Tag Archives: Pets

Puppy Love

Aww….. They are so cute!

We do love our pups and pets. And there are more pet-parents than ever before thanks to the pandemic. According to the American Society for Prevention to Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), more than 23 million U.S. families have adopted a pet during the pandemic. And while there is lots of love to go around, there is also a lot of money being spent on pampering and caring for our little animal buddies.

How much money? Well, according to Statista.com the U.S. pet industry accounts for $103.6 billion, including $44.1 billion for pet food. Doggy daycare centers and veterinarians are booked solid these days. Plus dog walkers such as Wag are certainly in high demand. Pets even get treated like one of the family – massages and acupuncture, along with dental care, are not uncommon.

The pet business is booming. Target Corp. has started its own line of pet-food, branded Kindfull. General Mills re-entered the pet food market in 2018 when it purchased Blue Buffalo Pet Products for $8 billion. The company also spent $1.2 billion for a line of pet treats from Tyson Foods last year. Nestle Purina holds the largest share in dry pet food sales at nearly $3.5 billion. In retail, PetSmart and PETCO account for 40% of the market. That’s a lot of puppy chow!

Ready for some puppy love?  

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has a pet? How much did they spend last year on the pet?
  2. Bring up pet care sites such as Rover (https://www.rover.com/) and Wag (https://wagwalking.com/).
  3. Also show retail sites including Target (https://www.target.com/b/kindfull/-/N-q643le71aup?lnk=snav_rd_kindfull), PetSmart (https://www.petsmart.com/), and PETCO (https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore), and Chewy (https://www.chewy.com/).
  4. Have students do a search for pet health care and insurance rates.
  5. Compare rates at: https://quote.petinsurer.com/quote/ref=usnews?insurer=petsbest&subId1=other-products-in-table&subId2=https://www.usnews.com/insurance/pet-insurance&subId3=desktop&subID4=large
  6. Have students use their laptops to research different types of products and care for pets.
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for various types of pet owners.
  8. How should pet products be promoted to the target market?

Source:  Bogage, J. (Feb. 12, 2022). The high cost of puppy love. Washington Post.; Sitaramiah, G. (Feb. 10, 2022). Twin Cities businesses benefit as pet owners spend like parents. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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Doggie Desserts

We love our dogs, always asking them “who’s a good dog?” And then of course, rewarding and treating our very good dogs. One snack that dogs love to munch is ice cream. And now Vermont ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has introduced a new line of frozen dog treats – Doggie Desserts.

Doggie Desserts is the company’s first movement into the growing markets of pet foods and treats. According to the American Pet Products Assoc., the number of U.S. households with pets grew to 84.9 million homes in 2020. During these trying Covid times, pet adoptions are at an all-time high, meaning that more pets than ever are trying to keep their humans sane. From 2015 to 2020 spending on dog treats jumped 44% to $5.5 billion.

Doggie Desserts follow the Ben & Jerry’s model and are made with fairtrade-certified, non-GMO ingredients. The company stated that it worked with a veterinary nutritionist and other consultants to make sure the non-dairy products are safe and easy for pups to digest. No one wants Spot to have an upset tummy!

There are two flavors sold in 4-ounce cups: Pontch’s mix of peanut butter and pretzel swirls, and Rosie’s Batch of pumpkin and mini cookies. Prices at $2.99 per cup (four for $4.99) and the frozen treats will be placed near popsicles in the frozen food aisles, conveniently located near Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. That’s one pint for us, and one for our dogs.

Now, who’s a good human?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Show Ben & Jerry’s website: https://www.benjerry.com/flavors/doggie-desserts
  3. A video can be found at: https://youtu.be/h2lzIEeRVsQ
  4. Which strategy is Ben & Jerry’s using for this product? Why?
  5. Discuss setting SMART objectives (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound).
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team set three SMART objectives for this strategy.
  7. How would these objectives change if a different market strategy was used?
  8. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.

Source:  Minneapolis Star Tribune; Washington Post; other news sources

 

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How Much is it Worth? $1.9 million!

Determining the right price for a product or service is complicated. Marketers need to first determine the strategy that is best for meeting the objectives. Does the organization want to establish a beach-head and gain market share (at a low price), or does it want to reach the elite purchasers (at a higher price)?

Pricing strategies include demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented approaches. Within these various approaches are price models that include skimming, penetration, luxury, bundling, price-lining, return-on-investment, and more. But finally, and perhaps most importantly, do not discount the strong appeal used with psychological pricing.

All these strategies are interesting, but how does one apply them to a unique product such as a champion racing pigeon? In many instances, the correct price is the price that someone will pay for the item. This is different than what the item might be worth in general – it is what the item is worth to that one particular buyer.

Take pets as an example. How much are people willing to pay for a pet? Or consider an animal that brings prestige, and perhaps even monetary gains, to a buyer – animals such as thoroughbred horses, or racing pigeons – that bring prestige and monetary gains to owners. What are they worth?

Recently, ‘New Kim’, a champion racing pigeon, recently fetched the amount of $1.9 million, breaking sales records for such a bird! Two bidders (operating under the names of ‘Super Duper’ and ‘Hitman’) drove up the purchase price to the record amount, surpassing the $1.6 million spent last year on another champion racing pigeon named ‘Armando’. The same Chinese owner is thought to have bought both pigeons.

How much are you willing to pay?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. As class begins, poll students about pets and pricing. Ask who has a pet and how much they paid. Ask other students if they were going to buy an animal, how much would they consider spending?
  2. Show a video about the Belgian pigeon: https://youtu.be/kNmk5Jw5rbY
  3. Discuss pricing strategies (e.g., demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, competition-oriented, etc.).
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a different price approach and determine a SMART objective for the approach.
  5. Next, have students use their selected price model to determine prices for the ordinary products (e.g., milk, gas, eggs, etc.), shopping products (such as clothing.), and luxury items (such as Louis Vuitton handbags), and rare (such as racing pigeons).

Source:  Associated Press; other news sources

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