When I started my job at Just Right, Purina’s personalized pet food brand in 2014, I thought I’d be developing ad strategies and monitoring market trends, not ordering winter coats for dogs!
But the reality of our successful consumer-centric business model, with its strong consumer focus, is changing. So that’s exactly what I found myself doing in the winter of 2017, when severe ice storms hit the southeastern United States.
Since dog owners provide us with information about their pet’s size and weight when we design them a personalized food blend, we were able to send out the right size coats for Just Right dogs across Georgia, Florida, and Alabama when they needed them most.
Personalized Nutrition, Personal Touch
Sending winter coats was unusual for Purina, but it was a spontaneous gesture on our part to make life a bit 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 exact 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 $22 billion 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, we use a cutting-edge, proprietary algorithm created by Purina nutritionists to analyze factors like a dog’s breed, age, size, weight, and activity level to determine the right blend of food to meet their unique nutritional needs. We are able to meet the unique nutritional needs of over 250 potential input combinations.
Owners can even choose the protein flavor their dogs love best, and we deliver the kibbles (dry-form food) directly to people in packaging that features a picture of their dog.
Similarly, Nestlé recently invested in Tails.com in Europe, a direct-to-consumer company that uses a special algorithm to determine a customized food blend for dogs in the UK.
The business was born when one co-founder, vet Joe Inglis, realized that there were more than 8 million dogs in the UK with unique nutritional needs, but that these were not being met. Fast forward five years, and Tails.com can point to a growing number of satisfied canine customers, more than 100,000 in fact.
Delivering True Nutrition Expertise
Both Just Right and Tails.com draw on scientific research and consult animal nutrition experts. Tails.com even has a former nutritionist for the British Royal Family’s dogs on staff! This expertise helps our teams give owners individualized portion guidance, too, so they know exactly how much to feed their pets to maintain a healthy weight for a long, healthy life.
Personalization doesn’t just apply to our products, but also extends to our phone lines, live chat, or on social media, where my colleagues and I love talking with Just Right customers. Callers are always surprised to connect with a real person who knows the product and nutrients, is aware of their dog’s needs, and works tirelessly to solve their problems. Getting to know our dogs and their owners is a dog lover’s dream!
Disrupting the Pet Food Category for the Better
Such a bespoke service sounds expensive, but many consumers are surprised to find out that Tails.com and Just Right by Purina are priced similarly to other natural dog foods on the market. By selling directly to consumers, we’re able to manage our customization costs, and pass those savings on to consumers.
We believe all pets deserve access to high-end nutrition at an affordable price. Through Just Right and Tails.com, we’re transforming the diets and lifestyles of dogs on both sides of the Atlantic, driving a fast-growing market around personalized pet nutrition, and meeting the needs of dog owners like me.
More from Purina: