BOCA RATON, Fla. — Colgate-Palmolive highlighted important sustainability goals and announced two key innovations to its Hill’s Pet Nutrition brand in its presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Conference on Feb. 22.
In the presentation, Noel Wallace, current president and chief operating officer and future CEO of the company effective April 2, 2019, announced a relaunch of the Science Diet brand, which accounts for approximately half of Hill’s business across more than 80 countries. The relaunch includes new formulations, packaging design and sizes.
Wallace explained the goal was to simplify the messaging on the packaging and connect with consumers on a more emotional level. “Our learning was, we were too scientific – that we needed to connect on much more of an emotional level with the consumer to make it relatable to them in terms of how they think about the Hill’s brand,” Wallace said.
Many of the animals photographed for the new packaging came from animal shelters. “It’s bigger, it’s bolder and it’s far better than what we’ve had in the past, and we think connects with the consumer in a very relatable way,” he said.
Hill’s will also roll out a home delivery service for its Prescription Diet line, where veterinarians can prescribe the products to pet owners and have it sent directly to their homes through an online process, eliminating the need for the consumer to go elsewhere to purchase the product. This is part of Colgate-Palmolive’s overall strategy to maximize e-commerce across all product categories.
“We’re going to offer an extraordinarily innovative e-commerce service where we’re going to allow vets to provide free home delivery to all of the pet parents and do that in a seamless way where they can create a connection with that consumer and allow us to continue to provide the relationship that they so desire with their consumers,” Wallace said.
Wallace added the process of scheduling a delivery takes five minutes or less, and it will not require veterinarians to carry the inventory because Hill’s will cover shipping and handling at no cost to the vet or the consumer. Wallace said the service was launched this quarter and is currently being implemented in veterinary clinics across the US.
Ian Cook, current CEO and chairman of Colgate-Palmolive, closed out the presentation by discussing capital investments and sustainability strategies. Cook briefly touched on the expansion of the Hill’s Pet Nutrition Center in Topeka, Kansas, saying, “We have expanded our Hill’s Pet Nutrition Center to now spend focused time on the small dogs and cats rather than the larger dogs because that’s where the world is going.” According to the Joint Economic Development Organization of Topeka and Shawnee County (JEDO), the company will invest $20 million in the expansion.
Cook also discussed the company’s 2025 sustainability goals. “We’re taking a very aggressive stance, along with other leading companies partnering with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and have made a commitment that by 2025 our packaging will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable, we will have 25% recycled content for plastics in all of our packaging, and we are and will continue to eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastics,” he said. This comes as sustainability in the pet food and treat space has become a consumer priority.
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