Pet product labels have been moving away from the mass-produced big brand packaging look for years. It's the same trend we've seen with non pet-related products.
We've already discussed the overuse of the word artisinal, but in essence this is where a lot of packaging and labeling has been headed. As companies make an effort to connect with consumers on an emotional level, packaging has taken on a more handcrafted, highly detailed style. The message they hope will come across is one of wholesomeness, tradition, and quality.
Using nostalgic themes and designs can send a message to consumers that you care about the quality of your products as much as they care about their pets.
These Aren't Your Grandparents Store Brands
Private label store brands are making big gains against name brand products in part because of this same design philosophy. The label quality on store brand products has improved drastically over the last decade, and pet products are no exception.
Store brands used to be easily identifiable by there simplistic, cheap looking labels and rock-bottom prices. Lately though, you'll notice they are using high quality photography and contemporary graphic designs, while still offering their products at a discount.
More and more consumers now consider store brands a viable option when shopping for pet products, not only based on price, but quality as well.
This strategy has paid off well for private label store brands as they have grown at a faster pace than their national brand counterparts.
Effect on Pet Products
When positioning your pet products, it's no longer enough to carve out profit from a national brand. The store brands are as much your competition as any big brand product. At the end of the day, if a store brand pet products has a better label design and cheaper price, you're going to lose sales.
According to Packaged Facts, 74% of pet product shoppers look for a lower price, and store brands are typically cheaper than their branded counterparts. Add to this the fact that nearly half of all pet owners will buy pet products from multiple stores, and you've got a challenging environment in which to sell your products.
The importance of beautiful, memorable, high-quality label packaging cannot be emphasized enough. You need to stand out on the retail shelf and catch a shopper's eye.
Look for Opportunities
Overall, the pet product market is expected to grow about 2% after 5 years of flat growth. How will your products benefit from this growth? What is your consumer segment? There are 82 million U.S households with at least one pet, and the pet spending is projected to reach $58 billion in 2014.
Single person households with aged residents make up the largest segment of pet owners. Are you selling to seniors? There are established trends towards pet personalization, where pets are humanized and treated more as a member of the family than a pet. Will you offer pet lifestyle products?
Some reports suggest a downturn in the market for pet gadgets, owing to the market having been flooded for years with one new pet product invention after another. Will your products rise above the fray or will you find more traditional opportunities?
Regardless of which pet products you produce and where you choose to sell them, quality packaging and labels are required to stay competitive. National brands have the money and marketing machines to keep up, store brands are growing fast, and big chains like PetCo and PetSmart control more than half of the pet product market.