Petfood Industry - July 2018 - 17
www.PetfoodIndustry.com | 17
Blue Dog Bakery's origins are
in hard-baked dog biscuits, but
the company took its success
and expanded it to include soft
baked treats and, most recently,
real meat snacks.
photo courtesy of Blue Dog Bakery
maintains its shelf space in the grocery/mass markets while
taking advantage of its premium position in other areas of retail.
"We're in a really nice position in the marketplace,"
says Koppelman. "There's been a blending of the channels in the last nine months in particular, but prior to that
there was a very clear definition between pet specialty and
grocery mass. We're a pet specialty-quality brand that's
available in PetSmart and national retailers like that, but
also widely available in grocery and mass. We provide a
super high-quality product that is about a 10 to 15 percent
premium to Milk-Bone, compared to what you'd typically
find in your pet specialty store, which could be two to three
times the price of Milk-Bone. I think it's a very approachable, available product for a pet parent to find a highquality treat for their dog."
Taking advantage of a premium position
in a grocery space
Having long established itself as a premium product on
grocery store shelves, Blue Dog continues to keep an eye
on the customer to ensure continued success in the space,
particularly as competition increases.
"I think the consumer is looking for and thinking about
products that they want to buy for their pets that they didn't
consider before," says Koppelman. "They're just not willing
to buy the lower end, confusing-to-read-deck products that
they used to buy. Whether we as retailers or manufacturers
want to get on board with that, it's happening."
As customer needs sharpen and channel lines blur, it
becomes more complex to succeed, according to Koppelman.
Where industry players used to be able to choose an arena in
which to participate and compete, the future of the pet food
and treats industry might look quite different.
"I think a lot of us are going to have to redefine where
we're going to be competing, and that means redefining
some of our product offerings and sizes and shapes and
Industry July 2018
price points, so there's a lot of figuring it out that everyone's
going to have to do," says Koppelman.
Still, he says, Blue Dog Bakery is up for the challenge.
"I think for us and our business, we see it as a win
overall," he says. "There's obviously a finite amount of space
in the grocery store and we're all fighting for that space.
But I think the losers in the space battle as better-for-you
products and pet specialty products continue to penetrate in
grocery stores are going to be the traditional natural brands
that have the dirty ingredient deck and the old-fashioned
form consumers are moving away from. It's not going to be
the better-for-you brands like Blue Dog Bakery that have
been successful with consumers in grocery for years."
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington,
Facilities: Seattle, Washington, USA
Officers: Kyle Polanksi, CEO; Eric
Koppelman, chief revenue officer
Sales: One of the largest and
fastest-growing better-for-you dog treat brands in grocery/
mass/club channels. Blue Dog Bakery has consistently
grown 20 to 40 percent annually over the past 7+ years.
Brands: Blue Dog Bakery
Distribution: Widely available in grocery/mass/club
with more than 70 percent ACV nationally
Employees: Just under 20 team members at our
headquarter office in Seattle, plus 150+ employed at our
manufacturing facilities around the U.S.
Website/Social Media: www.bluedogbakery.com,
@bluedogbakerytreats on Facebook, @bluedogbakery
on Twitter and Instagram