Leading The Way For A More Sustainable Dog Food Industry

Roughly 25% of factory-farmed animal proteins within the U.S. are consumed by canines and cats annually, and Petaluma is on a mission to scale back that share. Garrett Wymore and Caroline Buck created Petaluma in 2019 after struggling to seek out canine vitamin that equally prioritized their pets and the planet.

Petaluma introduced its oven-baked formulation to market in 2021 after two years of analysis and growth and launched a single-ingredient jerky lower than a 12 months later. The Oakland-based firm has since attracted a loyal buyer base throughout direct-to-consumer and third-party e-commerce channels, and Petaluma simply made its retail debut in partnership with Erewhon Market in January.

As one of many solely licensed B Corp companies in any pet class, Petaluma is difficult the established order by providing science-backed canine vitamin with much less hurt to the surroundings and 0 reliance on factory-farmed animal protein. I just lately sat down with Garrett to study extra about Petaluma’s aim to transform pet food as we all know it for the sake of the planet.

Christopher Marquis: What impressed you to create Petaluma? How is Petaluma totally different from different sustainable pet food corporations? Who’re you hoping to achieve with Petaluma?

Garrett Wymore: After spending years working within the typical pet meals trade, I noticed firsthand how environmentally dangerous and inhumane the class could be. Our love for our two rescue canines fueled our ardour for animal welfare and motivated us to create another within the pet meals trade that prioritizes each the well-being of animals and the planet. With companion animals handled as cherished members of the family, we see a rising alternative to convey sustainable and moral choices to the forefront of the pet meals market.

The first environmental challenge in canine vitamin is the useful resource depth and greenhouse gasoline emissions of the substances, significantly animal protein. Utilizing peer-reviewed analysis and accessible information, we discovered that canine vitamin should largely get rid of animal substances to be sustainable on the scale required to correctly feed tons of of hundreds of thousands of canines. Whereas there are different approaches to lowering demand for animal protein, together with bugs, invasive animal species, and lab-grown meat, we have targeted on vegetation as we imagine they’ve the clearest path to our product high quality, acceptance, and sustainability objectives. Plant-based proteins have an extended monitor document of dietary high quality and security in pet food, are instantly cost-competitive with animal protein, and require dramatically fewer assets to provide.

We labored intently with veterinary nutritionists to make sure that our formulation not solely meets the AAFCO tips but in addition reduces the environmental affect. In July 2021, we launched our Roasted Peanut Butter & Candy Potato taste, adopted by our Candy Potato Jerky, after two years of rigorous analysis and growth. We’re proud to be a member of Local weather Impartial Licensed, 1% for the Planet, and a B Corp Licensed firm, making us one of many few pet meals manufacturers within the US to satisfy these excessive requirements.

Our prospects vary from plant-based people to omnivores who wish to scale back their environmental affect; deal with animal protein allergy symptoms; or just present their canines with a clean-label, natural, and whole-food food regimen. No matter private dietary preferences, Petaluma gives an answer for pet mother and father who prioritize the well-being of their canines and the planet.

How does Petaluma’s environmental affect evaluate to traditional pet food manufacturers? Why ought to customers care concerning the environmental affect of the pet meals trade?

We conduct life cycle assessments for our merchandise to precisely quantify our complete environmental affect, which is necessary as a Licensed B Corp and Local weather Impartial Licensed firm. An 18-pound bag of Petaluma, for instance, conserves 2,200 gallons of recent water (equal to 2 months of showers), avoids 5,300 sq. toes of land use affect (two tennis courts value), and reduces 185 kilos of CO2 emissions (the identical as driving 200 miles in a automotive) in comparison with a typical bag of pet food of the identical dimension. Our 12-ounce bag of Candy Potato Jerky additionally saves 185 gallons of recent water, 8 kilos of greenhouse gasoline emissions, and 120 sq. toes of land use affect in comparison with a chicken-based jerky.

As a $30 billion trade that purchases over 17 billion kilos of agricultural substances within the U.S. alone, pet meals has a big affect on the surroundings and animal welfare. Regardless of its dimension, the pet meals trade has but to actually deal with sustainability, and in recent times, development has been dominated by recent and frozen meals, which regularly makes use of massive portions of human-grade meat and requires refrigeration and dry ice for delivery. This shift is problematic because it drives further demand for factory-farmed meat, whereas conventional pet food has traditionally used much less fascinating (and infrequently much less nutritious) animal by-products (typically referred to as the ‘three D’s – diseased, dying, or lifeless’ deemed not appropriate for human consumption).

We designed Petaluma in order that canine house owners received’t have to decide on between high quality and sustainability, as we shouldn’t need to feed our canines remnant substances like ‘processed feather meal’ to minimize their environmental burden.

Marquis: What are examples of ways in which Petaluma has gone above and past to equally prioritize our pets and the planet?

Wymore: Transparency is certainly one of our core values, and we imagine in being open and trustworthy about our merchandise and processes. In an trade that usually hides behind imprecise advertising and marketing claims and insufficient product info, we try to be a beacon of transparency. To that finish, we publicly share all of our laboratory outcomes, together with full dietary panels and in vitro digestibility research, on our web site. Most pet meals corporations have a tendency to simply publish their macronutrient profile (crude fats, protein, and many others.). We need to empower our prospects with the data they should make knowledgeable selections for his or her canines.

Moreover, we reject deceptive or exaggerated advertising and marketing techniques which can be all too widespread within the pet meals class. Many corporations make broad claims concerning the well being advantages of their merchandise corresponding to “improved pores and skin, coat, and nails” or “prolonged lifespan” with out offering any supporting proof. We perceive that plant-based pet food is held to the next customary relating to demonstrating its well being and security, which is why we’re dedicated to offering simple, data-backed info to our prospects.

Marquis: How does the pet meals class evaluate to the panorama inside different areas of CPG the place we’ve seen profitable challenger manufacturers emerge? Are customers receptive to disruptors on the pet meals aisle?

Wymore: As we speak’s customers are extremely conscious of the failings in America’s meals system, and we’ve witnessed a widespread shift in procuring habits from the rise in plant-based dairy to upcycled substances. There’s rising recognition that manufacturing unit farming is an issue, even amongst individuals who do not observe a vegan food regimen, and the connection between meals manufacturing and local weather change is turning into clearer to most people.

As we speak’s pet house owners, who typically view their canines as family members, are significantly receptive to making an attempt new merchandise in the event that they imagine they align with their values and assist their pet’s well being. Analysis has proven that youthful generations usually tend to spend money on higher-quality merchandise with clear ingredient lists. Over the previous a number of years, this development has translated into rising demand for recent and frozen meat-based pet food that makes use of premium animal protein. At Petaluma, we’re providing another choice to satisfy the demand for higher pet food by creating merchandise which can be each eco-conscious and of the best high quality. We supply principally natural substances like human-grade peanut butter, use minimal processing to retain dietary worth, and our merchandise are designed for individuals who worth sustainability with out compromising their pet’s well being.

Marquis: What certifications and initiatives has Petaluma pursued, and the way did you resolve which of them to prioritize?

Wymore: Petaluma is unquestionably distinctive for a way typically we’re placing sustainability and animal welfare on the forefront of the dialog as a pet food firm. We’re certainly one of only a handful of U.S. pet meals companies which can be B Corp Licensed, Local weather Impartial Licensed, or are a part of 1% for the Planet. Once we attend occasions or meetups for these organizations, we frequently discover ourselves as the only real representatives of the pet trade. We’ve taken nice care in choosing certifications that reveal our dedication to being higher and offering proof of our efforts.

Sadly, we’re already seeing plenty of greenwashing in pet meals, normally within the type of advertising and marketing decreased plastic content material in packaging however neglecting to say the substances, that are the vast majority of a meals product’s useful resource use. I’d like to see extra manufacturers publish impartial life cycle assessments, so prospects can wade previous the advertising and marketing claims and actually perceive any tradeoffs.

Marquis: There are solely a handful of licensed B Corp pet food corporations within the US. Why is that and why did Petaluma resolve to pursue the certification so early on within the enterprise’ life cycle?

Wymore: We went backwards and forwards initially on when the most effective time could be to bear B Corp certification. The approval course of is an enormous endeavor for any firm, however as a staff of two, it will probably take appreciable effort and time whereas we’re within the thick of working the enterprise. Nevertheless, we finally determined it could be simpler for us to make daring commitments as a younger firm whereas we’re establishing our values and carving out a path for what significant development seems to be like for Petaluma. At this stage in our journey, we aren’t beholden to VCs or stakeholders, and we will arrange the corporate to greatest serve our imaginative and prescient and our prospects.

Marquis: The corporate’s first product hit the market in 2021. What have you ever achieved within the final two years, and what’s your huge image imaginative and prescient for Petaluma?

Wymore: Our final aim is to be acknowledged as the highest model in sustainable pet care, very similar to Patagonia is for out of doors gear and clothes. We attempt to be recognized for high-quality merchandise and unwavering dedication to the surroundings. Since our launch, now we have been making progress in the direction of this imaginative and prescient by increasing our product choices to align with our values, teaming up with retailers who share our mission, and gathering a devoted following of shoppers throughout the US. We purpose to set a greater customary within the pet meals trade, elevating different protein diets from a distinct segment market to a broadly accepted method to care to your greatest (canine) good friend whereas defending our shared planet.

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