According to a recent survey by petMD, there is still much confusion about pet nutrition. Around half of survey respondents have never checked nutrition information on their pet foods even though 80% said they were aware of the importance of a balanced diet. New pet food packages are not only offering clear nutritional information, they are also providing more convenient and healthy ways to feed pets with an added dose of fun to keep pet owners aware and interested in new products.


Packaging raises the bar

CORE Superfood Protein Bars from WellPet have devised a new way for pets to snack. These protein bars, the first in the pet food industry, serve up natural ingredients in a convenient, resealable pouch. The package design clearly shows the whole food ingredients in each protein bar so pet owners can be sure of the nutrition they are providing their pets. The moist treats offer healthy proteins for dogs with active lifestyles much the same way protein bars fuel active humans.

“Pet owners want to read pet food labels and see high-quality, natural ingredients that they’re familiar with from their own diets. That means no fillers, meat by-products or hard-to-pronounce preservatives,” says Chanda Leary-Coutu, senior marketing manager for WellPet.


Packaging gets in the groove

Added flavor brings a lot to any meal for humans and for pets. Much like the flavor enhancing products such as broth packets and sauté enhancers currently on the market for human food, Groovy Gravy packets bring extra flavor to everyday pet foods. Groovy Gravy is sold in boxes of 30 .5-ounce packets. Each single serve packet is designed to be poured over dry pet food for a burst of flavor and added nutrition. The easy-to-use foil packets keep the gravy fresh and make it easy for pet owners to serve up the perfect portion of gravy both at home and on the go. The packets can also be added to water or served up on their own.

“We are very excited to introduce Groovy Gravy into a new category of pet care products designed to give a tasty and nutritious boost to traditional pet food offerings,” says Daphne Dimeo, business development manager at Groovy Gravy Brands. “This new brand fills a demand for highly flavorful, life enhancing and affordable products that also have the well-documented, health-supporting benefits of Omega-3s. The whimsical packaging and interactive online community make Groovy Gravy a great lifestyle choice for responsible pet parents.”


Packaging soothes the soul

Chicken Soup for the Soul, the bestselling line of inspirational books, has updated the packaging for its pet food line along with introducing better formulation for complete and balanced nutrition. The new tagline, “because food is more than just nutrition; it’s also about comfort, love and appreciation,” reflects the relationship between pets and people that is often told in Chicken Soup pet stories.

“There’s been an industry wide shift in package sizes over the last few years. We finally decided it was time to make our products the same size as the rest of our industry and we took advantage of this opportunity to respond to our loyal customers’ requests that we increase our protein levels, make modest improvements in our formulas, and improve the shelf life and durability of our dry food packaging. We now have an even better product with an exciting new look all at a price per pouch that is still over 20% less than our key competitors. We think we’re the best value in the independent pet specialty channel and that is right in line with the positioning of all Chicken Soup for the Soul products – premium quality at or lower than national brand prices,” says Chris Mitchell, chief executive officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s pet division.

In addition to the new packaging and formulas, Chicken Soup for the Soul is also launching new products throughout the year, along with a new website that was launched in March.


Packaging plays it honest

The Honest Kitchen has also redesigned their packaging to better suit its brand. The new packaging was created with designer partner Bulldog Drummond ( Illustrator, Natalya Zahn created hand-painted illustrations of the company’s ingredients, along with Honest Kitchen’s employees’ own pets to adorn the new packages.

“We wanted the packaging to evoke a very natural, culinary look and feel to play up the beautiful ingredients we use in our human grade foods,” says Lucy Postins, The Honest Kitchen founder and CEO. “We’re placing a heavy emphasis on the meat or fish source in each recipe, more clearly defining the life stage and differentiating the grain-free from whole-grain diets to help shoppers more easily select the recipe that’s right for their pet.”

The Honest Kitchen is also offering a new, smaller two-pound trial box for their bestselling recipes. Each two-pound box makes eight pounds of food when hydrated.


Packaging catches a “meme” case of the grumpies

Everyone, pets included, connects to a celebrity. Friskies is featuring the internet-famous meme, Grumpy Cat, on limited edition packages. These packages tie in with a special campaign to celebrate Grumpy Cat’s second birthday. Modeled after MTV’s Super Sweet Sixteen reality show, Grumpy Cat’s “Super Terrible Two” birthday party packaging will showcase Grumpy Cat, who is the official spokescat for the brand. Two flavors, original and beachside, of Friskies Party Mix cat treats will show the internet-famous cat with her signature scowl.

“Grumpy Cat doesn’t like a lot of things, particularly any type of celebration, but I think she will be thrilled that Friskies Party Mix is helping to spread her grumpiness with a Super Terrible Two Birthday Party,” says Tabatha Bundesen, Grumpy Cat’s owner.

“Friskies Party Mix is thrilled to release our first packaging featuring Grumpy Cat, available for a limited time,” says Matt Conran, Friskies Party Mix assistant brand manager.

The pet food market is expanding with the likes of on-the-go treats, flavor enhancers, real food ingredients and its own set of celebrity pets. These new packages open up more opportunities for brands to improve the lives of pets and offer easier, more convenient feeding options to pet owners.