Posted by John Sequino on 2/25/2016 to
Greetings from K9-Power;
As you are aware by now, we at K9-Power have been extremely busy since our acquisition of what used to be called the Animal Naturals product line. Our goal is to not only remain the highest quality dog supplement product on the market, but improve on that standing. There are many things we need to do to achieve our goals. In our commitment to provide transparency and continue to solicit the feedback of you our customers, we are writing to update you on our initiatives and progress. As always, we welcome your feedback and questions.
Let me begin by reminding you of K9-Power’s long history with Animal Naturals. The short version is that I began this journey in 1995 with Bob Fritz, the founder of Animal Naturals, as a distributor in his company Animal Performance Research Labs, marketing the “Peak” line of dog supplements. Bob and I have worked closely for the last 21 years and we have learned a great deal from each other. As most of you know Bob has made the decision to leave the Animal Nutrition field to pursue his new human project, EVO foods.
The decision to purchase Animal Naturals was not difficult. We knew from our long experience with the company that the product line was the best in the market. The product results are superb, evidenced by the massive amount of positive reviews we have received through the years. We also knew that as strong as the product is, there is always room to improve. It was very obvious that by continuing to improve on an already excellent product and addressing the very obvious deficiencies on the business side, we will enjoy a mutually beneficial partnership with you.
There are many initiatives we are working on simultaneously, but they can be summed up in three categories.
3) Branding and Packaging
1) Product - In order to ensure we maintain our commitment to excellence in product efficacy, we have engaged Dr. George C. Fahey in the development and enhancement of our formulas. Dr. Fahey is owner of Fahey Nutrition Consulting, Inc., Champaign, IL, and is Professor Emeritus of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Fahey is one of the most accomplished and influential comparative animal nutritionists and his research has been a critical resource in regards to the nutritional and health benefits of macronutrients in the diets of companion animals. His area of research is comparative nutrition, including work on carbohydrate nutrition, dietary fibers, novel polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, protein nutrition, amino acid bio-availability and indices of protein quality. His contributions have strengthened the understanding of comparative aspects of nutritional biochemistry and improved practices for optimizing nutrition and health of domestic animal species and companion animals.
Animal Naturals founder Bob Fritz remains a key advisor to K9-Power. Bob has been instrumental in developing break through nutritional products for athletes and active people for more than 30 years. He pioneered the use of amino acids in performance drinks and was involved in the development of several popular supplements, including Muscle Milk, Cytomax, Caveman Diet and more.
2) Manufacturing - Our immediate priority since acquiring the Animal Naturals brand was to improve manufacturing. We had to solve for chronic inventory shortages and ensure we could meet demand on a timely basis. We brought in a new partner, Kevin Lettire, to oversee this effort and make sure we maintained the highest standard. Kevin received his undergraduate in microbiology before going on to Stanford where he completed his MBA. Kevin has held positions in process engineering, research and product development, and executive management in the US, Europe and Japan. Under Kevin’s stewardship our production line is now up to full speed producing well over 100,000 pounds of product a month. Raw Materials Inventories have been increased and now can support two months of uninterrupted production. We have amassed significant inventory so that we can handle demand spikes. We have revamped our warehouse installing new automation systems and developing key new processes for order shipments to reduce cycle time and increase accuracy. Our facility recently received a cGMP Current Good Manufacturing certification and we have just completed our Bi-Annual USDA inspections with flying colors. We are earnestly working to attain NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) certification. The NASC is the benchmark of quality for any Animal Supplement Company. We expect to have this certification in very short order. This certification required improved label details which are close to completing.
3) Branding and Packaging - While we are proud of the 20 plus years we have focused on our product quality, virtually no effort has been made on branding. Additionally, our packaging has not only been cosmetically unattractive, the quality of our bags have been sub-standard. As you know by now, we have renamed the Animal Naturals product line to K9-Power. However, you have not seen any real change in branding and packaging yet. K9-Power has recently contracted with BrandHeavy, a national branding agency with years of successful brand experience. We are very excited to work with creative director, Monika Cascone. Monika has nearly 12 years of big agency experience working with large national brands, including Purina. Her seasoned level of expertise in Branding, Packaging Design, and Merchandising helps her understand business goals and develop effective packaging strategies. She has also launched her own successful line of food products distributed in stores like Whole Foods before selling the brand. To finish off the packaging process we are working with several container distributors to obtain high quality digitally printed bags with quality closure systems perfect for display on any shelf.
K9-Power was built on the highest quality standards and products, and this will always remain, the hallmark of our company. We greatly appreciate the support, patience and understanding you have shown us during this transition. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.