The idea of treating the pet dog like one of the family is nothing new; and this idea is, naturally, overflowing into the dog food market, giving companies like Freshpet the chance to really innovate and shine with new premium dog foods.
Freshpet is the maker of the only industrially produced refrigerated dog food available to consumers at this time and strives to create wholesome, fresh dog food made with healthy ingredients and a lack of preservatives.
The company’s products are sold in branded refrigerated cases in almost 15,000 locations, including those in mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Whole Foods, and company sales climbed 37 percent in 2015; however, the company is still posting a loss. After all, using fresh ingredients is expensive and investors have their doubts that the company will be little more than a fad in the dog food market.
Others, though, disagree with Wall Street. Major dog food companies, such as Purina, have definitely taken notice of the rise in premium dog food sales and launched themselves straight into the market. Purina launched lines such as Beneful and Bright Minds, branding these foods as wholesome premium alternatives to more traditional dog foods.
Their Beneful line is a real meat dog food accented with an array of healthy ingredients, such as carrots and peas, and is designed to promote the overall health of the dogs consuming it.
Other major players have also taken note of the increasing profit to be made in the $23.7 billion dog food industry, including Colgate-Palmolive and Mars Petcare, and have launched premium dog food lines. Others have made costly acquisitions of smaller companies, such as J.M. Smucker Co’s $5.8 billion purchase of Big Heart Pet Brands earlier in 2015.
With such major players investing so heavily into the premium food market, it seems likely that, despite the opinion of Wall Street investors, premium food is here to stay.