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Reinventing Pet Food and Treat Packaging for Today’s Pet Owners

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Pet owners are holding pet food and treat manufacturers to a higher standard these days when it comes to their pets’ food packaging. 

Pet owners are holding pet food and treat manufacturers to a higher standard these days when it comes to their pets’ food packaging. They’re doing more research and spending more money on premium meals, toppers, mixers and treats for their pets, so they expect packaging to protect the freshness and integrity of the ingredients. And they want these quality bags, boxes and pouches that arrive on their doorstep to be environmentally-friendly—a task that isn’t always easy for manufacturers.

Things Pet Owners Look for in Packaging:

1. Sustainability

As in human food, pet owners increasingly want to buy pet food from companies that are producing it ethically and sustainably. That could mean using recyclable, post-consumer recycled or biodegradable materials, reducing packaging and shipping materials, encouraging buyers to participate in a recycling program, and/or finding creative ways for packaging to be reused by playful cats and dogs.

2. Clear Nutritional Information

80% of pet owners cite clear nutritional information as extremely important when selecting pet food.1 Package design is critical to communicate key ingredients, product benefits and sustainability efforts. Simplifying elements, using icons, strategically using photography or illustration and creating a hierarchy of messaging can all help make nutrition information easier to view online and at retail. Clear package windows also add a level of transparency, allowing pet owners to see the product before buying.

3. Keeps Food and Treats Fresh

Particularly for premium pet foods and treats, maintaining product freshness is a serious packaging criteria for pet owners. Zippers and other resealable closures that have been used in human snacks are appreciated by pet owners for their ability to protect products from getting stale or spoiling.

4. Stands Up to Shipping and Repeated Use

Durability of pet packaging is extra important for ecommerce purchases. These pet foods and treats must be able to withstand the shipping process without tearing or leaking. Once home, the package may also need to undergo daily opening, pouring and closing without fail.

5. Easy Feeding and Treating

Convenience goes a long way with pet owners. Making packages easy to open and product easy to dispense should be top of mind. Needing a separate storage container once the product is open is an inconvenience that should be avoided if possible.

6. Personalization

Recent trends toward customized diets and online ordering have increased the use of pet personalization in packaging. The more pet food and treat brands can include the pet’s name or other specific details, the more pet owners feel like their pets’ nutritional needs are understood.

Trone is an experienced pet marketing agency that understands the role of packaging in the crowded pet food and treat industry. We can help you design packaging that addresses pet owner concerns and helps motivate them to purchase online, in retail and through online retailers.


1Mondi, Premium Pet Food Purchaser Survey Results, 2021