Buck Bone Organics is a family-owned company that creates dog treats from naturally shed elk, deer, and moose antlers. Jackie Steigleman and her husband Mark started the company in 2014 and are dedicated to keeping dogs happy and healthy, while ensuring as little environmental impact as possible.
Beginnings of a Brand
Jackie and Mark ran their own garden center, but they wanted to try something new and focus on selling one product online. It was Mark who suggested they create antler chews for dogs.
“I said ‘OK, let’s give it a try… I’ll give you six months and we will see how it goes.’ And within 30 days it exploded!” said Jackie Steigleman, Co-Founder.
The segment itself was experiencing massive growth, but it was Buck Bone Organics that set the standard for quality antler chews.
“In the beginning there wasn’t much competition; only 10-15 companies. We were different because we focus on quality and making it simple for the consumer to buy the product, based on dog size and jaw strength. Plus, we consistently deliver a quality antler,” said Steigleman.
Since Buck Bone Organics’ success, many other antler treat companies are following suit with better quality and various size offerings.
“Now there are hundreds of companies in the segment, but we are a pioneer and one of the largest suppliers of antler in the country right now,” said Steigleman.
Since the company was growing so quickly, in 2019 the Steiglemans decided to move the company (and the staff) from Connecticut to Bozeman, Montana to be closer to their antler source. This move alone shaved off weeks in waiting for inventory and sped up manufacturing.
Pet Treat Packaging Challenges
Buck Bone Organics was experiencing massive growth, but in the beginning, their organic dog treat packaging just wasn’t keeping up.
In the beginning their pouches were being manufactured in China, on an offset printer. Although the quality was great, the timeline of getting the bags in house was not. In order to be cost effective they were ordering 3 bags, and finishing off with stickers to identify the different SKUs. At first this was fine, but as the company was expanding they needed a bag that was a finished product, that they didn’t have to spend time labeling. In order to keep up with the competitive growth, it was clear it was time to make the switch to a digital printer.
They found a U.S. digital printer, but they didn’t offer the customer experience or professionalism that Buck Bone Organics was looking for.
The company needed a digital printer that understood how to handle a growing company with 50 SKUs.
“We needed someone to understand that we’re not a company that orders the same thing every time. We have orders coming in, some for 100, some for 100,000,” said Jessica Leslie, Graphic Designer, and VP of Production for the brand.
Buck Bone Organics Packaging with ePac
In August 2020 the brand began working with ePac, transforming its package ordering process.
“We needed the ability to get bags in a relatively quick turnaround with good pricing and ePac did it,” said Leslie.
Being able to digitally print with a printer that understood the needs of a growing company made it easy for the brand to print small and large orders for each SKU in a single run.
With ePac’s digital printing, Buck Bone Organics could take advantage of short runs, fast turnaround, and unlimited options for colors and graphics. Since there are never any plates, they could make frequent changes to the design.
“It’s great being able to go in and alter what we need to. We have had to make artwork changes, adding holiday designs and updates per regulation changes, and it’s easy to do with digital printing,” said Leslie.
When the brand came to ePac with a barrier issue that made the bags appear sunken, ePac’s team of experts was able to quickly find a fix to make sure they had the best dog treat packaging possible.
“We had issues with our old biscuit bag where air was escaping due to elevation and altitude changes…ePac figured it out and changed the barrier for us,” said Leslie.
The ePac and Buck Bone Organics teams were able to come together and make not just great packaging, but a partnership.
“ePac staff is easy to talk to and very personable. It’s been so important to have a good team to work with,” said Steigleman.
Today, ePac’s Boulder, CO location creates a variety of stand-up pouches for the company’s 50 SKUs, in a range of sizes in both resealable and single-serve bags. The antler chews and biscuits are sold nationwide, online as well as in retail stores.
Pet Food Packaging Partner
Looking for a reliable partner to digitally print your custom pet food packaging? Take advantage of all the flexible packaging solutions ePac has to offer. Call us today for a free quote.