Nutram Pet Products, a wellness company with a holistic, nutrition-first approach to pets’ total well-being, has launched in the US for the first time ever. The company aims to reinvent itself and reintroduce a brand that has been in more than 20 countries for the last 20+ years.
“Our holistic nutritionist and their entire team of nutrition experts carefully craft and cook recipes that pair specific ingredients together for the most healthful combinations, bolstering the various benefits from each individual ingredient,” says Kirill Tikhomirov, vice president of brand commercialization at Nutram. “This unique, balanced wellness approach is 100% natural and truly holistic—resulting in happier pets in all stages of life.”
It’s this approach that has made Nutram successful in its current markets, and made the company confident that its expansion into the US will reap similar rewards. “Our sales have been consistent over the years; however we believe that this reluanch will breathe new life and excitement into our quality brand and products,” says Tikhomirov. “Our objective is to quickly build distribution across the US, and that is why we commissioned help of two great organizations—Animal Supply Co. and Chuck Latham Associates Inc.”
Nutram’s partnerships with Animal Supply and Chuck Latham have allowed Nutram to reach US-based retailers more easily, leading to a successful summer 2015 launch. “It’s early, but initial feedback on our relaunch has been extremely positive,” says Tikhomirov. “We enjoyed meeting with our current international customers and new US customers at Global Pet Expo and SuperZoo earlier this year, and look forward to expanding those relationships throughout the year.”
The last 18 months have been busy for Nutram, as the company has expanded its internal and external teams, and recreated and relaunched all aspects of the company’s product offerings. Nutram’s biggest challenge right now, according to Tikhomirov, is to make a breakthrough in the highly competitive and saturated US market. “We are expecting to build quality distribution in the US specialty channel in independent accounts,” says Tikhomirov. “After initial distribution, we have built strategies to immediately engage in consumer communication and execute consumer promotions to drive brand awareness and engagement. At the same time, we will be winning the support of store associates by educating them about our products.”
Nutram’s new natural, holistic brand, as well as its customer reach, is where the company is focusing its efforts. “Our new … brand is innovative, and our focused consumer communications will drive trial and demand of our products,” says Tikhomirov. “We have aligned ourselves with great retail and distributor partners and have a variety of exciting consumer promotions ready upon arrival of our products in new markets (including the US). In addition to our consumer programs, we have a variety of store associate engagement programs and support systems that we believe will really help drive sales.”
The company’s biggest opportunity, says Tikhomirov, is to get stores on board and engage consumers with Nutram’s “optimum combinations” recipes. “Utilizing holistic discipline to support each individual ingredient selection, Nutram carefully thought out each ingredient and paired them strategically, and in a truly holistic way, to amplify the various benefits of every ingredient in the food,” says Tikhomirov. Nutram diets are highly digestible, according to the company, allowing pets to absorb more essential nutrients, and recipes are tailored and available in three specific categories:
Courtesy Nutram Pet Products
Nutram’s pet food recipes are naturally preserved and contain meat grown without the use of hormones.
· Nutram Sound Balanced Wellness, which offers holistic recipes that are crafted and cooked specifically for the various life stages of pets.
· Nutram Ideal Solution Support, which offers holistic and natural food crafted and cooked to support specific nutritional needs of a pet, such as immunity support, weight control, skin & coat, digestibility, natural detox, calming effects, mobility and bladder health.
· Nutram Total Grain-Free, which provides pets with all the benefits of Nutram food in a grain-free solution.
Nutram’s recipes are naturally preserved and use meat grown without the use of hormones, according to the company. Most recipes have a low glycemic index.
The humanization of pets continues to drive the natural pet food segment, bridging human and animal bonds closer, says Tikhomirov. Fortunately, the company has positioned itself in the market to take advantage of that trend—and with its expansion into the US, Nutram is making the most of it.
Just the Facts
Headquarters: Elmira, Ontario, Canada
Facilities: Elmira, Ontario, Canada
Officers: Dave Johnston (COO), Paul Feick (CMO), Bryan Cook (CEO)
Sales: Nutram grew over 20 years to be distributed internationally in 20+ countries.
Brands: Nutram Sound Balanced Wellness, Nutram Ideal Solution Support, Nutram Total Grain-Free
Distribution: Canada, 20+ countries internationally, US entry in summer 2015
Employees: Nutram’s brand re-launch team is 15 people (excluding production). Nutram’s re-launch team leader is Kirill Tikhomirov (vice president of brand and customer development).