On May 12, 2014
Case study: Ohio Pet Foods and Ideas That Kick
How a decades-old petfood brand ‘kicked the shelf’ and changed the game with consumer-focused packaging design
Matthew Golladay, vice president of Ohio Pet Foods, returned to the family-owned and family-run petfood business to manage the buyout of Blackwood Pet Food, a brand the Ohio-based company had manufactured for years. Ohio Pet Foods specializes in co-packing premium and superpremium dry petfood diets and Blackwood certainly fell under this exclusive umbrella, with active and alternative recipes that included grain-free formulations with no soy, no corn or no wheat in slow-cooked, small batches. The problem, however, was that the packaging wasn’t getting that message across to pet parents when they came across the Blackwood dog and cat diets on the store shelf.Following the acquisition, Matt partnered with Ideas That Kick to transform the nearly 20-year-old Blackwood brand, which had little consumer equity, into a line of superpremium petfoods worthy of not only packaging press attention and design awards, but one that spoke clearly and directly to consumers.Stefan Hartung, creative director and co-founder of Minneapolis design agency, Ideas That Kick (formerly HartungKemp) worked directly with Golladay to rebrand Blackwood. At Petfood Workshop: Marketing to Today’s Consumers, both Golladay and Hartung invited the audience to learn just what their partnership produced.“Our bag redesigns for Blackwood Pet Food’s premium dog and cat foods placed key nutritional values for each recipe front and just a bit off-center, because pet-loving families want to feel good, at first glance, about what they’re feeding Fido and Fluffy,” explained Hartung. “Our bag fronts also make it easy for busy store clerks to recommend Blackwood foods.” With the ...