Freshpet and Tyson Team Up to Offer Refrigerated Pet Food
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 5:34 p.m., EDT
|Freshpet, the maker of refrigerated dog food and treats, announced a strategic alliance with Tyson Foods on March 17. |
, a Secaucus, N.J.-based manufacturer of refrigerated food for dogs, has partnered with meat supplier Tyson Foods Inc.
in an effort to expand the refrigerated pet food category.
The companies announced March 17, that Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson will take a minority stake in Freshpet. By partnering with Tyson, Freshpet will have access to the food company’s refrigerated distribution network, meat and poultry supply and knowledge base.
“We know we’ll redefine pet food in North America in time,” said Scott Morris, Freshpet co-founder. “It’s really innovative and on target for today’s pet consumer.”
Freshpet introduced its line of fresh, refrigerated dog food and treats under the Freshpet Select and Deli Fresh brands in 2006. The products have been developed by veterinary nutritionists, food scientists and ingredient specialists, according to the company. In addition to chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, vegetables and rice, the recipes are fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Despite the economic climate, Morris said the $17 billion pet food market continues to thrive and that there is “tremendous opportunity” in the refrigerated pet food category. He said the alliance between Tyson and Freshpet will meet changing consumer needs by providing “real food for pets” as opposed to “pet food.”
“We like to think about Freshpet as food versus feed,” he said.
This idea of food versus feed taps into one of the key growth trends seen in the industry today which is the humanization of pets and treating pets like family members.
Jeff Webster, group vice president of Tyson’s renewable products division, said Tyson is capitalizing on that trend through its new relationship with Freshpet.
“We believe Tyson’s ability to leverage its food knowledge and assets to bring fresh, refrigerated products to this member of the family will bring innovation not previously seen in the pet food category,” he said.
Freshpet products are currently produced at a federally-regulated plant in Quakertown, Pa. Plans are to expand production by using Tyson’s facilities.
Freshpet food and treats are sold in grocery stores and pet stores across Canada and the United States. In the U.S., Freshpet supplies about 3,000 stores and has secured commitments for over a thousand more, officials said. Store expansion is expected to accelerate with the support of Tyson’s national retail relationships.
Morris said Freshpet is working on an extensive list of new products and expects to come out with cat food by the end of the year. <HOME>
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