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Asked about the factors influencing their purchases of dry pet food, 91% of consumers rated the reliability of the brand as important. Trust was only a second importance in their brand selection process. (The number one influencing factor was knowing that their pets will like the products they choose.)

Losing the trust and loyalty of their customers can be costly for pet food companies. So what is it that damages this trust? And most importantly, how can brands restore broken trust?

Here are some of the areas where businesses risk losing consumer confidence, along with opportunities to right the damage and build loyalty.

Inform, educate and communicate

Pet owners who don’t yet trust a business are unlikely to view the business as a beneficial and educational resource. They may approach an unknown brand with skepticism and seek secondary sources to verify that brand’s information. That’s why it’s important for brands to share external resources, such as scientific studies and nutritional research. It is a good way to educate consumers while supporting the claims and formulations of the products.

When it comes to or To educate, there are few specific sources that consumers trust the most for information on pet food and nutrition. The number one resource is veterinarians – 41% of consumers obtain their information from veterinary experts. Other popular sources include internet research (25%) and personal recommendations (breeders, trainers, pet store staff, friends and family, etc.).

Social media also plays an important role in providing consumers with useful information, but not through advertisements and promotional messages. Just being available online to answer comments and questions can go a long way in building trust and winning customers.

Social platforms are also a great place for storytelling and engagement efforts, whether it’s sharing the stories behind the food, highlighting authentic testimonials, or asking for comments, questions and pretty. photos of pets. Consumers who connect to pet food brands in this way are more likely to support their products.

Take a closer look at labels and packaging

For consumers, the choice between brands often comes down to what’s on the packaging. The problem is, 63% of pet owners thinks the information on pet food labels is misleading. And 47% find pet food labels difficult to understand. This allows pet food manufacturers to clean and simplify package labels, making it easy for consumers to recognize ingredients, learn where those ingredients come from, and find out why they’re important to the food industry. animal health.

Customer loyalty for pet food products also has a lot to do with the packaging itself. Convenience is highly valued by many pet owners – 82% are looking for well-packaged products that make their lives easier. They opt for packages that are easy to open, serve and reseal so they can feed their pets quickly and keep food cool. They also want tear-resistant and damage-resistant packaging, especially if they’d rather have pet food shipped. If they receive torn food bags or are unable to seal those bags securely after the meal, they will likely consider rebranding.

Finally, sustainability has become an important factor in the trust pet owners place in businesses – 65% of consumers trust more brands that use sustainable packaging.

Demonstrate a commitment to food security

Nothing hurts consumer confidence like pet food recalls, especially if these recalls have devastating consequences for animals and humans. This is why it is essential that pet food companies comply with food safety requirements, implement preventative protocols, develop recall and emergency plans, and be transparent with consumers on how which they ensure the safety of their products.

And, if addressed promptly and in an informative manner, an unexpected pet food safety issue shouldn’t cost a business its customers and reputation. In fact, a recall can be an opportunity for manufacturers to prove to pet owners that they can tackle a problem quickly and take action to prevent it from happening again.

Many pet owners treat their pets like family and want to know that what they are giving them is healthy, reliable and safe. Pet food brands that tick all of these boxes repeatedly will succeed in building a loyal and ever-growing following.

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