In winter 2017, with severe ice storms sweeping the Southeastern United States, employees at Just Right by Purina, Purina’s personalized pet food brand in the country, found themselves in uncharted territory.
In the words of Julia Pitlyk, Direct-to-Consumer Brand Manager, Nestlé Purina PetCare North America: “When I started my job at Just Right, I thought I’d be developing ad strategies and monitoring market trends, not ordering winter coats for dogs!”
But the reality of our successful business model, with its strong consumer focus, is changing, so that’s exactly what Julia found herself doing. Since dog owners provide Just Right by Purina with information about their pet’s size and weight when the brand designs them a personalized food blend, Julia and her colleagues were able to send out the right size coats for dogs across Georgia, Florida, and Alabama – when they needed them most.
Bespoke dog food blend
Sending winter coats was unusual for Nestlé Purina in North America, but it was a spontaneous gesture to make life easier for dogs struggling in the abnormal weather. It fits with our focus on personalization, where everything we do is focused on meeting your dog’s precise needs, starting with their nutrition.
Customized pet food is a key growth driver in a global pet food market that will be worth an estimated USD 22bn by 2022, according to Grand View Research.
At Nestlé Purina, we’re innovating and investing to ensure we play and win in this segment. At Just Right by Purina in North America, the brand uses a cutting-edge, proprietary algorithm to analyze a dog’s breed, age, size, weight and activity level, to determine the optimum blend for their unique nutritional needs.
Owners can even choose the type of protein their dog love best, and Just Right by Purina delivers the kibbles (dry-form feed), directly to people’s homes in packaging that features their pet’s name and photo.
It’s a similar story in Europe, where Nestlé Purina PetCare recently invested in Tails.com, a disruptive, direct-to-consumer company that uses cutting-edge technology and an innovative manufacturing approach to determine a unique recipe for every dog it serves in the UK.
The business was born in 2014 when one of its co-founders, a vet, realized that there were more than 8m dogs in the UK with unique nutritional needs that were not being met. Fast forward five years, and Tails.com has more than 100,000 satisfied canine customers, each with their own unique recipe, and ambitious expansion plans.
Experts who love pets
Like Just Right by Purina, Tails.com employs pet nutritionists and vets to develop products and provide one-to-one support for every customer. Lead Nutritionist, Dr. Samantha Ware, has even formulated food for the British Royal Family’s dogs! This expertise, and its algorithm, helps Tails.com develop a unique recipe for each dog based on its nutritional profile, and makes giving exact portions easy with personalized guidance.
"We’re the only brand in the UK who can offer this level of personalised pet nutrition, and we even adjust each dog's recipe as they age, meaning they always get exactly what they need at every stage of their life,” Tails.com CEO James Davidson explains.
The personalized approach also extends to customer care, where Tails.com's dog-loving employees enjoy talking to consumers about their pets. Such one-to-one support is vital - after all, recent research showed that 95% of dog owners view their dog as part of the family.
“Our award-winning team of vets and nutritionists are on hand to help with one-to-one support and advice and customers really value being able to build a genuine relationship with us” says Davidson.
Innovation and expansion
At both Tails.com in UK, and Just Right by Purina in North America, employees have a real passion for dogs, which enables them to build the close personal relationships with owners that every pet food business needs to innovate and expand.
We believe all pets deserve access to the best possible nutrition at an affordable price. Through Just Right by Purina and Tails.com, we’re transforming the diets and lifestyles of dogs, driving a new market around personalized pet nutrition, and providing peace of mind to dog owners.