For years now, companies have been combining premium meats like salmon and lamb in their pet food, so that owners will have grain-free, organic meal options for their dogs. Companies who are known for their pet foods are also enhancing their marketing efforts to compete with newer companies like Blue Buffalo and Freshpet Co. Purina has also introduced the Beneful line, which is filled with healthy, natural ingredients that help dogs maintain shiny coats and healthy organs.
Dog food companies are starting to adopt and “eat like your owner” philosophy when it comes to the new foods that are on the market these days. The United States, the sales of premium dog food has increased by 45 percent, to $10.5 billion, since 2009. Blue Buffalo was one of the first dog food companies to sell both canned foods and kibble that features a mixture of whole grains, vegetables and fruits with Rover’s chicken and lamb. The company went public with its ingredients over the summer, and is expected to make more than $1 billion in sales this year.
Larger pet food companies are responding to this with more updates to their products. This summer, Merrick Pet Care was purchased by Purina. Merrick is the first producer of wet and dry dog food that is certified organic. The acquisition was made public just a few months after Merrick debuted its Backcountry line of dog food. Recipes from the line include Pacific Catch and Game Bird.
There are also specialty pet foods for senior dogs. Purina offers a Bright Minds line, which has recipes that are made with medium-chain triglycerides, which is fat from coconut oil. This fat is said to be ideal for senior dogs to metabolize, and provides more energy for older pets. Beneful also offers a variety of wet and dry foods for dogs of all ages, as well as Baked Delights that include all the foods dogs love, including bacon, peanut butter, cheese and beef.
Although Beneful offers a number of healthy options and wholesome ingredients that owners will feel good about feeding their dogs, using fresh meat, particularly beef and chicken, and be costly. For instance, Freshpet, has lost around 50% of its value in this year alone. It is also very likely that more than half of the company’s float is in the hands of short sellers who predict that the company’s stock will fall, according to Bloomberg.
Freshpet does, however, state that the company will make a significant profit in the year 2016. After all, most people who are health-conscious will want to share their knowledge of whole foods with their families, and will also treat their dogs like family.