Lucky Dog Cuisine, a dog food delivery service, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2018. Dr. Janice Elenbaas created Lucky Dog Cuisine in 2008 to provide a subscription-based, premium dog food delivery service.
Lucky Dog Cuisine creates dog food with human-edible ingredients; the recipes claim inclusion of cheese, yogurt, olive oil and meat-based proteins. Cooked fresh each week, the meals are stored in a climate-controlled location.
Leveraging a background in animal physiology and veterinary chiropractic rehabilitation, Dr. Elenbaas and her husband, Jeff Ginn, created Lucky Dog Cuisine. Beginning as a single-pot startup, the company currently occupies a 7,500 square foot commercial kitchen with 11 employees, headquartered in South Carolina. The original menu item, Beef and Rice, is now joined by six additional recipes, including two grain-free options, all of which are shipped frozen to both the US and Canada.
According to Lucky Dog, the company was the first to introduce the direct-to-consumer, subscription-based home delivery business model that provides a customizable schedule and flavor selection. Since 2008, numerous pet food delivery services have popped up in the industry.
Two main demographic groups, moms and millennials, may make up the majority of subscribers to pet food delivery services, such as Lucky Dog Cuisine. Pet food professionals believe convenience, customizability and health concerns may be primary motives for parents and young adults to use dog and cat food delivery subscriptions.
“Half of our team expected BarkChef customers to be younger and urban, and the other half (myself included) expected the baby boomer demographic to really embrace this,” Bark Chef founder Matt Goldman told Petfood Industry.
However, despite millennial pet owners reputation as digital natives demanding personalized, home-delivered products, they haven’t been BarkChef’s main customers.
“We found purchasing trends are pretty similar to that of most pet products,” said Goldman. “Mothers and heads of households make up around 70 percent of our customers, and I think a main reason is because we offer a new approach to dog food. The idea of never running out of food again and never having to schlep a 40-pound bag of food from the supermarket to car to house is a new concept. If you have been doing that for 20 years, I can see how refreshing it is to not have to deal with it anymore. Additionally, if you have children, we take feeding the dog off the to-do list which frees up time for the family.”
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
Constraints and crises, like those experienced in 2020, help drive innovation and sustainability offers context.