Case Study

How The Honest Kitchen developed a customer retention program that rewards customers in a meaningful way

  • 8 October 2022
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How The Honest Kitchen developed a customer retention program that rewards customers in a meaningful way
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Founded in 2002, The Honest Kitchen is an innovator in the pet food space. With the goal of helping pets achieve good health through human-grade pet food, products from The Honest Kitchen can be found in more than 5,000 pet supply stores across North America. 🐕



The Honest Kitchen’s human grade foods aren’t something customers switch to on a whim. Instead, it’s a careful investment in the overall health and wellbeing of their pet that’s typically decided on after extensive research and consideration. And, once customers see the impact their human grade foods have on their pet, they stay loyal to the brand.

The Honest Kitchen had been using an out-of-the-box solution from Magento for reviews and loyalty, but they were running into limitations. For example, there was a gap between customers who were subscribers and customers who were part of their loyalty program. And the brand had no way of easily allowing subscribers to redeem loyalty points on subscription orders. They also had the challenges of figuring out how to:

  • Deliver the right resources to help new customers understand the value they provide.
  • Maximise the strong customer loyalty and develop a customer retention program that would reward their customers in a meaningful way.
  • Continue expanding their product line and ensuring each new product maintained the high level of quality that aligned with their customers’ needs.



Because many customers returned so consistently to The Honest Kitchen, the brand wanted to be able to reward customers in a way that was meaningful and engaging. The team also wanted to be able to amplify stories from their community.

“There’s a high education component that people seek out when they’re looking for pet food,” says Leanne Pratt, Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Manager at The Honest Kitchen. “Allowing customers to share their experience with our product and their pet would not only help other pet owners in a similar situation, but it would also build engagement with our brand in a really unique way.”

Due to their expanded product line, personalization was a hot topic as well. For instance, dog owners should be receiving different types of communications from cat owners. And pet owners who are more concerned about their pet’s medical condition should be targeted differently from pet owners who are looking to align their pet’s lifestyle with their own values.




The Honest Kitchen enlisted Gorilla Group, an award-winning eCommerce experience agency, to help them replatform and update their site. Leveraging the agency’s long-standing partnerships with Shopify and Yotpo, the brand transitioned their store to Shopify Plus and added Yotpo’s solutions for Reviews and Loyalty. With their deep knowledge of Yotpo solutions, Gorilla Group delivers highly effective eCommerce marketing guidance for their clients.

Yotpo’s many integrations with other tech solutions was a selling point for The Honest Kitchen as they looked to replatform and integrate all their products — from Ordergroove’s subscription solution to Yotpo Loyalty & Referrals — with a more unified approach to customer data.


One of the big drivers of the migration was the ability to marry our loyalty and our subscription capabilities. Once you decide The Honest Kitchen is the brand for you, we wanted to be able to keep people happy and offer reward points in a high-visibility way, which allows customers to interact with the brand in a meaningful way,” says Pratt.



  • The Honest Kitchen moved to Yotpo and created a custom action to reward customers for writing a “true story” to build engagement and amplify success stories.
  • The brand helps shoppers home in on relevant pet concerns and enhance education on their website by using Yotpo’s Smart Filters with their Reviews widgets.
  • Adding VUGC showcases compelling content submitted by enthusiastic pet owners.

When shoppers join Honest Kitchen Rewards, the brand recognizes individual members as soon as they log in and populates their Rewards Page with data like their available points balance. Shoppers immediately feel recognized by the brand, and they can easily use their points toward purchases.

Outside of earning points while shopping, customers can also earn points for following and sharing on social media platforms, and even reading about The Honest Difference mission. With enough points, shoppers can level up to Like, Love, and Obsessed tiers, which grants them surprise freebies.

The Honest Kitchen also uses a custom action within their loyalty program for writing a “true story,” which lives on a standalone page to highlight personal customer stories. These testimonials give customers an opportunity to share details about their pet and experience with The Honest Kitchen products, which in turn helps them feel a part of The Honest Kitchen community.

These testimonials are enhanced by adding Yotpo’s Visual UGC suite, allowing customers to submit reviews with personal photos and videos.


“We know people connect so well visually, so this was a really good opportunity to leverage the VUGC carousel and put the really strong visual content we have to good use,” says Pratt. “Customers are so excited to share — they're uploading 12 photos of their pets.”




By using Yotpo’s sophisticated Reviews collection tools, The Honest Kitchen collects and showcases reviews that educate potential customers. By using Smart Filters, The Honest Kitchen allows shoppers to filter reviews by pet age, weight, condition, and so much more to home in on the pet owner’s specific concerns — whether that’s allergies or diet.





  • The Honest Kitchen rewards participation rate is 3x the industry average.
  • The brand sees 8.7x ROI versus the industry benchmark of 4-7x.
  • More than 2x increase in average revenue per customer redeeming loyalty points over non-redeemers.
  • Referral participation rate of 3.8%, nearly 4x the benchmark average.

Within a year of implementing Yotpo Reviews, Loyalty, and VUGC, The Honest Kitchen has seen an incredible rewards participation rate of 25% (3-5x the industry average) with a 3.8% referral participation rate, which is nearly 4x the industry average. Overall, the high level of customer engagement with Reviews and Loyalty has contributed to an ROI of 8.7x.

Since adding the Yotpo Loyalty program, The Honest Kitchen has seen higher engagement from customers as well as higher order values from customers who are redeemers — but that’s not all.


“I’ve definitely seen customers who are inclined to explore new products because there’s less of a risk if they’re using reward points. This opens up opportunities for them to increase the number of items in their basket — increasing AOV — and lowers the risk of entry to a new product,” says Pratt.


In that same year, The Honest Kitchen has seen an increase in average order value from customers redeeming points versus customers who don’t. With an incredible repeat purchase rate of redeemers more than doubling the purchase rate of non-redeemers, The Honest Kitchen has also seen an average revenue jump of more than 2x from non-redeemers to redeemers.

While acknowledging the urge to build things out all at once, The Honest Kitchen credits their success to a thoughtful and strategic approach to future innovation.


“We have a ton of capabilities at our fingertips, but we try to only build things that are meaningful for our customers,” says Pratt. “For example, we could reward customers on their birthday, but we find it even more impactful to provide rewards on their pet’s birthday.”









1 reply

The Honest Kitchen, a pioneer in producing human-grade pet food, has implemented a customer retention program that stands out for its meaningful rewards and engagement with customers. Recognizing the importance of building lasting relationships with its clientele, the company devised a strategy that goes beyond mere transactional interactions. The program is designed to reward customers not just for purchases, but for their loyalty and engagement with the brand. It includes a tiered system where customers earn points for various activities, such as buying products , sharing reviews, and referring friends. These points can be redeemed for discounts on future purchases, exclusive access to new products, and special gifts. The Honest Kitchen also personalizes the program by tailoring rewards to the specific needs and preferences of each pet owner, ensuring that the benefits are both relevant and valuable. This approach has not only fostered a strong community of pet lovers around the brand but has also significantly enhanced customer loyalty and retention.