As the name suggests, Ancestry Pet Food has a long-standing heritage in the U.S. pet food market. Law Print & Packaging was tasked with the end-to-end packaging management for the relaunch of the core Ancestry Dry Dog Food and Cat Food ranges.
“We met the Ancestry team at Global Pet Expo back in March 2017. As our portfolio continues to grow in the US market, the show was a great opportunity to catch up with existing customers and meet with some interesting U.S.-based brands,” Law Print Pack Sales Manager Luke Cummins said. “Ancestry approached us with their desire to move from paper to plastic and it was immediately clear that Law Print was perfectly positioned to help guide them through the process.”
Plastic is able to provide the necessary barrier protection for perishable foods, like dog and cat food, especially when exporting the product. Although some people can have a negative outlook on plastics, the lighter weight material used for flexible packaging can dramatically reduce production and transportation emissions, as well as total packaging waste.
Switching to plastic also allows the company to take advantage of rotogravure print technology which vastly improves print quality and finishes in comparison with flexography, traditionally used for paper packaging. However, the ability to use up to 10 colors also poses some problems when it comes to artwork creation, as the number of colors used directly impacts the set-up cost.
Working with Ancestry’s graphic designer, Law Print was able to offer suggestions for reducing the number of printing cylinders, making the set-up costs far more cost-effective without impairing print quality. The packaging supplier was also on hand to ensure the most suitable formats were chosen for the different bags across the range, with quad seal bags used for the larger 25-pound and 30-pound bags and the more compact flat bottom bags for four-pound and 12-pound sizes.
As the Ancestry brand is focused on ‘hearty nutrition,’ it was important for the company to include health claims on the packaging that communicates quickly to the owner the great benefits of the food.
“Although we’ve noticed some health focused pet food brands adopting ‘calorie counting’ to their packaging, this is the first project we’ve brought to market with this as a key message on the front of the pack,” Cummins said. “The growing humanization of pet food is continually pushing innovation in the industry. As food transparency becomes ever more important in this sector, the introduction of human like labelling cues has been interesting to see from Ancestry and definitely something we feel will be adopted by other brands in the future.
“It is always difficult to look overseas for a reliable supplier, but Ancestry recognized our strengths and we are delighted that we met their expectations with the very first project,” he continued. “With a total turnaround of seven weeks from artwork confirmation to first delivery, we proved them right by offering both cost saving expertise and fast turnaround times. The finished product looks fantastic and we’re sure they’ll make waves in the U.S. market.”