Butternut Goes International: Q&A With Nick Hogendoorn

Read time: 4 mins

24 Sep 2021

By Team Butternut


We sat down with Nick Hogendoorn, our new Country Manager for Benelux, as he embarks on launching Butternut to the Netherlands.

Who are you and what is your role at Butternut Box?

Hello. My name is Nick Hogendoorn and I am the Country Manager for Benelux at Butternut Box. My role involves lots of different things but my main focus for now is to introduce Butternut Box to the Netherlands. Exciting.

Why Netherlands and why now?

Butternut's mission is to deliver health and happiness to dogs and their humans all over the world. Our journey first started in the UK, followed by Ireland, and we're now finally ready to feed some four-legged friends in The Netherlands too. We know that Dutch people love their dogs and care about what they feed them at dinnertime, and they're already used to ordering their pet food online too, so we've no doubt that we'll fit in to our new Dutch surroundings very quickly. There are approximately 1.7 million dogs in the Netherlands too, so we'll be busy cooking lots more fresh meals for the next while, we reckon.

What drew you towards the opportunity?

When I look for any new career opportunity, I tend to look at three main areas: The industry, the company, and the role. My role at Butternut really attracted me across all three of these areas.

Industry: Believe it or not, the pet food industry is one that is growing - fast. Some may argue that dog food is just dog food - what could possibly be exciting about the stuff we put in our pets bowls? But Butternut is changing that perception, for good. We do things differently around here. We're a new breed of dog food - a fresh take, you might say. As well as that, the high-level trends show that more people are getting dogs, more people are happy to do their shopping online, and more people see their dog as part of their family who has nutritional needs just like the rest of the family members too.

Seemed like a good time to start working for an online company that delivers fresh meals to dogs, straight to their doors.

Company: For me, Butternut as a company ticks lots of different boxes*. They have a great mission-driven team, a great product, a great brand, and a unique way of cooking fresh food for dogs. Together, I think this all makes Butternut Box a really exciting brand and service to deliver to customers in the Netherlands, not to mention the difference we can make in the European online pet food market in general.

*Excellent pun, I know.

Role: Within my role, I get to build a team of amazing people, bring a new product that improves dogs' lives to the Netherlands, and work on all the things that come with a new market launch. Last, but certainly not least; I love dogs, and it's not every day you get to do the kind of work I want to do, and be surrounded by dogs too. (Yes, this means that you can bring your dog to the office. In fact, we encourage it.)

How do you think Dutch customers will differ to UK customers?

For the most part, I don't see our Dutch customers differing hugely to our UK customers. The Dutch value trust-worthy, quality products, excellent customer service, and they enjoy a dog joke every so often too, so I think we'll be in good company in The Netherlands.

Why do you think D2C ecommerce in pet food is the way forward?

My belief is that ultimately customers want more and more convenience. And this convenience is split into two parts: On the one hand, people would like peace of mind that they are feeding their dog something healthy. And on the other hand, customers want things faster and without any hassle.

As a flexible, fresh and healthy dog food subscription that delivers meals straight to your door, Butternut Box certainly delivers on this convenience.

Operationally how are you getting the meals into Dutch bowls?

Our fresh food is gently cooked in the UK using human-quality meat (60%), vegetables, lentils and herbs (40%), as well as a mix of vitamins and minerals too. Once cooked, we quickly freeze our fresh meals to lock in all of the goodness. Our meals then get sent to the Netherlands, ready to be packed for our Dutch customers' boxes, and delivered to their door. Easy.

How would you describe the Butternut Culture?

We have a distinct set of values that guide all our decisions and remain at the heart of our culture too – we do everything for the love of DOGS ultimately:

Dedicated and determined

Open and honest

Genuine care

Strive for better