fishmans-daughter-1Fisherman’s Daughter is the latest business venture targeting the pet food industry by Angell Associates, husband and wife Robert and Jill Angell. Robert’s background is buying and selling seafood worldwide, whilst Jill has a background in marketing.

In 2004 the pair soon realised that whilst Robert was buying and selling numerous tonnes of seafood at the time, Cod was by far the most popular fish of choice, yet only 50% of each cod fish was being used (after removing the two fillets from within the fish).

After putting their heads together, Robert and Jill decided that they wanted to increase this percentage, even if slightly, deciding to use the fish skin which accounts for 5% of the fish, and use this extra percentage elsewhere.

After researching the pet food industry it became clear that the industry focused primarily on meats such as chicken, lamb, turkey etc., but there was no real focus on fish. On top of this Robert and Jill discovered that the cod they were planning to use contained Omega 3 oils and the scales on the skins acted as a perfect exfoliator for dogs teeth.

Jill then practised with numerous recipes using the fish skin, baking treats for her own dogs within her own kitchen. Shortly after, neighbours were asking for some treats in exchange for items such as pheasants, and before long the local shops had heard about Jill’s dog food and wanted to stock it. With a clear gap in the market, and an obvious need for the product, ‘Fish4Dogs’ was born.

Jill Angell said: “Shortly after we began supplying to the local shops in 2004, we were approached with an order for 1 tonne of the Fish4Dogs pet food and then made the decision that we needed to purchase a factory! And quickly! Once we’d purchased the factory, business grew hugely, even though the packaging of the product wasn’t as appealing as it could’ve been. The product was literally selling because of how great it was and word-of-mouth. In 2010, with the company doing so well, we decided to sell up and look into an alternative pet food to develop.”

fishmans-daughter-2After selling Fish4Dogs, Robert and Jill began working on Fisherman’s Daughter; another dog food and treat, but this time using Padina Pavonica, which is a seaweed product that helps vitality, maintain strong bones & joints and is even known to speed the healing of minor cuts & abrasions.

The development and design concept of Fisherman’s Daughter took roughly 6-12 months to finalise with the help of The Lighthouse Agency, and when searching for the ideal packaging company, a manufacturer recommended Tyler Packaging. Jill commented: “We met with Tyler Packaging in January of this year and found that they had some really innovative ideas that we thought were great. Whilst the company weren’t involved in the design concept, they played a strong role in the technical and production side of our brand and packaging. They completely understood why we were using certain colours, as well as understanding where we wanted to take the brand and what we planned to do with it; particularly when it came to humanising the packaging of the pet food, instead of simply trying to target the dogs.”

Jill continued: “We decided that I would be on the packaging in order to humanise the product – 80% of those who purchase pet food are females, and they’re much more likely to buy a brand with a person on the front, than having to choose between all the brands that have cute animals on them. Alongside this, Tyler Packaging suggested we use a registered Matt / Gloss finish on our packaging, and to select a black colour for the spot UV as well as using gloss on the back of the packaging for ‘more information’ – neither of these had been done in the pet food industry before and for us it’s all about staying ahead of the competition, which Tyler understand, and get completely.”

In just a few a few months, and in May 2013, the product was ready to launch at the 4 day Zoomark trade show in Italy, Bologna. Jill said: “We have to give credit to Tyler; we didn’t order the packaging until quite late and it wasn’t due to be ready until the day before the exhibition, whereby Matt from Tyler flew it out to us personally the day before the exhibition opened and then stayed on the exhibition stand to help us fill the packaging – as we didn’t have the machinery to seal the bags (as this is normally done within the factory) we had to improvise and use hair straighteners – they really did save the day!”

fishmans-daughter-3She continued: “The stand looked fantastic – it had a beach, a rickety old boat, fishing nets and the walls of the stand were pale blue – it was designed to look just like the packaging. We had so many compliments, with many telling us our stand was miles better than the rest.”

In just two months, since launching Fisherman’s Daughter at Zoomark 2013, the company have received orders worth over £3 million, which will take them all the way through to the end of 2014, of which the majority is export. It’s now mid-July and the first orders are just beginning to go through and Jill is already having to pre-order bulk packaging units from Tyler to keep up with the demand of the product as they had only ordered a certain amount, of which sales have already exceeded.

Jill added: “We owe so much credit to Tyler; they’ve been fantastic at understanding our ideas and where we want to take the brand, as well as providing numerous innovative ideas. Whilst many of the sales we’ve generated are due to the quality of our product, the packaging has been critical to the success, especially the handles and the one-way valves. With the majority of our current sales being exports, the one-way valve removes any air, preventing the packaging from breaking as they’re stacked on top of each other on pallets to be transported, whilst preventing any air from entering the packaging, therefore helping to preserve the product. Whilst our packaging looks good, it also works a treat – both are as important as the other. And I simply wouldn’t have known any of this if Tyler hadn’t brought it up.”

She concluded: “Although our packaging is more expensive than most; because of the high-end production and print, it has already proved its worth and more. The money we save in that fact that no product is damaged during transportation is brilliant, but to receive £3m worth of orders with just one show appearance, just highlights the power of great packaging. Quality will always win.”

 

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