4% of that total and cats accounting for 25.8%. for these millions of U.S. households, pets are increasingly being treated as a member of the family. Trends like gourmet dog food and designer dog collars illustrate people’s increased willingness to spend money on their pets, and to treat them like their children. What does this mean for pet treats? First of all, proliferation. Second, competition. 73% of pet owners have more than one brand of pet treats in their home – 33% have more than two. This means your pet treat packaging must stand out on the shelf – both in the store and at home – to have staying power with consumers.
Dogs are part of the family, and as such, they don’t just stay at home. Whether they’re headed to a family hike, a picnic, the dog park, or doggie day care, pets are on the go, and if dogs are on the go, their treats should be, too. 42% of dog owners treat their pet outdoors, but almost none store their treats there, and there are almost no single-serve or pocket-sized packages to carry into the yard or park.
Sonoco has developed several on-the-go dog treat containers, leveraging our expertise in the on-the-go and portion-control markets for human snacks. These on-the-go portioned containers have legs beyond a walk or trip to the dog park. 10% of dog owners now take their dog to day care, and 68.4% of these owners send treats along. Portioned packaging allows these owners to easily transport and hand off the day’s dog treats, keeping the pet owner, day care manager and pet happy.
While 55% of pet owners treat their pets in the family room only 6% store the treats there. Why force your customer to make a special trip? Our packaging innovations can provide the utility and the appealing presentation to help keep your brand front and center at the heart of the home – driving treat usage and brand loyalty. Storing treats in the heart of the home isn’t just convenient, it’s practical. our studies have shown that 70% of treating occurs to reward a pet f or obeying a command, according to the humane society, “the reward must occur immediately—within seconds—or your pet may not associate it with the proper action.” the ability to keep treats close at hand is key to reinforcing good behavior the moment a dog offers it. If your product is one that your customers will keep close at hand in the living room or elsewhere around the house, they’ll reap the benefits both in the short-term (when they can easily offer their pet a treat), and in the long run (when their pet is better behaved).
The majority of dog owners (80%) treat their pets less than twice per day, and 75% of consumers say they store treats in their original packaging after opening. this means that treats need to stay fresh for extended periods of time in the container provided at point of sale. Consumers say they value reseal as much as 3 times more than many other packaging attributes, and yet they indicate that the ability to reseal treat packaging is their biggest frustration. finding a solution that is easy to use (even for customer groups with unique needs, such as children and the elderly) and that protects freshness effectively delivers customers the functionality most important to them – 56% of consumers say that resealability is the most important feature in their dog treat packaging.
Sonoco offers a wide range of resealable options in plastic bottles, trays and jars; rigid paper cans; flexible pouches and packs, as well as paper cartons with windows. We also offer a variety of packaging options with the functionality and features to satisfy the other attributes you and your customers are seeking. These include: clear windows for product visibility; colorful, eye-catching graphics; unique retail displays and packaging services; comprehensive graphics management; supply chain optimization; and rapid prototyping. To learn more about our winning formula for pet treat packaging, visit sonoco.com.
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