Calling all Dogs (and Cats!)

The pet industry is a multi-billion dollar behemoth.  From diamond studded collars to decked out strollers, pets (well, the lucky ones) are pretty well pampered. “Pet parents” look not only to provide the basics for their pets in terms of care and nutrition. Rather, just as consumer shopping behaviors toward our own nutrition and food choices have changed, pet owners are shopping for foods and treats for their dogs and cats that are more wholesome and natural or organic.

Packaging in the category has clearly stepped up.  We see design elements such as matte finishes and muted colors that communicate “wholesome”.  We see a new level of transparency, literally, as foods come in clear bowls and tubs, or bags with “windows”, showcasing texture and quality ingredients.

Some brands have moved to premium packaging that also provides a method of play and engagement with the pet.  Milkbone is offering Good Morning™ vitamin treats presented in an attractive bottle.  The bonus - the sound when shaking the package, will quickly have dogs running to get their treat.  Purina’s Beggin’® Poppers™ brings us a package that doubles as a toy as the packaging is designed to help you “launch” treats into the air for added fun.

For cats, Sheba® Perfect Portions® brings a perfect 2-serving pack of upscale entrées (yes, it says entrée), convenient and easy since your furry feline can eat from the package.  That means no messy bowls to clean (dried cat food residue is not pleasant).  And finally, Purina® Fancy Feast® Broths™ literally had me doing a double take, as they look elegant and appealing, like something you’d find in the soup aisle.

My questions to you – What types of packaging are you finding most appealing or convenient (or just plain fun!) in the pet care category? What brands are due for an upgrade?