The perfect meal for the one you love
Interview with Magnus Rosengren By Sofia Chowdhury
Ever thought about what man’s best friend really gets on his plate? Magnus Rosengren, founder of Wonderboo, discovered the nasty things that the multi-billion dollar dog food industry are putting in their food. It’s disgusting and can cause serious health issues. That’s why Rosengren founded Wonderboo, to put an end to these practices and to help dog owners give their dogs the best conditions for a long and healthy life. sc: Tell us about Wonderboo. mr: Wonderboo is a lifestyle brand that puts focus on canine health, offering the highest quality dog food aimed at the most discerning dog owners in smart and stylish packaging. sc: Who are you? What’s your role and what does it mean? mr: I am the founder and CEO of Wonderboo, a privately held company focused on capitalising on a demand in the dog food market that is currently not being addressed. My role as CEO is to build and establish Wonderboo in new markets, develop new products and build the brand. sc: What made you start a business around dog food? mr: I have and am still involved in brand, design and communication consultancies. Prior to starting Wonderboo we invested a substantial amount of time in analysing the development of the dog food market the past 30 years and found that it has not at all adapted to the needs and requirements of dog owners during this period. The new generation demands quality, convenience and a brand/lifestyle that they can interact with – every other brand within other industries delivers on these variables to their customers. The market is enormous, has high margins and is not recession-sensitive. sc: What’s your mission? mr: I want to provide the silver lining in the daily lives of small dogs and their owners, by offering unique dog food and related products that speak to the owners’ own consumption logic, in terms of quality, design, function, distribution and communication. In other words, I want to help dog owners give their dogs the best conditions for a long and healthy life while making it convenient for them to do so. sc: Is Wonderboo for everyone or is it aimed toward a specific lifestyle and audience? mr: Our audience is a new generation of urban dog owners who have become accustomed to a completely different level of comfort, service and quality in everyday life. The dogs are their best friends and accompany their owners everywhere. They live a socially active life on-the-go, where travel, food, fashion, design and health are key ingredients. sc: What’s the nastiest thing you’ve discovered in dog food? mr: Slaughterhouse waste, hooves and sawdust. These are common ingredients in dry foods, causing serious health issues and shorter life expectancy. But they are not only the ingredients that are nasty – it is also common that the food is baked at 250 degrees which wipes out a lot of the nutrition and healthy bacteria. Our customers are as aware of their own health as they are of their darling dogs. sc: What is your greatest extravagance? mr: To spontaneously travel to countries with sun, good food and wine. sc: What was your most memorable moment in your professional life? mr: I started
a telecom operator when I was 23, just as Sweden had deregulated its PTT agency, Telia, and opened up for competition. Two years later, I had a hundred plus employees, and we were bought up by British Telecom, Telenor & Teledenmark. I was not completely sure what I was doing and was worried about exactly when my very short work experience in this 100-yearold industry would be revealed. I was now 25 and was called over to a conference with their three joint boards and was asked to educate and advise them on my views on how a Telco should be run. It was with mixed emotions, from feeling like Steve Jobs to being a fraud. Today, entering another brand new market for me, once again with dominant and conservative players, it of course feels a bit scary, but I am now more assured that I know what I’m talking about. sc: What’s your passion? mr: Family, food and cooking! sc: Why do you think this initiative hasn’t been taken before? mr: The dry food market is worth approximagely 40 billion USD annually with an EBIT of 60%. No current mayor player wants to rock the boat. Less than 2% of all dog food is sold online. 6 players control 80-90% of the market with similar products. Their net presence is mainly a homepage that is treated like a 4-colour brochure from the 90s, and possibly some banners, while our customers consume information, recommendations and transactions with lifestyle products 24/7. It is strange that it hasn’t been addressed. sc: Tell me about a strong memory of yours, connected to dogs. mr: I have had dogs all my life. The strongest memory is only a few months old when my family and I visited Copenhagen for a weekend break. Our French bulldog puppy, Lillebror, managed to eat some kind of drug on the streets of Copenhagen. He was unconscious within minutes and when we finally reached the pet hospital outside the city, the doctor there informed us that Lillebror probably was not going to make it. We spent 12 hours there, and they finally told us we had to leave and come back in the morning. That night we all prayed – none of us being religious – we prayed to all gods. When we came back the day after, they informed us immediately that he had recovered, miraculously. It was one of the best moments of my life. sc: Could you see Wonderboo making collaborations with other lifestyle brands? mr: Absolutely! We are already discussing collaborations with other lifestyle brands and celebrities who want to support Wonderboo and its cause. We will also make “cruise” collections with celebrities, where part of the proceeds will go to relevant charities and maybe dog shelters. We plan to collaborate with brands to develop new products, for example collaborations with a tannery to make leather products for the dog and its owner. sc: How will Wonderboo contribute to society in general? mr: By contributing to healthier dogs through healthier food and, in turn, happier people.