What’s Next for Beneful Dog Foods + Meeting the Beneful team
Last month, I flew to St. Louis to visit the Purina headquarters to meet the Beneful team. It was a trip to kick off the #FriendswithBeneful Ambassador program, and one that I was excited to be part of- not only am I a happy dog mom, I love meeting the faces behind a brand, and getting to know the brands I work with on a more personal level.
Heading into the main Purina building is a fun experience. There are photos of pets everywhere you turn- and often, there are employee pets anywhere you turn. Purina is a pet-friendly work environment (they have 2 resident kitties on site too!), which totally fits their brand, but it isn’t just inside where pets are welcomed- you’ll find trails and a dog park on property and even bushes and shrubs shaped like our furry friends. There is a sweet pond on site that is filled with koi fish, and even a covered terrace area where you can sit to enjoy your lunch or just kick up your feet and enjoy watching the fish. There’s an employee day care on site and we’re told that the kids often take walks to the pond, so there’s a well-stocked bin of koi food for the kids (or visitors like us) to share with the fish.
Purina knows pet food. They’ve been around for almost a century and are going strong. They don’t just *know* pets, they love pets, and that shows through clearly when you speak to the folks who actually work on the Beneful team, as well as in their product. The folks who work on the Beneful team feed their own pets Beneful, and take a lot of pride in the ingredients and variety of Beneful products they put out. One big source of pride (and something that left a huge impression on me!) is the 30,000 quality checks that are done every single day just for Beneful’s brand. 30,000. We fed our Tobey Beneful when it first came out, and that was what he loved to eat his entire life. Brownie’s a Beneful dog, too, and she’s always happy to eat her meals and treats! It’s nice to know that what we’re feeding our dogs has gone through so many quality checks to make sure it’s got all of the ingredients that our pups need for nutrition and a great taste to keep them happy.
Beneful loves our pets as much as they love their own. Do you know that when we walked in on the first morning of our trip, we looked up to find a caricature of each of our pooches hanging on the wall (and we got to bring them home!). The Beneful team took the time to find a photo of each of our dogs and hired a caricature artist to create a likeness for us. Brownie’s is framed and I treasure it, and I know that everyone else was thrilled with theirs.
A few of us in the group had recently lost their pups and I know that having the pictures with all of their dogs together was just really special for them. It’s those little touches and attention to detail that make a big difference- and that’s kind of how Beneful is brand-wide. They know how much we love our pets, and they work hard to make foods and treats for our pets that will not just meet their needs but give them something special at meal times.
Purina’s got some TALL goals for themselves and for each and every employee. They actually call them the talls. William H. Danforth, who started Purina, had a lot to say to his employees and wanted to inspire them to live, do and be greater today than yesterday. Employees would come in and find inspirational messages on their desks in the morning- placed by Mr. Danforth himself. That idea, sharing inspirational messages and quotes, has been revitalized in recent years and come into the digital age, with frequent email blasts company-wide written by anyone and everyone in the company who wants to submit a message. The idea of the Talls is for employees to follow these ideals not just at work but in all areas of life. It’s kind of something we can all strive to do….to do better. Do more. That’s not just with our direct assignments, but with our health, our family, and our community…
Purina is very much focused on community. The Talls apply to the company as a whole. That’s why they do for others. When disaster strikes, Purina sends assistance- sometimes financial, almost always in food to feed the pets impacted by the disaster. How many of us have stopped to pick up pet food when disaster strikes? I’ve given blood, I’ve donated clothes and food, but I hadn’t ever thought about how the animals living in that area would be affected.
Purina and Beneful support local shelters and rescues financially and in kind donations. They match donations to help support and fix up dog parks around the country through the Dream Dog Park program – in fact, while we were there, all of us got to dig in and get dirty along with the Beneful team to spruce up the Frenchtown Dog Park in St. Louis. They’re matching dollar for dollar up to $7500 in donations for the park through the end of June. This was actually my favorite part of the trip, as we got to help work on the park to better it and watch several dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages enjoying it around us. You can find info on starting a park in your own neck of the woods- and your #DreamDogPark just may be supported by the folks at Beneful one day!
**The Beneful Dream Dog Park Project helps further Beneful’s mission of celebrating the joyful life dogs and owners share together by supporting dog park improvement and construction projects across the U.S. Since 2010, we’ve helped bring dog park dreams to life in more than a dozen communities, and we’ve seen firsthand the positive effect that dog parks have on both dogs and owners. In 2016, Beneful will support at least 12 dog park projects in the U.S. by improving existing parks and helping get new projects off the ground through a mix of financial support, hands-on volunteerism and shared dog park expertise.
All of this- commitment to striving to be better, helping the community- goes hand in hand with Purina’s new “Live Big” commercial series – voiced by one of the Purina employee’s kids!
One of my favorite parts of this trip was seeing some of the quality checks that Beneful foods go through. There is so much that is checked and looked at from all of the Purina plants across the US to make sure that there is consistency regardless of region! It was really cool to see just how consistency of quality and quantity of ingredients are checked- and after you’ve seen the process of making sure that thinks are status quo, well, it’s pretty amazing to see other brands opened and plated right next to Beneful to see the differences in front of you.
What’s up next for Beneful dog food?
The new Beneful Dry Recipes, with chicken and beef as the #1 ingredient, and they are working to get the right suppliers for salmon to be added to this list as well. Some of these changes have been in the works for almost 10 years, but the folks at Beneful don’t want to introduce something to the market (and our pets) until they have it right- I was pretty surprised to find out how long it takes to make a change, and how many things need to be checked, adjusted, rechecked, readjusted, etc. before changes can take place! The new packaging will have cleaner labels and it’s still the same Beneful with the flavors and textures our dogs love!
Brownie Buttons is LOVING the Beneful snacks and treats- there’s a few she’s not tried yet but she’s pretty excited about the whole food thing in general, and eager to please…especially for treats!
Got questions? Comments? Concerns? Head over to visit Beneful Dog Food!