COLLECTING THE "RAW" DATA
HOW PET OWNERS SWITCH TO A RAW FOOD DIET
Trial: Participants bought raw pet food brands of their choosing and attempted to introduce the product to their cat or dog.
Transition: Observed how owners follow recommended feeding instructions to understand the transition for human and pet.
Commitment or rejection: Analyzed the factors that led to approval or rejection from the four-legged friend.
Raw pet food is a dietary trend that is gaining more mainstream acceptance. But, the process of buying a new brand of raw pet food isn't as simple as switching to a different kibble. The transition to raw food can be challenging, especially for picky eaters; we're looking at you, Felis Catus. A raw pet food company wanted to understand better pet owners' transition from mainstream to raw pet food. In detail, they wanted to see which types of products purchasers start with, when and how they introduce the food to their pet, and what causes them to adopt or abandon a raw food diet. The ExperienceBuilt Group enlisted real pet owners to buy any raw dog or cat food without any direction on what to buy, then observed their process to introduce the diet to their furry friend.
The Experience Solution
1) Pet Owners Chose Their Preferred Brand of Raw Pet Food
EBG sent 25 participants shopping at a specialty pet food store to buy the raw pet food of their choosing. EBG team members observed the products participants started with, the packages that stood out, and their comfort and familiarity with brands. We also observed any hesitations participants had during the purchase process.
2) Gathered Live Feedback on Diet Transition Through Digital Diaries and Interviews
Pet owners brought their chosen pet food home and described their process of opening, plating, storing, and serving the food– specifically noting how they utilized the product packaging for directions and ease of use. They shared how they began the first feeding with raw pet food, how long the transition process took, and why they chose to buy a different product if they, or Mittens, weren't satisfied with the first option. For participants who returned to the store, we observed what they changed during their second shopping trip.
3) Submitted Targeted Recommendations, Specifically Packaging Improvements
EBG surveyed pet owners to understand at which point the new food was accepted or rejected in the transition journey. We evaluated contributing factors to develop recommendations that would improve the diet transition and, in turn, increase brand loyalty. These recommendations included significant adjustments to brand packaging aimed at educating and assisting consumers during the transition, and supporting them with multiple product offerings once they reach the decision point.
The EBG Impact
EBG identified pet owners' pain points when buying, using, and transitioning to a raw pet food diet. We discovered opportunities for the client to improve package messaging and remove friction from the transition process by educating pet owners on the process, highlighting product benefits on packaging, and using imagery for guidance. We also identified opportunities to increase brand loyalty when commitment to a new diet doesn't necessarily mean a commitment to a new brand.
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