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Personalization Moves to Pet Food

Whole foods pet nutrition company Side by Side offers flash-frozen and fresh pet food, with product varieties selected for pet owners through an online assessment tool.

Brand photos were taken during a two-day shoot in Side by Side CEO Carol Bramson’s home
Brand photos were taken during a two-day shoot in Side by Side CEO Carol Bramson’s home

New natural pet food and supplement company Side by Side of Telluride, CA, brings a holistic approach to whole food nutrition, offering pet owners the opportunity to customize their cat or dog’s diet through an online assessment. Upon receiving results, consumers can choose from among five diets—categorized as Comfort, Mellow, Genial, Harvest, and Harmony—either flash-frozen or fresh for convenience, along with supplementary nutrition products.

The online assessment guides pet owners through a questionnaire that provides Side by Side with key information about each pet, including multiple aspects of health, lifestyle, temperament, and activity level, as well as age, breed, and weight, explains company Founder Marney Prince. “Caregivers are delivered instant results for a baseline nutrition plan and sent additional recommendations to support a complete and balanced regimen for their pets’ individual needs,” she says.

Side by Side’s product line comprises 10 diets, or food products, nine treats, six supplements, three food toppers, and three tail mixes, or “treats to get your pet’s tail wagging.” Prepared without preservatives, the whole foods are cooked in small batches with low heat. They are then freeze-dried or frozen to preserve the whole food’s nutrition. Frozen product has a one-year shelf life in the freezer and stays viable thawed in the fridge for three days. Freeze-dried product has a two-year shelf life.

Food is packaged in lidded cups, packed 10 to a flexible pouch, and is shipped to consumers in insulated boxes with dry ice. Says Lisa Boh, President of Side by Side’s creative brand agency Kerning Brands, “We wanted packaging that was easy for our customers to use, and flexible packaging met those needs. The bags hold the 10 frozen cups perfectly. They are resealable and fit easily into a freezer door, shelf, or drawer. They compress down as you use the product, optimizing that precious freezer space.”

Package graphics are personal as well, with brand photos taken during a two-day shoot in Side by Side CEO Carol Bramson’s home. “The brand concept is built on the connection between us and our pets, and we want to do everything we can to give them the best life, which includes their nutrition,” says Boh. “Our brand promise is ‘Nutrition for a Better Life.’ This includes those special moments between us and our pets, which are captured in the photography—the focal point of the emotional appeal on the packaging. We use color blocking to identify the warming, cooling, or neutral products, a differentiator for our brand.”

The bags are converted by Belmark, which prints the pouches in full color using HP Indigo digital print technology. Says Boh, “Their digital capabilities were a good fit for our small-batch brand, ensuring we didn’t have to sacrifice quality of material or printing.”

Side by Side launched online in April. It also sells its product at its flagship storefront in Telluride, where it was founded. The company says it will soon be opening another store in Chicago as well.

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