Author Topic: Fresh Dog Food Startup - Market Research - Please Help!  (Read 775 times)

itsadogsdinneruk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Hi All,

I have been spurred on to start my own business producing a new range of fresh (and then frozen) home-cooked dog food after losing my job because of COVID, so I'd really love to hear your feedback on my idea.

The concept behind the dog food range is to bring more creativity and enjoyment to feeding your dog, by delivering fresh, home-cooked Dog's Dinners to your door under the theme of a world cuisine - e.g. Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, Indian, Chinese etc.

From first impressions, is this something you would consider for your dog as a treat or special meal?

What do you think is missing from the dog food range you currently use?

Are there particular recipes which your dog (or you!) would love to see?

Would you like to see veggie or vegan options for your dog (assuming they are high protein and nutritionally complete)?

Do you have any other pain points, or things that could be improved with the food/packaging/overall experience you receive?

Really grateful for any replies to help steer me in developing the products :-)

Steve

Dottie

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,115
    • View Profile
Re: Fresh Dog Food Startup - Market Research - Please Help!
« Reply #1 on: Sep 11, 2020, 22:07 »
Hello Steve - welcome to the forum. I have fed my dogs on commercial fresh frozen food for some time. At the moment there is very little choice for people who want to feed their pet a fresh food diet so I welcome your interest. AFAIK the only companies that are doing this are Butternut Box and Different Dog.  I can’t give you any advice (except from a personal perspective) because I have no experience  of the pet food industry.

I like my dogs to have variety but prefer traditional English recipes that I can recognise. I wouldn’t want other types because I could not understand the ingredients. I am a stickler for crystal clear labelling and knowing exactly what has gone into the recipe and why it’s there. I also like simple recipes. I can only speak for myself but I think it’s best to keep things plain and simple, at least at the outset.

Just my opinion but I think it might be difficult to set up bespoke companies like this because of the cost of the product. It’s obviously going to be more expensive than a bag of dry food and for some people, unaffordable. I currently spend a fair amount of money on food and I only have two small dogs. However, I feel it is worth it particularly as I have a dog with health problems which have responded well to a fresh food diet. 

I am interested in your project and would be grateful if you could let us know how you get on.
Your post and comments may be helpful to others. Please remember to update your thread. Feedback to the forum is appreciated.

itsadogsdinneruk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Fresh Dog Food Startup - Market Research - Please Help!
« Reply #2 on: Sep 14, 2020, 14:04 »
Hi Dottie,

Thanks so much for your insights.  In particular I'd like to know, would you be interested in veggie or vegan options if they can be proved to be high in protein or nutritionally complete?

You can follow my page on Facebook or Instagram for updates - @itsadogsdinneruk

Thanks again,

Steve

Dottie

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,115
    • View Profile
Re: Fresh Dog Food Startup - Market Research - Please Help!
« Reply #3 on: Sep 14, 2020, 17:28 »
I wouldn’t feed my dogs a vegan or vegetarian diet as I believe that dogs need meat protein for health. Also, one of them doesn’t tolerate legumes which tend to be used in this type of food.  She has health problems that are currently in remission and I feel that it’s due to the fresh food so I wouldn’t make any changes. I will check out and follow your Facebook page but don’t have an Instagram account.
Your post and comments may be helpful to others. Please remember to update your thread. Feedback to the forum is appreciated.

gemma

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Fresh Dog Food Startup - Market Research - Please Help!
« Reply #4 on: Oct 24, 2020, 14:38 »
Hello Steve - I would like to see small oily fish, such as sardines, included as a source of Omega 3 instead of the usual salmon (which I won't feed because of the high mercury levels in large fish). As far as I know, no-one provides this. Also organic options would be nice - also hard to find.  Personally, I won't feed anything with added synthetic vitamins and minerals, either, although I know this doesn't bother most people.

vivann

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 35
    • View Profile
Re: Fresh Dog Food Startup - Market Research - Please Help!
« Reply #5 on: Oct 24, 2020, 19:12 »
Hello Steve,

I am following this thread with interest.

I have to say I totally agree with Dottie's comments - I am currently in  the process of weaning my dog off a food that the vet recommended she be on for some months following a severe bout of IBD when he opened her up.  In fact, I would probably go for a food like Butternut Box but to be honest it is a bit too pricey for me.

I am adding home cooked meat and veg to the dry food and am looking at Cold Pressed or Air Dried foods (vegi plus and add my own protein source) for the future.  I would be interested in complete, lightly cooked food rather than foreign menu and vegan or vegetarian.  However, as a pensioner, cost is a major consideration for me.

I notice that Gemma mentioned sardines as a source of Omega 3, as well as a variety of home cooked meat and fish, I feed tinned sardines to my dog, about once a week.

Good luck.

COASTER

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
    • View Profile
Re: Fresh Dog Food Startup - Market Research - Please Help!
« Reply #6 on: Oct 24, 2020, 23:07 »
 Steve,

Please can I have a number 17 a number 61 and a dog friendly house special ?

World Cuisine Dog Meals......10/10 for originality of thought.

Price point, nutitional quality, in the bowl, portion sizes, (toy, medium large ,giant) ,visuals, branding, marketing , customer profiling & purchase accesibility & not least DEMAND would all be key.

I suspect this would be an impulse buy for those likely to purchase.....Food regs & legal/regulatory red tape would likely be hurdles or brick walls BUT .......If you could tie in with human food restaraunts who sell & deliver human food meals for immediate consumption then this  might work...Think of interflora business model ...Maybe a tie in with uber eats , just eat or deliveroo etc.

People ordering home delivered hot delivered human food might love this albeit I think that world cuisine dog food  would be niche market or an impulse buy.

If doing this nationally then you would have to use independents  as I doubt big players be on board....Maybe could be added on to a family take away home delivery meal order.

Parking the human hot  food delivery  idea.....You could tie in with pets at home, pet food  franchises or independents maybe !   (Less conflict re food regs)

Personally I find it gimicky & NOT for me...I should add that I wouldn't buy extravagant home prepared meals for a dog
-  period !!! ..but some may do so.

My words of caution would be....Globally and in UK we may be heading into financial disaster , meaning  many won't have spare funds free ! Also... some would argue that the bespoke dog food market is already saturated !



From first impressions, is this something you would consider for your dog as a treat or special meal?

Not for me personally...Clued up dog  feeders may see it as a cynical business. Those clueless or care free will likely not deviate from what they feed.  What would your target profile of customer look like ?

What do you think is missing from the dog food range you currently use?

Cynical gimmicky branding & marketing ....fortunately!

Are there particular recipes which your dog (or you!) would love to see?

Personally NO...but "some" can may part easier with their cash !

Even if drunk I would be unlikely to order,  (the dog equivalent of),  a Chinese or Indian take away for my dog ! 


Would you like to see veggie or vegan options for your dog (assuming they are high protein and nutritionally complete)?

Not personally but some might...

Do you have any other pain points, or things that could be improved with the food/packaging/overall experience you receive?

See prior remarks.


Sorry I can't be presently be more helpful. :)





Dottie

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,115
    • View Profile
Re: Fresh Dog Food Startup - Market Research - Please Help!
« Reply #7 on: Oct 25, 2020, 13:09 »
I don’t know much about market trends but judging by the number of new pet food products coming onto the market we are perhaps a nation of people who are happy to spend increasing amounts of money on their pets.  The rapid growth of companies selling raw food exemplifies this. It can be quite expensive. However, Coaster’s comments about the economy are pertinent with the ever present threat of a downturn due to Covid-19. 

IMHO there is a gap in the market for more fresh cooked, affordable food products but I am just not sure about ingredients and recipes that are unusual in the pet food market.

Perhaps it would be useful to continue your market research to identify your potential target customers. This is a guess but I would imagine that it would be pet owners who have the disposable income to afford high end food or those who have dogs with health problems. Of the latter, I feel that keeping things simple is best, along with a range of recipes to choose from.
Your post and comments may be helpful to others. Please remember to update your thread. Feedback to the forum is appreciated.


xx
Are Grain-Free Foods Taking Over the Premium Dry Dog Food Market?

Started by Dottie

15 Replies
3614 Views
Last post Apr 28, 2017, 22:41
by Meg
xx
Fresh food feeding

Started by Louise hackett

3 Replies
1428 Views
Last post Sep 06, 2019, 11:46
by Rebecca Forrest
xx
The fresh dog food thread

Started by Dottie

13 Replies
3611 Views
Last post Apr 22, 2020, 18:23
by Dottie
xx
Adding Fresh Foods to Commercial Dog Food

Started by Dottie

2 Replies
1411 Views
Last post Apr 09, 2017, 07:56
by Dottie
xx
Fresh Versus Store Bought Pet Food Study on Horizon

Started by Seaweed

2 Replies
1283 Views
Last post Nov 01, 2018, 16:15
by Seaweed