Freshpet effort highlights value of fresh food for Fido

In the newest phase of its Protest campaign, refrigerated pet food company Freshpet has been touting the importance of fresh food, especially for dogs.

Company
Freshpet
Campaign

Protest
Agency mix
The Bender Group PR (PR, contests); The Terri & Sandy Solution (creative for TV, print, digital, and social); and Generator Media + Analytics (media buying)
In-house team

Richard Thompson, CEO; Scott Morris, president; Kathryn Winstanley, director of marketing; Courtney Groome, senior brand manager; and Katie Tyson, marketing manager
Budget
About $10 million

In the newest phase of its Protest campaign, refrigerated pet food company Freshpet has been touting the importance of fresh food, especially for dogs.

The program, which kicked off in 2012, is focused on getting consumers to realize that refrigerated, less-processed foods are healthier than products that sit on shelves, both for them and their pets, says Kathryn Winstanley, Freshpet's director of marketing.

To get its message across, the brand launched the Freshpet Fridge Challenge, created with The Bender Group PR and Freshpet partner Katy Nelson, a veterinarian, host, and executive producer of The Pet Show with Dr. Katy.

Freshpet asked Nelson and a group of bloggers to spend a week last September eating only shelf-stable foods to see how it affected their everyday lives. The group revealed that living without fresh food made eating less enjoyable and only having processed items felt unhealthy, says Winstanley.

Nelson also talked about the campaign on her ABC show and tweeted about the task.

On the consumer side, Freshpet asked people to submit short answers about why they wouldn't be able to live without their fridge. The answers highlighted the importance of fresh, refrigerated food and "consumers realized this is not how they want to feed someone they love," adds Winstanley.

With the campaign garnering more than 309 million media impressions from September to December 2013, Freshpet is set to continue the effort this year. Outlets that covered the news included Petfoodindustry.com and Examiner.com.

Freshpet also brought a food truck to the My Dog Loves Central Park Fair in New York last year, where Nelson was on-site answering questions and giving out samples.

In 2014, the agency is looking to invite media to Freshpet's headquarters to see where the food is made.

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