The interview with Karren Peters, senior director of marketing for pet brands at Tyson Foods, was intended to learn how the company is taking a personal approach to pet trends

How does Tyson Pet Products meet the needs of the pet specialty channel, particularly independent pet stores?

We have a focused brand channel strategy, with True Chews pet treats targeted specifically to the pet specialty channel. Our research shows pet parents who shop pet specialty look for high quality treats that are USA sourced and made because they want only the best for their furry family members. We are pet parents too and take seriously our role in delivering the best treating experience.

What is Tyson Pet Products' philosophy regarding treats and the pet-human bond?

We have been inspired and driven by enhancing the bond between pet and parent by improving the treating experience. We consistently apply insights and design products with preferred ingredients and product attributes that exceed expectations of pet and parent.

Our strategic approach leverages our established innovation pillars to curate a selection of products that move beyond traditional treating. The True Chews brand features real chicken, beef, pork, turkey, duck or fish as the first ingredient and indulges both pet and pet parent with delicious aromas and meaty textures for the look and feel of human food. Plus, our simple recipes contain wholesome ingredients, so that each treating moment enhances the journey and bond with your pet.

What are some recent trends that have influenced Tyson Pet Product's approach to food and treats?

We leverage our broader expertise of human trends through Tyson Foods to better understand product, ingredient and nutrition trends as we know these trends translate into the pet parent desire to feed their pets like members of the family. As one of the leading food companies in the world, Tyson Foods' position, purpose and scale drives our competitive advantage in the space. At the same time, we recognize that our pets have distinctive needs and are careful to deliver only treats that are specifically tested and developed to maintain the health of the animal for which they are developed.

Some examples of recent human food trends that are transferable to pet treats include the evolution of health and wellness, the power of protein and experiential appeal. For evolution of health and wellness, we created True Chews Everyday Wellness dog treats, a product line of five dog treat varieties, each specifically designed to support a different wellness need such as brain health, bone and joint health or immune health.

Based on the human food trend of the power of protein, we focus our treats on premium cuts of protein as the No. 1 ingredient. Pet parents can offer an exciting variety such as our True Chews Premium Jerky Treats for dogs and True Chews Chewy Chicken Recipe for cats. Lastly, Tyson Pet Products serves to enhance experiences for pets and humans alike by making the occasion less transactional and more engaging.

What upcoming product launches by Tyson Pet Products have been inspired by recent pet trends?

We are excited to continue to build a portfolio of premium products. As a result, we are strategically expanding into adjacent treating segments such as biscuits and chews to further meet the needs of the pet specialty channel with True Chews product offerings that delight pet and pet parents across multiple treating occasions.

In addition, we have rolled out our True Chews Meal Makers meal toppers, which are made with real USA-sourced chicken or beef and a wholesome blend of 100 percent natural ingredients. These meal toppers can be mixed with dogs' food to add variety and excitement to everyday meals for one more way to give our dogs the best experiences every day.

Also this summer, we are launching new True Chews Cat Treats to give cats the same True Chews Brand premium treating experience that dogs already know and love.

by Pet Age

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