Honest Kitchen Goes Beyond Kibble and Cans
By Scott and Ann Springer
As interest in raw food diets buzzes in the pet industry, The Honest Kitchen Inc, sees itself as a pioneer in the dog food industry.
"We see ourselves as leaders of a new way of feeding companion animals," says
Lucy Postins, the director of marketing for the small start-up company based in San Diego that has been doing business for just under three years.
The Honest Kitchen provides a line of natural, dehydrated raw dog foods made with human-grade ingredients, which are manufactured alongside human foods.
"We are the only pet food manufacturer in the U.S. to receive a statement of 'no objection' from the FDA to use the term 'human grade' on our labels," Postins says.
Raw diets first became popular in the early 1990s as pet-parents sought ways to combat their pets' diet-related health problems, Postins says. However, most diets required a lot of prep work and expense.
These conveniently stored and portable foods have filled a niche in the market, Postins says.
"The dehydration aspect has answered a lot of problems with frozen raw diets, namely cost, storage, and shipping costs."
This line may offer an alternative for retailers who want to offer raw diets but don't have the freezer space, she says.
Education of these alternative diets is paramount for successful retail sales, Postins says.
"Store owners who really grasp the concept of what our products are all about, and feed them to their own dogs to witness the health benefits for themselves, definitely become our best resellers."
Most of their success has come from this word-of-mouth grassroots style of marketing.
"We have high-profit margins at every level in the distribution chain and a fierce loyalty toward independent pet retailers and small chains," Postins says. The company's products are not sold to mass retailers.
As raw food diets continue to gain in popularity The Honest Kitchen "plans continued innovation in anticipating and meeting customers' wants and needs for excellent companion animal nutrition," Postins says.
The company has plans to launch an electrolyte-rich beverage this summer and a feline food line in the fall.