BarkBox takes a bite out of a new niche category

November 6, 2019

Some dog owners joke about spending more money on their beloved pets than they do on themselves. But given the explosion of new direct-to-consumer fresh pet food brands, plant-based and CBD-infused treats, and sartorial accessories that cost as much as high-fashion brands, that’s not just banter: On average, dog owners are spending $1,285 per year on each pet. .

And now, there’s a new product category—doggy dental gear—to spend those big bucks on; because, unless you do it for them, your fur babies are not brushing their own canines (or any of their other teeth).

Benign neglect is not the way to go, an October 30 report by Fortune Magazine points out. More than 80% of dogs develop oral disease in their lifetime, which can result in infections, bad breath, and even expensive surgeries.

What to do?

Not to worry: Bark, the brand behind the runaway success of BarkBox—a monthly subscription-based, curated mailing of all-natural dog treats and toys—will fill the dental gap, even before you can say “market niche” or “competition.”

“Most dog parents don’t regularly clean their dogs’ teeth, because it’s such a frustrating process for dogs and their people,” Bark cofounder Henrik Werdelin told Fortune recently. “Dental treats can only do so much, so we developed this one-two punch product to make dental health something dogs look forward to.”

Among the first products for this brand will be Bark Bright Dental Chews, which are touted by the brand as the first combination of a proprietary enzymatic toothpaste with a cleansing chew.

To use the product, dog owners apply the chicken-flavored toothpaste along the ridges of a similarly chicken-flavored dental chew. Dogs then gnaw and nibble on the chew on their own, activating the toothpaste’s enzymes while also cutting away at plaque and buildup.

This month, Bark will be soft launching a limited beta supply of Bright Dental to BarkBox subscribers exclusively with the intent of getting feedback from customers about wellness and behavioral changes.

A wider release is planned for the spring, as Bark also signed with a major national retailer to sell Bright Dental in stores, although the company declined to announce the retailer’s name.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *