Chew on This
Suzanne Madenis, marketing executive for Jones Natural Chews Co., discusses how the company is adding value to the popular meat-based treats and chews category.
Pet Business: How big is the movement toward wholesome, meat-based treats and chews right now? What is driving demand for these products?
Suzanne Madenis: The all-natural, healthy movement just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Dog owners have seen the effects of healthy eating in their beloved fur-babies. Jones Natural Chews (JNC) has had the all-natural, healthy, made-in-USA principles since the beginning. Dog owners can always trust all 76 products that JNC produces. Dogs are natural carnivores; giving them what they naturally need and enjoy makes a much healthier, happier pet.
PB: How does the Jones family’s long history in meat cutting and butchering impact your approach to producing high-quality pet treats and chews?
Madenis: We have never deviated from our standards or principles on quality. We treat these products just like we treated the jerky and sausage products for people at the butcher shop. We would never feed our own dogs or try to sell anything that is not of the highest quality.
PB: Jones Natural Chews offers a variety of merchandising displays for its products. How do these types of merchandisers help retailers to be more effective at selling treats and chews?
Madenis: There are many different types of stores and styles out there. Some carry all of our merchandisers and others pick and choose what would look good for their particular style. We have metal racks, cardboard throwaway racks, counter items and much more. No matter what’s in the aisle, the Jones Natural Chews purple and yellow packages tend to stick out and catch your eye.
PB: What guidance should retailers be prepared to offer customers shopping the treats and chews category?
Madenis: Finding the right chew for your dog can be easy, but it can also sometimes be tricky. Why? Because dogs and dog treats are just like people and ice cream. We all have different tastes and have our favorites. Most dogs are driven by food and treats, but other dogs don’t have any interest in extra chews. If people would let their dogs shop for themselves, they would be surprised what the dog would pick. But, since we don’t market to the dog, we have to come from a different approach.
Finding out what size dog the consumer has, along with how aggressive their chew is, would be a good starting point. Retailers should educate themselves on what products are good for big, aggressive chewers, versus medium non-aggressive chewers, and so on. Just because a dog is big doesn’t necessarily mean it is an aggressive chewer, and the same goes for small dogs. All of our products have size recommendations on the label.
PB: What are the latest and most exciting developments from Jones Natural Chews?
Madenis: We were very excited to introduce holiday packaging this year. We have a Bow Wow Boo Bucket for Halloween, a Wuv You Treat for Valentine’s Day, a Canine Christmas Cruncher [plastic stocking] and a Christmas Woofermen Treats [stocking stuffers] for Christmas. We also came out with an everyday four-pack carrier of bones. It is kind of like a six-pack of soda, except a four-pack of bones.
You can check out all of our new products on our website: jonesnaturalchews.com.
For next year, we are working on some new recipes. We usually introduce our new products in February, so keep a look out.
PB: What does the future hold for Jones Natural Chews and the treats and chews category?
Madenis: The sky is the limit. We continue to be a leader in this ever growing market of furry family members. We have grown right along with the industry for over 25 years. We are hanging on for the ride.