Dog chews are a well-established segment of the pet market. Rawhides are among the original and best-known types of chews for dogs, as are various manufactured chews. Comparatively newer to the market, though becoming equally established, are chews made to meet current trends and demands of pet owners, such as all-natural and single-ingredient products. It’s in that latter niche that Nature Gnaws has found its home — and its success.
Disrupting the market
Nature Gnaws has consciously skipped using large distributors in favor of going straight to the source for its 100-percent-natural dog chews.
“We wanted to take the lead on disrupting the market after having a hard time finding natural chew products with transparent ingredients to give our own dogs at home,” says Steve Mamak, co-founder of Nature Gnaws. “Nature Gnaws’ purpose is to raise awareness of how important it is to give our dogs only the best, completely unprocessed, all-natural dog chew products.”
The company was formed in 2016 and found almost immediate success online, taking advantage of e-commerce to sell exclusively online via Target.com, Chewy.com and Amazon.com. As a result, Nature Gnaws’ sales have grown to over US$5 million annually in two years, with 2018 projections at US$7 million — not bad for a company that started out as a family feeding their own pets homemade chews at a kitchen table.
“Despite our growth, we always stick to our mission of providing the best quality products,” says Mamak. “We now have a warehouse distributing over 700 bags of natural chews to our customers per day. Our sales have tripled, and out 5-star customer reviews have tripled, as well.”
Reaching customers in the dog chews market
While being a new player in the pet food market game can be daunting, Nature Gnaws considers its relative youth to be an asset.
“We are young, nimble and innovative,” says Mamak. “We can pivot to the market based on customer feedback. We know this growing market demands healthy options for their dogs and we are honored to give them those options.”
Nature Gnaws is constantly adding new products to its portfolio, each one meeting the all-natural and healthy standards the company has set for itself.
“While our most popular products include our variety of bully sticks for all dog sizes, we have added chicken jerky strips, Himalayan yak chews, salmon chews and our popular combo packs, which include a variety of chews in one bag,” says Mamak. “And as the brand loyalty grows, our new products continue to launch with quick success.”
Brand loyalty comes, in part, from the company’s significant social media presence. Encouraging online reviews of its products and being active on nearly every social media platform out there (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube) have provided Nature Gnaws with ample opportunity to reach its customer base directly.
“Social media has allowed us to really talk to our customers, and we want to continue to grow and foster those relationships,” says Mamak. “In fact, we are setting up numerous opportunities for our customers to share their dogs’ milestones. We want to send birthday gifts and engage with new puppy parents. Owning a dog is one of the best experiences in the world, and we want to be a part of that.”
Social media also plays a part in Nature Gnaws’ philanthropic efforts, which the company takes very seriously.
“It is our mission to give back to the community,” says Mamak. “Nature Gnaws works closely with our local humane society and other rescue communities. We continue to donate our chews as well as utilize our social media following to help sheltered dogs find families.”
The future of Nature Gnaws
Nature Gnaws plans to continue its current path, focusing on expanding its product line and growing its distribution.
“We will continue to add all-natural, healthy products that pet owners will love and trust to our product line,” says Mamak. “We are in conversations with distributors, pet chains and big box stores to bring our products to more health-conscious dog lovers. We continue to expand year after year, and we envision developing a company culture that fosters healthy, natural choices for dogs as well as gives back to the community.
The company also aims to take full advantage of the e-commerce era.
“As individuals transition from purchasing for themselves in-store to online, the same will apply to their dog purchases,” says Mamak. “We envision an uptick in online pet sales as Target, Amazon and Chewy continue to expand their digital purchasing options.
“The demand for all-natural pet products is only going to increase, and we at Nature Gnaws are excited to be at the forefront of it all.”
Just the facts
Headquarters: 2201 N. Andrews Avenue, Unit 101, Pompano Beach, Florida, 33069 USA
Facilities: 6,000 sq. ft. distribution center
Officers: Co-founders Steve Mamak and Jay Mokbel
Sales: Nature Gnaws’ sales have grown to over US$5 million annually in just two years, and projected sales for 2018 are closing at over US$7 million.
Brands: Nature Gnaws
Distribution: Products are currently exclusively available online at the company website, Amazon, Target and Chewy.com.
Website/Social Media: www.naturegnaws.com, @naturegnaws on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest
The growth of dog food e-commerce