SINCE starting out in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville in the late 1950s, Bushs Pet Foods has grown to control 25% of the domestic pet food market.
Its products, marketed through brands such as Divine, Petite Amie, and Bush’s, as well as generic and house brands, spread the gamut of the category, however, Bush’s has made serious inroads into the premium pet foods market.
Bush’s recently shifted its Divine Dog Biscuits packaging from a box to a reusable PET container, which, according to Visy Industrial Packaging business development manager Teresa Aprile, represents a turning point in the packaging of pet products.
It is the first such use of PET in the category, although Visy has produced similar containers for pasta and flour homewares products.
The container began its life as little more than a thumbnail sketch, according to Visy designer Corey Robertson.
“Preferred concepts were formally sketched, followed by clay modelling using special automotive modelling clay,” he said.
The designers settled on an ergonomically suitable package with a stylised dog paw, and design challenges were solved using 3D CAD visualisation to provide technical specifications for a tool.
“This was followed by the development of water clear stereo lithography models, which essentially involved the production of a physical sample of the package prior to mass production,” said Robertson.
Having the physical sample meant the designers could iron out any design or aesthetic problems immediately.
Bush’s Divine Dog Biscuits, in the new PET container, was relaunched in April through Coles and Metcash supermarkets.
“People love to treat their pets and we think this design with its novel, depressed ‘paw grip’ at the back of the package combined with five gourmet flavour varieties, will not only endear the product to consumers but really make an occasion of spoiling,” said Bush’s marketing manager Tobi Harris.
“There’s currently nothing quite like it in the market place and we really believe it fills a void,” said Harris.
“The value added by the enhanced packaging, including greater convenience, has enabled it to command a price premium over conventional boxes and flo wrapping.”