Brand owner Small Pet Select transforms packaging with digital printing

Small Pet Select is a family-owned company that provides farm fresh essentials for your small pet, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and more. One of their main products is Timothy Hay, and each bundle of hay is hand-selected from the very best farms in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. 

Small Pet Select’s ship cases have traditionally served the purpose of simply transporting product to consumers’ doorsteps, however, that has all changed.  Now their ship cases tell a story.  Each panel of the box delivers a vibrant message… from it being ‘hand-selected, hand-packaged, and hands-down best’, to nutritional facts, to awards won, to the family’s story of how the company began, to QR codes which enable customers to upload videos of their unboxing experience, and more.  What was once an understated box is now a highly decorated, interactive brand with beautiful colors, graphics, and messaging that enhances the customer experience.   

Their new packaging naturally encourages the consumer to interact with all six panels of the box, while completely elevating Small Pet Select’s brand to a premium level… equaled only by the product inside the box.  And this packaging transformation has taken place because of digital printing produced on the Domino X630i at Independent 2 in Louisville, Kentucky USA.

We caught up with Josh Price, product buyer at Small Pet Select, to learn more about their business, their partnership with Independent 2, and the benefits of digital printing delivered by the Domino X630i digital aqueous inkjet corrugated press.  Independent 2’s Finn MacDonald and Devin Danehy visited with us as well.   

Their story was captured in this VIDEO: Small Pet Select, Independent 2, & Domino  

Premium products for your small pets
Josh Price begins, “We are small family-owned business delivering the freshest and most premium products for your rabbits, guinea pigs, and chickens. And we pride ourselves on having the very best Timothy Hay in the world. That is a mission of ours here at Small Pet Select. We are located in Louisville, Kentucky with a 46,000 square foot facility, and all of our products are sourced in the Pacific Northwest, which has the best product and the best climate for growing our Timothy Hay. Our hay is fresh.  It smells good. It’s green. And it’s also packaged in a 100% biodegradable breathable box which is recyclable and good for the planet. And Newsweek named Small Pet Select one of America’s best pet brands.  We are proud to display that on our boxes.”

The partnership
Devin Danehy, sales partner at Independent 2 says, “We have been a partner with Small Pet Select for somewhere around seven or eight years now.  It started out as a couple of die cut boxes, some simple RSC’s, and to date they probably have somewhere between 30 to 40 different SKUs and 95% of them are all off of our Domino. It’s all digital print. They are rocking and rolling and we’re happy and blessed to be a part of it.”

Finn MacDonald, president of Independent 2 adds, “Our vision was relatively simple. Diversify from brown box, but do it in a way that would deliver consistent value and quality to our customers. And it was something that was achievable for us to manage every day. When Domino came out with the X630i single-pass aqueous based digital press, we said ‘that’s it’.”

The beauty of digital printing
Josh says, “The beauty of digital printing is that we are able to change and adapt on the fly. With our old box, we only had three colors. With the new art of digital printing, we are able to use many different colors and tell many different stories and change out on a frequent basis. If we want to run different themed boxes, we can certainly run those now at a much faster pace than using flexo in the past, and it has really elevated our business to the next level.”

Devin adds, “Independent 2 likes to be in front of the marketplace and with customers like Small Pet Select, we’re able to raise the bar and stay ahead of the game.”


Going above and beyond
Josh concludes, “Independent 2 is more than a partner.  They go above and beyond to help us achieve our goals. They provide great solutions. They’re very fast, quick, and responsive to any needs that we might have.  We take great pride in the products that we bring to market, and we take great pride in the packaging that we use to bring those products to market.”

Josh Price