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Laura Jones, President of Jones Natural Chews: A Family Tradition of US Dog Treats

Glenn Polyn//January 1, 2024//

Laura Jones, President of Jones Natural Chews: A Family Tradition of US Dog Treats

Glenn Polyn //January 1, 2024//

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The Jones Natural Chews history can be traced back 16 decades. Each new Jones generation was trained in meat cutting and passed down the family tradition. The best cuts of meat also produced the best bones and naturally baked dog chews. The first baked dog chews were marketed to the public in 1987, with the dog treat line officially established in 1991.

Over the years, Jones Natural Chews has carefully developed many types and sizes of chews and treats for all size dogs, never wavering from their commitment to source all natural ingredients, entirely from the U.S.A. Pet Age recently chatted with Laura Jones, president of Jones Natural Chews, to learn more about her and her thoughts on the pet industry.

 

What do you consider to be the benefits of a family-run business in the pet industry?

Our end-consumer is a family member that cannot share their preferences verbally. We want our product to help build the bond between dogs and their owners, so keeping family bonds at the forefront of every decision we make has been prudent from a business standpoint. We’ve also found that sense of family means that our team has a great space to work, our offices feel inviting and homey.

 

How has the pet industry changed since the launch of Jones Natural Chews in the late 1980s?

Aside from the obvious, no longer using fax machines, switching to predominately email communication and the rise of digital marketing the single biggest change I would pinpoint, would be the amount that families spend on their pets. Across the industry, we discuss the humanization of pets, and that is definitely an impactful shift, outside of tech advancements. We’ve all learned different ways to improve our pets’ quality of life, like the benefits of healthy, natural diets and the importance of providing enrichment opportunities. This has been an opportunity for many business, and spending has increased to match that.

 

How would you describe the evolution of Rocky, the Jones Natural Chews mascot?

Rocky was first drawn in 1991, the original drawing looked like some sort of caveman drawing of a dog. It was rejected and tweaked until we got our original version. And his current form was drawn in 2017, it is much more detailed- an additional reflection of technology changes. We love the artwork- and actually have all versions of him hanging all over our office. His look has changed, but that is because his fun-loving, playful personality is the most important characteristic that we are looking for in a representation of our brand. We do get asked if he was ever based on an individual dog, and he isn’t. He’s just our loveable mutt.

 

What are you excited about regarding the dog treats sector in 2024?

The treats sector has grown to include so much variety. I love that this is a creative industry that keeps finding ways to help pet parents spoil their dogs. Recipes are evolving to include so many great healthy ingredients for dogs, like fruits and vegetables. We are meat people but it is great to see additions that bring nutritional value as opposed to fillers.

 

Have your trumpet skills from Oral Roberts University proved useful while running Jones Natural Chews?

Yes, I actually still play today with my church music team.  The best way I can put it, is it is a big stress release for me, and I look forward to it all week long. As far as running a business, the principles of diligent practice and dedication to your craft can be applied to whatever you do in life.

 

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