Packaging Digest is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Dog food packaging gets more personable

Dog food packaging gets more personable
Pet packaging personified: The result of my borrowing a friend’s dog, Riley, for this article.

Just Right by Purina’s personalized dog food blend launched last year enhances the label on the bag packaging to make it even more personal—and more fetching for pet owners.

The pet food market is trotting along at a 3% CAGR for the period 2014-2019, according to a new report, which also points out that “the increase in pet humanization has led to growth in premium products, and clients are asking for customized and premium packaging solutions from vendors, which is positively affecting the sales in the market.”

Perfectly reflecting that trend is Just Right by Purina dog food that was launched last year (see Dog food gets personal with custom packaging published last October). As a pet listens to its owner’s voice, Purina listened to dog owners who wanted to make the packaging even more focused on the owner’s beloved pet. In doing so, the company expects the enhanced presentation will make the personalized products even more fetching for consumers.

I virtually borrowed a friend’s dog, a 6-year old golden retriever named Riley, for which Just Right created personalized artwork for this article that appears above. The bag copy reads: “This blend has been crafted to provide Riley with the complete, balanced nutrition he needs as a 6 year old golden retriever. Formulated by Rick and Purina in November 2015, it includes lamb as the primary protein source. This blend is a mix of high quality ingredients that promotes healthy skin and coat, promotes an active lifestyle and supports joint health and mobility.”

We reconnected with Brian Lester, director of marketing for Just Right by Purina, who discloses the reasoning and reality behind the refresh.

What’s changed from before and why?

Lester: Just Right’s recent packaging updates bring an increased focus to what matters to our consumers most—their dog. By listening to detailed consumer feedback, we discovered that we had the opportunity to further exceed their expectations for a personalized experience by emphasizing their unique dog on our packaging, and that’s exactly what we did. Our previous labels contained a 195x200 pixel image of the dog on the left side of the front label. Now, the image is 560x410 pixels and is centered across the full-width of the label, taking up nearly half of the label’s real estate.

To support this enhancement and provide a better personalization experience for our consumers, we also updated the photo upload process on our site. We’ve implemented Filepicker, which now allows consumers to upload photos directly from platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr, as well as from native files on their computer or mobile device. The tool also allows consumers increased ability to zoom, crop, and rotate their images directly on our site.

The revised labels also continue to include our existing personalization techniques, including dog’s name, owner’s name, unique blend name, product features/claims, and personalized feeding instructions.

What will be most obvious to customers about what’s new?

Lester: The greater emphasis on their dog’s photo should be incredibly apparent to existing consumers who are accustomed to the first generation of our label design. For new consumers, we believe that the increased focus on the unique dog photo will further convey our belief that every dog is unique and deserving of a personalized feeding experience. We’re giving our consumers’ dogs the same amount of prominence and real estate that most dog foods give to one “model” dog, demonstrating our commitment to each unique pet.

While our recent label revisions focused on enhancing the photo presence on the front of the package, we also want to emphasize that the label on the back of the packaging is just as personal as what is on the front. This back label details the personalized benefits of each dog’s blend and includes feeding instructions tailored to that individual dog. While the back label is remaining consistent in these revisions, we know that the information it contains is just as important to our community of highly involved dog owners as it is to us.

Just Right’s previous packaging look shows the difference versus the updated revision that was done in response to consumer feedback.

What did you learn from customers that were addressed in this change?

Lester: We highly valued the personal touch that allowing consumers to add a photo to their dog’s blend brings. Through consumer feedback and insights, we heard that our consumers also found the photo an important and delightful part of the Just Right experience. We also learned that while the photo was something consumers were excited to include, they also needed the photo upload experience to be seamless.

Hearing that feedback, we were committed to implementing changes that would make the process of putting your dog’s photo on the bag of food you created for him even easier, and with a more exciting end result. Those commitments resulted in the enhanced photo upload tool on our site and a greater emphasis of the dog’s photo on the front label of our packaging.

Has anything else changed with the packaging or structure?

Lester: The bag, structure, sizing and supplier have all remained the same: A polylaminate structure consisting of a printed polyester layer and a heat-sealable polyethylene sealant layer. The bag's netweight is 6 pounds.

What has evolved is our ability to deliver a more highly personalized experience. Personalizing a dog food label with a unique photo and dynamic copy was a great packaging milestone for us. This new iteration of the label stretched our boundaries in implementing highly dynamic creative on an individual consumer basis.

These changes have not involved capital expenditures. We were able to accomplish the enhancements to our labels with existing machinery.

My friend Doug's other dog, Fyndley, a young Goldendoodle fathered by Riley, also received special Just Right treatment.

Has anything changed with the process not noted above?

Lester: Outside of adjusting internal QA processes to ensure that each personalized label is printed with proper photo placement, alignment, and image quality, Just Right’s overall fulfillment processes and order turnaround time have remained consistent with the previous packaging.

Can you credit the partner companies that were involved?

Lester: The concepts for the revised front labels were developed by Checkmark, Nestlé Purina’s internal creative agency. DEG, Just Right’s ecommerce agency, managed the development and implementation of the label enhancements and Filepicker tool.

Anything else you’d like to mention?

Lester: The Just Right brand is built upon the value of pet owner inputs and feedback.  Our product itself is derived from the inputs that owners tell us about their pets, and we take a similar approach to our packaging. We plan to continue evolving our packaging experience based on the wants, needs, and feedback of our consumers, just as we did with these label enhancements.

For more information visit the Just Right website.


Intrigued by packaging and design? Learn about the latest packaging innovations at SouthPack 2015, Nov. 18-19, in Orlando, FL.


Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Multigenerational Workforce

In today’s workplace, five generations are actively employed. In this free ebook, learn how to leverage the strengths of each generation in your packaging department.