Page 78 - Food & Drink Magazine Nov-Dec 2018
P. 78

Feed My FurBaby was this year awarded for its use of sustainable and innovative packaging design. The company was selected as one of four finalists and received a High Commendation in the Australasian Packaging Innovation and Design Awards (PIDA) in the domestic & household category.
The packaging was nominated for its innovative use of cardboard in an industry dominated by thick plastic packaging. It also has some unique design features such as a removable window and a custom ‘portion-control scoop’.
The same box is also used to pack, transport, bulk store and ship to the end-customer in the same packaging with no additional tapes or wraps, removing the need for secondary packaging in the supply chain.
The packaging is all made in New Zealand – the plastic bags in Auckland and the boxes in Hamilton – and the company worked with OJI Fibre Solutions on its design.
“OJI understood what we wanted to achieve,” Feed My FurBaby co-founder Ben Rennell says. “We went to them with a blank slate and said, ‘let's build this together’.
“We wanted the window and handles, and they came up with idea of the scoop.
“Our packaging was designed by a small team without a big budget and what we came up with is really practical, fun and easy to use.”
“ Because we
sell direct to the consumer, we can offer better quality at an achievable price for most families.”
resource-intensive to produce, and has the highest percentage of protein, alongside fish, of all meats."
The company worked with a pet food technologist friend on the formulation to ensure it included the right nutrient profile, and the ingredients are all natural and all from local sources.
The pet food is contract manufactured and packaged using their formulation and a special pack design, which allows the company to focus on scaling the business.
The product is grain free, incorporating peas, potato, tapioca (cassava root flour) for the starchy component, and includes fish meal, seaweed, flaxseed, green tea, and rosemary.
“We wanted to make much better quality food, so pets would genuinely thrive. There are many costly premium products and several substandard products, but there’s nothing in the middle
– quality at an affordable price,” Rennell says.
“Because we sell direct to the consumer, we can offer better quality at an achievable price for most families.”
Rennell says the subscription model allowed the company to do other things differently,
including offering a tailored feed plan for every furbaby according to their age, weight and activity level.
“We tailor our delivery schedule based on how much food your dog needs. A small dog may eat a box in 80 days, while a big dog may need a new box every 12 days.”
The product packaging is also an important part of the company's game-changing approach.
“Our packaging is where it all comes together,” Rennell says. “It is designed to have minimum plastic and uses 60 per cent less than a typical bag for the same amount of food. Cardboard provides the light barrier and the structural safety for sending it around country.”
Feed My Furbaby collaborated with OJI Fibre Solutions (see box) to design packaging that is functional from the production line right
through to the pantry.
“We pack the food into the
box on the production line, bulk store it in the same box, and when it’s ordered, we courier label the same box, so no tape or bags are needed. It arrives at the home and has been designed for daily use. You just lift the lid and scoop the product out,” Rennell says.
Other features include a cardboard scoop which is incorporated into the box design, carry handles on each side, and a pop-out window that shows the food level, and provides a prompt to make a new order.
“We do need plastic on the interior to keep the product fresh, so we have also included recycling instructions for the different materials used on the box to help educate consumers.”
The plan, Rennell says, is to add more products and then in around two years bring the model to Australia.
“We currently do a five kilo box, and this one product is a great proof-of-concept, that we’ve got something that works.
“Our next products will include a 10 kilo box, and a dry cat food.
“Our social feedback is phenomenal, but we are still flying a little below radar, as we focus on getting our systems right, but we’re ready to ‘go big’ now.” ✷
78 | Food&Drink business | November-December 2018 |

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