Barking Up the Seasonal Tree: a Roadmap for the Holiday Pet Market

pet packaging copacker Chicago seasonal pet innovation

If you’re looking to elevate your brand, whether established or new, seasonal offerings are great ways to garner interest. According to Vericast’s 2023 Retail TrendWatch, holiday shopping for pets increased by 8% year over year, rising to 60% of pet owners. The time is right for you to launch a new seasonal pet treat.

We know that launching a new product is daunting: unforeseen obstacles occur and there are countless things to worry about. Here’s a roadmap of five key steps to launch your product successfully.



Your launch partners are almost as crucial to your success as your product. The lesson here? Be picky and choose wisely. Selecting the right partner for your project is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth product launch.

Take time to meet with the company and understand their strengths as it pertains to: capabilities, quality management, available capacity, flexibility, and project management style. It’s vital to establish trust with your supplier. Once a positive relationship is established, cost improvement measures are easier to negotiate.



Communicating early and often ensures you and your partner(s) are on the same page. Information on items such as: artwork, pallet patterns, specific quality or safety checks, fill ratios, and work instructions should be shared as early as possible. This will increase your odds of catching a discrepancy in the early phases of the project and ensure that every aspect of the project is carefully thought through.



Deadlines are critical in all aspects of a project, but especially with retailers. Missing key milestones can tarnish your reputation with your retailer and impact future sales. Develop a timeline by backing into the Available to Order date. Build in time for artwork changes, delivery delays, and machine downtime. Request timing from suppliers upfront to understand their time thresholds and be transparent about potential production hurdles.

Your packing partner should be able to help you build a visible timeline to improve communication and align expectations. From there, build in checkpoints with your client to keep necessary stakeholders informed and up to date on the project. 



When a project is coming together, it’s key to test for potential weak spots – from design to execution. A package prototype may look great, but the functionality during the production process could raise issues. Small changes can greatly impact production, so any changes to the packaging, line setup, or product mix should be tested before launch. Three major ways to mitigate risk when the product goes live are:

  • Run a trial
  • Complete a ship test
  • Complete a press approval

Our team specializes in this area with our in-house design team, Werkshop Design Group.



As much as you can, be present for the launch! Even if working with a co-packer halfway across the country, stay informed throughout launch week. Request pictures and samples of the product for your team to evaluate, ask for reports on line efficiency, and check for ways to improve ramp-up.

A strong partner will walk through this process with you and be excited to do so. In addition to being “live” at the launch, be there for your consumers as well. Stay in touch across social media and consistently spread the word about the product, well after the launch. This will encourage new shoppers and open the door to deeper consumer insights on the item!

There are a thousand factors impacting the success of a launch, but at the end of the day it comes down to your team and your plan. Understanding and preparing for unforeseen bumps in the road will result in a smoother launch process and contribute to your item's success at market!

To learn more, connect with us today!