Taste-Testing Dog Food Recipes

December 1, 2019
Taste-Testing Dog Food Recipes

The Farmer’s Dog is a start-up that began after its founders discovered pet food companies sell products deemed unfit for humans.

The company treats dog food equivalent to the way human food is tested, including product testing new recipes on humans first.  The goal is to create healthy pet food.


Video Spotlight:

Videos to use in comparing raw food vs. traditional dog food production:


This post is based on the CBS News article, The Farmer’s Dog tests its pet food recipes on humans, by Megan Cerullo, November 11, 2019, and the YouTube videos linked in the Video Spotlight. Image source: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Discussion Questions:

1. What would you expect to happen to the sales price for the Farmer’s Dog products compared to the pet food market?

Guidance: Students should recognize that using higher quality products will result in higher variable costs.  This will require the sales price to rise if the company wants to have the same contribution margin as the industry benchmark.  Students may also point out that the contribution margin could be squeezed by not pricing the product higher than competitors in order to get customers to switch brands and gain more volume of sales in the long run.  The goal is to consider how making a better quality product has implications on profitability when the current industry is not focused on quality products.

2. Where would you expect quality management to be tightly controlled at the Farmer’s Dog?

Guidance: Quality must be controlled in sourcing and in factory operations. Partnering with strategic suppliers that could provide quality materials in volume should be of primary interest.  Controlling for quality in the food processing operation depends on the raw materials.  What type of quality controls could be used?  Students should review the quality management tools such as checklists, etc. from their textbook and then explain how each tool could be used for the Farmer’s Dog.

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