A Gale study reported that 75% of Millennials own a dog, in comparison to just 51% of other generations, and nearly half of the latter view their pets as practice before having their own children. This “pet parent” trend is creating new opportunities for brands worldwide as these pet parents, primarily dog owners, are more frequently looking for the very best food and treats available in terms of nutritional quality and taste.
Back in December, 2020, we published our first article on the subject of pet ice cream, but since then we have had the opportunity to connect with Sebastian Demetriou and Evros Papadopoulos from ‘Max & Frida’, a dog ice cream brand based in Cyprus, to learn more about the category and its growth from the inside.
Developing a Frozen Dessert for Dogs
Max & Frida is a dog-friendly ice cream brand, produced and distributed by P&P Ice Cream Group, and sold online as well as in pet shops, vet clinics, and ice cream parlours. They are a 2nd generation family-owned company and the leading manufacturer of ice cream in Cyprus with 50+ years of experience in creating delicious ice creams.
As pet owners themselves, and with their strong background in producing high-quality, all natural ice cream, the team told us they had always wanted to be able to share the ice cream they created with their family dogs, but were limited by their dog’s allergies and the fact that some ice cream ingredients can be harmful for dogs. This drove them to build the Max & Frida brand, aptly named after their two family dogs.
The market for dog products in general is growing worldwide, as is dog ownership and dog adoption rates, so once they confirmed that the market for their product idea was feasible and in-demand, they began creating a product range designed specifically for dog owners who wanted the best for their best friends.
“We spent three years carrying out research and development in collaboration with various animal nutritionists to develop the perfect dog-friendly frozen dessert”, explained Sebastian.
The doggy dessert is enriched with fibres and sweetened with pure bee honey, which they discovered during their research is considered by veterinarians and animal nutritionists as the best natural sweetener for dogs due to its excellent nutritional profile including a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Their recipe is also dairy-free, salt-free, and has no added sugar, preservatives, colourings, or artificial flavourings.
Max & Frida products benefit from being made with human-grade ingredients. They have made a conscious effort to not include any substances or ingredients that would be harmful to dogs, and it is all high-quality and nothing artificial. Their primary focus is on quality at all times and this is reflected in their end-product.
Max & Frida might be a new brand, but with 50+ years of experience under their belt from P&P, customers can trust that their team is a true expert in the ice cream industry. This is strengthened by the network of veterinary clinics and animal nutritionists who support their brand.
This strong brand trust has earned Max & Frida shelf space at Lidl, the largest national retailer in Cyprus, as the only branded dog frozen dessert product. They launched into all 18 of their stores with their 4-pack, which you will find in the traditional ice cream section for now, as well as in Lidl’s new offers section. They also received a coveted feature on the Lidl leaflet during the launch, as well as on Lidl’s social media.
The brand is extremely involved from the marketing and communication side, and always on-hand to deliver POS material and social content to all of their stockists.
How can the INNODELICE network support Max & Frida’s growth?
With both branded product and private label opportunities in mind, the team behind the Max & Frida brand will be focusing on expanding their reach in export markets over the next couple of years now that they are well experienced in their domestic market. Specifically, markets like the EU, Canada, USA, and Australia where there is a high ratio of dogs to humans and where the market for dog products and accessories is growing.
For the larger Asian countries such as China and Japan, they have noticed a growing interest in similar products. However in order to best adapt the product to the market, they are clear that manufacturing directly in those countries would be the best way to adapt the pricing to the local market, so they are open to conversations with potential manufacturers in Asia as well as USA, Canada, and Australia.
Max & Frida are primarily looking for partnerships with companies looking to diversify their portfolio and can handle frozen product storage and shipments. This includes supermarkets, distributors, top line pet channels, or any other partner who are able to work with frozen products.
The team will be exhibiting at Anuga in October, 2021 and will welcome conversations from potential partners and suppliers at, or in advance of the show. They can be flexible and innovative on formats, sizing, and flavours, and are also happy to ship samples anywhere in the world.
How to start collaborating with Max & Frida?
If you would like to start a conversation with the team behind Max & Frida, we will be more than happy to facilitate that introduction. You can learn more about the Max & Frida brand here on our website, and if you are interested in discussing potential partnership opportunities together, feel free to get in touch with Nicolas on firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea on email@example.com and we will connect you.
Founded by former executives in the Ice Cream industry, INNODELICE aims to create a worldwide ecosystem of solutions within the frozen dessert industry. Thanks to the relationships fostered by INNODELICE, manufacturers, brands, importers, distributors and suppliers can discover, buy and sell solutions to GROW their business. These solutions include co-manufactured and branded products as well as innovative and competitive ingredients, packaging and services. Our collaboration model generates lower costs and fewer risks for our participating partners while optimising their time to market. To learn more about INNODELICE, contact Nicolas MARIE (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andrea MONTREUIL (email@example.com) or visit www.innodelice.com.