Cash-Strapped Entrepreneurs Eat Dog Food for Publicity— And it Works

Two Brooklyn-based entrepreneurs with high aspirations and low budgets have taken on a Morgan Spurlockesque challenge — to eat their own, allnatural, dog food. One meal a day. For a whole month.

Evermore Pet Food co-founders Hanna Mandelbaum, 30, and Alison Wiener, 38, are filming themselves eating live and streaming or posting the videos each day.

Why do the amateur shots of them digging into a green pile of mush make my stomach churn? Even just thinking about it, I feel like I’m in one of those reaction videos to Two Girls, One Cup.

I guess I shouldn’t be nauseated. Evermore is all-natural and made of human-grade ingredients. It even has a chic label and slick website. Plus, one misshapen scoop probably has more vegetables in it than I’ve had all week.

I’m thinking the Evermore gals are operating under the “any press is good press” principle. But that begs the question, “Is this good press?” Will dog owners see these clips, fondly recall these women taking green dog food to the face, and grab a tub of Evermore the next time they’re shopping?

Before passing judgment, I decided I’d ask them myself.

Founder Hanna Mandelbaum described the market opportunity she saw in creating the brand. “Consumers, in general, are becoming more aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions on themselves and the planet. There are a growing number of great options for individuals to make conscientious choices about what they feed themselves and their families. There are very few options to extend this purchasing ethos to our four-legged family members.”

Ok, that makes sense. If a family or owner is committing to an animal-friendly, environmentally-friendly lifestyle, they probably don’t want their pets to digest gravy-covered synthetic chunks of processed meat fiber.

That being the case, I’m still not sold on the challenge. Mandelbaum believes it shows their commitment to the claim that their food is healthy and easily digested. A strong alignment to their message, but in a day and age we eat beef thats actually only 36% beef, and humans feed their pets the finest of filets, what is pet food and what is human food?

Maybe we’re getting a little too persnickety here, especially since at the most basic level, the challenge has drummed up interest in the company and pet food products.

“We are seeing a slight bump in our existing local sales accounts and major enthusiasm from our retailers,” Mandelbaum said.

Despite the initial splash from the “Evermore Me” challenge, there are some pockets of opportunity the Evermore girls still haven’t tapped.

Evermore’s value proposition is that they are providing high-quality, all natural dog food. After the buzz from “Evermore Me” dies, will customers know that? Evermore isn’t even in the first 10 pages of Google’s indexed search results on “healthy dog food.” They don’t have a presence in online forums. There’s only one event on their website.

However, the founders maintain that it’s a work in progress and with a two-woman shop, the amount of attention they’ve generated is massive. Also, they’ve pinpointed a new and highly effective method of spreading awareness.

“Sampling is a very regular part of business operations. Sampling events are a LOT of fun, we have a cute catering set up and scoop small portions out for pups on the spot – 99 percent of the time they go crazy over the food, and we win a lot of new business this way.  We are always brainstorming creative ways to promote our brand.”

So. Who’s hungry?

Leave a comment

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