Build Your Own Brand

Sarah Lund, director of marketing for The Pound Bakery and Pedigree Ovens, discusses how the company partners with pet stores to build successful food and treat lines.




Pet Business: Tell us about The Pound Bakery. How did the company get started? What products and services does it offer to pet specialty retailers?

Sarah Lund: Pedigree Ovens and The Pound Bakery was started in 1996 when the owner, Kurt Stricker, left his family bakery to begin a pet treat manufacturing business. Stricker saw a need for high-quality pet treats in the industry and wanted to provide a healthier option for pets. With a food science degree from UW Madison and generations of baking experience in his family, he was ready to hit the ground running and grew the business quickly. Originally located in a 5,000-sq.-ft. facility in Harvard, Ill., the business moved to a new 12,000-sq.-ft. facility in 2001 to keep up with increasing demand, which eventually led to a 40,000-sq.-ft. addition in 2008. In 2017, Pedigree Ovens and The Pound Bakery completed development of a brand new 220,000-sq.-ft. facility in Illinois and added several new capabilities.


Over the years, the business has continually added new services and capabilities to follow industry trends and fill gaps in the market. Our manufacturing capabilities now include baked treats and biscuits, hot extrusion, cold extrusion, dry blending, baked kibble, fruit chews for pets, co-packing and more. We recently added several new services including consumer and wholesome fulfillment, online marketing, website development, and graphic design services.



PB: What sets The Pound Bakery’s treats apart from other products on the market? What are some of the key features of your treats? How does The Pound Bakery work with retailers to help them develop a successful lineup of private-label treats?

Lund: Since the beginning, Pedigree Ovens and The Pound Bakery has focused on providing premium consumables for pets. All the treats and foods we produce have very limited ingredient decks and are made with human-grade ingredients. We offer several unique capabilities and work closely with our customers to create solutions to help them stand out in the marketplace. We have the equipment and capabilities to produce treats that coordinate with the latest industry trends, including grain-free, superfoods, organic, functional, spent grains and more.


We do our best to offer low minimums for our customers and a variety of solutions to fit every situation. If pet specialty stores or smaller businesses are looking for private-label solutions with low minimums, we provide a wholesale line of pet treats that businesses can utilize to start their own brand name treats. We also work closely with larger retailers to formulate unique recipes for their treats and produce the product. We also work with our customers to pack out products and palletize the product if needed.


PB: Tell us about the online marketing and photography services that The Pound Bakery offers to retailers. How can these services help pet stores drive sales?

Lund: We offer a wide range of online marketing services to our customers. These services are mainly focused around providing smaller pet brands with a great way to grow their business. Online retail is continually growing in the pet industry, and we want to help our customers stay on top of the trend. Even if a business is mainly focused on in-store sales and isn’t looking for ecommerce solutions, online marketing (or the lack thereof) can have a big impact on sales. Today’s consumers go online first to find out more about brands or stores and use their online presence as a way to gauge trust in a brand.


We offer everything from social media management and email marketing to web development and product photography to anyone in the pet industry. With years of experience in the pet world, we know what works best to increase sales and increase brand recognition. PB


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