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Celebrities and influencers assist the London-based plant-based startup that goals to disrupt pet food

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Celebrities and influencers assist the London-based plant-based startup that goals to disrupt pet food

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The pack recently announced that it has successfully completed a pre-seed investment round for its new range of plant-based dog foods. While the funding amount is unknown, the round was supported by high profile celebrities such as the international footballer Chris Smalling and Britain is famous The vegan celebrity chef duo Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, also as BOSH! known.

The Pack is the brainchild of Damien Clarkson and Judy Nadel, who founded the brand Development of nutritious pet food from plant products. They are also the founders of Vevolution, which was launched as an event and media company back in 2016 to support plant-based innovators focused on developing plant-powered solutions for the future.

Animal parents across Europe have been looking for a very nutritious plant-based product. The chance to make a positive diet change for our furry friends is huge, and we’re excited to have so many incredible investors support our vision of better pet food

Damien Clarkson and Judy Nadel from Pet Pack

Tech entrepreneur and high-profile vegan investor Michiel van Deursen, who also supported Vevolution, and product specialist Russell White, Nadel’s uncle, have joined them as co-founders.

The Pack will be launched earlier this year three different flavored plant-based wet foods for dogs. These foods were created by Food scientists, animal nutrition technologists, and animal nutritionists.

Damien Clarkson and Judy Nadel

The brand launch was further supported by the former Liverpool and Hull footballer Kevin Stewart and Veganuary Co-Founder Matthew Glovers Fund Veg Capital, which funds plant and cultivated companies that develop slaughter-free food substitutes.

In addition to Capital V and several startup founders, including Kerstin Robinson from Nix & Kix, Stephanie Peritore from Mindful Bites, Olivia Wollenberg, founder of Livia and entrepreneur and influencer in the hospitality industry, Loui Blake invested in the round.

In a press release, Clarkson and Nadel spoke about the need to develop environmentally friendly products for pets. “Animal parents across Europe have been looking for a very nutritious plant-based product. The chance to make a positive diet change for our furry friends is huge and we are excited to have so many incredible investors support our vision of better pet food. ‘

Deursen spoke of the rapid growth in the plant-based market, which he witnessed firsthand through his own investments in this sector: “The only thing missing is pet food. Four legged family members should also be able to enjoy access healthy, amazing alternatives to high meat diets. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to join The Pack. ”

Investors who showed support in the pre-seed round

Smalling explained his reasons for supporting the company as follows: “This category is ripe for disruption and I am so happy to be part of The Packs’ journey to make this happen. The team has covered all of the basics of the product development process to make sure our four legged friends are nutritionally well taken care of and the brand they are building is truly exciting. ”

The vegan chefs Henry Firth & Ian Theasby were enthusiastic about their commitment: “At BOSH! Have we seen the demand for vegan food continue to grow over the past five years – and that doesn’t stop when it comes to our pets. ”

The only thing missing is pet food. Four-legged family members should also have access to healthy, amazing alternatives to meat-rich diets. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to join The Pack

Michiel van Deursen, tech entrepreneur and vegan investor

Clarkson and Nadel were also behind Vevolutions virtually at the end of 2020 Pitch & Plant Event, the first global edition of its pet-free investment competition Here, nine plant-based and cell-based food technicians competed for at least $ 200,000.

Consumers can buy The Packs herbal pet products via the brand’s own website, and in several niche markets such as the plant-based online supermarket The Vegan Kind. For the future, the company plans to expand rapidly and quickly hit mass retail by the second quarter of 2021.

As the demand for plant-based dog food increases, several companies are working to effectively meet that demand. Vegan dog food brand based in San Francisco V planet announced late last year that its 100% plant-based snack products will be available in Japan for the first time. The brand’s cruelty-free snacks are made in Canada with vegan, non-genetically modified ingredients such as peas, ground oats, brown rice, and potato protein.

Elsewhere, Bond Pet FoodsColorado-based biotechnology introduced its first cultured chicken feed prototype, the one with a Chicken cell which was paired with one Food grade yeast strain made by fermentation.

All images courtesy of The Pack.

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Insect-based pet food news: Mars, Ynsect and Enviroflight

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Like the insects themselves that pop up in the spring, the insect-based animal feed ingredient suppliers and the products they use have been active lately. Mars Petcare plans to launch an insect-based cat food, Lovebug, in the UK.

“We source our black soldier fly larvae from Protix in the Netherlands,” a Mars Petcare representative wrote in an email. “The insects we use and the process that the insects and pet food are passed through are all designed to produce safe and nutritious food for your cat. Protix attaches great importance to improving animal welfare. This starts from the breeding phase to the final processing phase. The larvae are well cared for, protected and allowed to express normal insect behavior. Protix is ​​committed to the principles of animal welfare: freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or illness, freedom to express normal behavior, freedom from fear and need. “

In addition to taking into account the insect’s well-being and agricultural impacts on ecosystems, Lovebug insect-based cat food packaging aims to reduce resource consumption.

“Lovebug packaging is made of paper and can be recycled through paper recycling streams,” she said. “Paper is collected for recycling through the vast majority of the recycling services provided by the UK Council. Just make sure the bag is empty before you put it in the trash. This guide currently only applies to the UK. “

Latest news on insect-based pet food ingredients

On April 13th, Ÿnsect announced the takeover of Protifarm, a Dutch manufacturer of ingredients for mealworms in Ermelo, east of Amsterdam. The Ϋnsect systems in France produce Protein and oil from mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), which can be used in the pet food industry.

On April 14th, EnviroFlight of Darling Ingredients announced plans to develop a research and development and business center in Apex, North Carolina, USA. The facility will focus on black soldier flies and their larvae. Those responsible at EnviroFlight are planning to start construction in April. They expect the research center for insect-based pet food ingredients to be up and running in early 2022. The facility will conduct research to expand the knowledge base for alternative uses of fly fly larvae (BSFL) in animal health, animal nutrition, cosmetics and other product development areas. EnviroFlight has its first manufacturing facility in Maysville, Kentucky, USA.

The emerging insect-based pet food industry looks at ecology

From previous reports:

Ecologists suggested that insect farms focus on developing ideal sustainability practices before then Ingredient for insect-based pet food The industry is growing too big to change easily. In the meantime, arthropod farmers want to do just that insects fully automated pilot plant in France, where the company produces Protein and oil from mealworms (Tenebrio molitor).

“Why not great from the start?” Åsa Berggren, professor of ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciencessaid. “Think about sustainability now because it is easier than once [insect farms] are already built. “

Berggren and her colleagues wrote a paper identifying areas where emerging insect farming needs more research to establish best practices for sustainability. Trends in ecology and evolution published the paper.

Native insects as a source of protein for pet food

For one, insect farms should be wary of possible environmental impacts from refugees, she said. Faulty insects can become invasive species.

Cattle, carp, horses and pigs started out as domesticated animals in the US but are now causing environmental damage in areas where they have escaped captivity. These invasive species and many other alien plants and animals cost the United States nearly $ 120 billion each year Ecological economy.

“The problem is having non-native insects in abundance,” Berggren said. “So if they escape, they could do serious harm.”

Using native insect species would be a safer choice for farms than raising species that could escape and compete with native insects, she said.

For example, insect and oil producer insectnsect breeds yellow mealworms on an insect basis. These arthropods are native to France and many other regions where they have been bred as fishing bait for decades, said Constant Motte, manager of business development at Ynsect.

Even for native species, escaped insects could cause problems of literally biblical proportions (locusts are edible, by the way).

Thousands of escaped native insects would still cause sudden environmental shock and could cause localized environmental damage, Berggren said.

In the case of mealworms, the age of the insects limits their chances of escape.

“We raise them in narrow buildings and our insects, mostly in the larval phase, cannot escape their shells,” he said. “It’s a fantastic insect that likes to be raised in a high-density social setting and that cannot fly or jump in the larval phase because it has no wings or legs. The risk of escaping from this closed building is insignificant. “

Energy consumption in insect breeding

Raising native insects with maximum security could still harm the environment if the energy used to maintain these facilities comes from fossil fuels. In January, conventional livestock breeding in a Lancet Commission report The environmental and health costs of animal protein production were determined. Instead, the report called for greater consumption of plant-based proteins. Animal welfare advocacy groups such as the American Feed Industry Association rejected the report.

Beyond the debate, however, the resources used to produce protein from animals have an impact on both the environment and the economy. Insects can offer a solution to this dilemma because of their potentially much lower resource requirements than mammals and poultry. At the same time, insects can provide a healthy selection of proteins and amino acids, as well as other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.

“Some studies have been done and insects are much better than cows and pigs,” Berggren said. “We can eat anything for the insects tested, in contrast to cows where we eat more or less only half the animal … Insects can eat things that humans and other animals cannot eat.”

Still, the resources used to raise insects need further study in order to find the optimal way to produce the most insect-based pet food ingredients with the least amount of fuel and feed, she said.

Ϋnsect grows mealworms on safe, controlled plant by-products that are not primarily intended for human consumption, Motte said.

“Insect expertise includes mealworm physiology to develop a specific diet blend that allows as little food as possible to be used for every kilo of mealworm,” he said. “The Molitor are known to be very energy efficient and retain protein from nutritious feed.”

Ϋnsect also tries to use as little energy as possible when processing these mealworms into protein and oil.

“The energy used to process the insects is very similar to making premium fishmeal,” said Motte. “The main differences are the protein source and the extraordinary freshness of the transformation process, as our insect larvae are transformed immediately after the bleaching process. similar to the shrimp industry.

“An important advantage of our technology is that there is no waste,” he said. “The whole larva is used.”

Even the excrement of the insects, called frass, can be used.

Renewable energy and fertilizer from the production of insect proteins

As Mad Max found out in Beyond Thunderdrome, pig manure can be used to generate energy from biogas.

Insect food can also be fermented into methane biogas, said Motte.

While methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, fully burned biogas can be climate-friendly as it does not release methane that is stored in old reservoirs.

“There is currently strong support in the EU for generating more biogas and bioenergy,” said Motte. “Frass could be used in this regard.

“The other option is to use Frass as a great organic fertilizer to bring organics back into the soil. We can then store carbon and create a stable humus that is needed for the fertility of agricultural soils.

“Ultimately, the use would depend on the energy mix in each country,” said Motte. “In France, where energy is heavily decarbonised by nuclear and hydropower, the use of fertilizers makes a lot of sense. In other countries where coal is the main source of energy, it could be environmentally relevant to use a mix of biogas and fertilizer applications. “

In view of this and other environmentally positive potentials of insect breeding, Berggren said she did not want to beat the industry. Instead, she is calling for more research to make sure the burgeoning bug business starts on the right foot, or in this case, half a meter.

Source * www.petfoodindustry.com – * https://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/10196-insect-based-pet-food-news-mars-ynsect-and-enviroflight

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Canada tops US pet food exports 2020; China, Mexico up

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Canada imported the Great Dane’s share of pet food from the US in 2020, with the value of any other country more than double that. U.S. pet food exports to Canada topped $ 800 million for the first time in 2020 and rose from around $ 600 million in 2015. Victoria Broehm, communications director for the American Feed Industry Association, shared this and other data on the U.S. Census Bureau -Pets with food exports.

Top 6 US Pet Food Export Markets By Value

  1. Canada
  2. Japan
  3. Mexico
  4. Australia
  5. Hong Kong
  6. South Korea

Overall, U.S. pet food exports increased 5.6% in 2020 compared to 2019, from $ 1.62 billion to $ 1.7 billion.

“While US pet food exports increased in 2020, growth was slower than in 2019, when exports increased 11%,” Broehm said.

This growth in 2019 and 2020 continued the trend of increasing the export value of pet food over the past decade. In 2010, US pet food exports were $ 1.1 billion. While the pandemic may have changed the growth trajectory of pet food exports, this long-term growth trend could continue.

“As economies begin to recover and unemployment begins to fall, the rate of growth in US pet food exports could pick up somewhat,” she said. “Pet food is viewed as a luxury item in many countries, especially those where pet ownership or feeding complete pet foods are relatively new.”

In Mexico, as in other Latin American pet food markets, the humanization of pets continues to drive the premiumization of pet food, and U.S. pet food exports to Mexico have steadily increased in value over the past five years. Last year, US dog, cat and other pet food exports to China increased under the US-China Phase 1 Economic and Trade Agreement signed in January 2020. Under the deal, US pet food exports to China increased 197% from $ 10.9 million to $ 32.6 million.

Export of pet food in phase one

For China’s estimated 55 million pet dog and 44 million pet cat market, the Phase 1 agreement lifted an ingredient ban for ruminants and a related requirement for their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The deal lifted a ban on products containing certain poultry ingredients. It can also reduce delays in registering pet food businesses in China by removing an audit requirement. However, China is maintaining US pet food tariffs and the complexity of product registration remains.

On June 15, a protocol to the US-China Phase 1 Economic and Trade Agreement, which the two countries signed in January, entered into force. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Phytosanitary Inspection (APHIS) and their Chinese counterparts have reached an agreement on the certificate language for U.S. pet food entry into the Chinese pet food market. This agreement enabled the development of a set process for exporting US pet food to China.

Developed by APHIS, this protocol facilitates the export of US pet foods containing ingredients derived from ruminants, a relic of the fear of the prion disease, mad cow disease. In the event that another animal disease breaks out, the protocol contains provisions on how poultry products can continue to be safely used in animal feed in the event of an outbreak of avian influenza or Newcastle disease. The trade agreement also removes procedural barriers such as questionnaires and facility audits.

Steps to Export U.S. Pet Food to China

US pet food companies will benefit greatly from the trade deal, said Peter Tabor, vice president of regulatory and international affairs for the pet food institute. He outlined three steps U.S. pet food companies can take in the short term.

  1. Review the trade agreement and APHIS protocol
  2. Schedule an APHIS inspection and get approved
  3. Start the product registration process in China

He recommended pet food companies act now if they want to export to China as the registration process is likely to take months. There can be a steep learning curve with the first products, but it should be much smoother than before once companies get the hang of it.

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‘New’ Natural Balance’s first moves may offer market clues| PetfoodIndustry.com

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When JM Smucker announced in December 2020 that it was selling its Natural Balance pet food business to investment firm Nexus Capital Management, I suspected (I’m sure it’s a super premium, traditionally animal specialty brand) didn’t quite match Smucker’s others Pet food brands featured on many channels.

In a recent interview with my colleague Tim Wall, Brian Connolly, now CEO of Natural Balance, confirmed this impression. “We’re targeting the pet specialty channel,” Connolly said. “That species got a little lost when it was owned by a large consumer goods company that was used to having brands that were widely used. Natural Balance in the Smucker portfolio was a bit orphaned in that sense. ”

Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of Connolly’s comments was, “We have absolutely no intention of going into the masses with this brand. This is a specialty brand for pets, and this is where we will continue to put our investments and energies. ”

Given how pet food distribution channels have changed and blurred over the past five to ten years, it is remarkable for an established brand to plant its flag and focus primarily on one channel, particularly one that traditionally is the The core or even the only home of Superpremium was pet food brands. Are there any indications of a possible resurgence of this channel, as well as other directions the pet food market could head?

The stationary pet specialty still has strong potential

Like most consumer goods companies, Natural Balance responded to the pandemic herd of many consumers on e-commerce and was successful in that channel too. In another interview with Dean Best of just-food.com, Connolly estimated that e-commerce now accounts for 25% to 30% of the company’s sales.

Nevertheless, the company also sees a robust future in the stationary pet specialty. To that end, Connolly’s new leadership team includes industry veterans with significant experience who work for retailers like Petco, PetSmart and Chewy, he said.

Connolly is a seasoned industry veteran himself. He founded Castor & Pollux, one of the first organic pet food lines in the world, and was a member of the board of directors of Merrick Pet Care after the acquisition of Castor & Pollux. Previously, he also held executive positions at Darford and Iams. So he knows the evolution of the industry and its brands and retail channels, which probably helps to gain insight into how the market will evolve further.

Connolly told Best that he believes pet food e-commerce “will continue on a structurally higher level than it would have without COVID-19,” but does not see the same level of online sales growth after the pandemic ahead. In-store shopping will be back in effect when life returns to normal (whatever that will be). “People who like to go out and shop and see different products and talk to the experts in pet stores will do that again,” said Connolly.

Hot pet food trends: herbal products

The new team at Natural Balance wasted no time introducing new products and launched a new Targeted Nutrition line for dog and cat food in early April 2021. The line consists of four formulations and meets many current trends and issues in pet food and functional ingredients. including prebiotics, joint and bone health, and overweight / obesity in pets. Connolly told Best that the company still has “ownership” of limited ingredient diets and identified Natural Balance as a pioneer in this category.

And in potentially another leadership position, Connolly said the company “has in mind the growing interest of dog and cat owners in plant-based foods.” In fact, Natural Balance has long had a vegetarian formulation for dogs, and Connolly said Best that when he and Nexus considered acquiring the company, they were surprised that sales were among the company’s highest for the three sizes of this product.

On that foundation and increasing customer focus, he said Natural Balance wanted to expand in this segment and join other pet food brands in order to stay ahead in a potential emerging segment.

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