Pets at Home, a pet product retailer based in the United Kingdom, has launched a private label dog food brand that is marketed as “totally natural at a price that won’t break the bank.”

The private label dog food range, available exclusively in Pets at Home, comprises complete wet and dry foods covering all life stages and also includes weight-management and sensitive variants.

The private label dog food meal formulations are all wheat free, with meat as their main ingredient. There are a variety of flavors such as chicken with turkey and beef with lamb, plus all Step Up to Naturals recipes include fruit and vegetables.The individual private label dog food products are made with whole grains, whole oats, barley and brown rice. They all include omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

All products in the recipe come with a guarantee, which means pet owners can simply get their money back if their dog is not 100 percent happy with their choice.

US premium pet food and pet specialty retail trends update

Sales of pet food in the US pet specialty channel have reached US$8 billion this year to date, reported Petfood Industry. Most of the sales are coming from products labeled with the buzz words that combine to create the premium pet food category: natural, grain-free, limited ingredients, raw frozen, freeze-dried, dehydrated, novel proteins, small breeds. Plus, some newer terms starting to make their mark: mixers, toppers, humane, sustainable, and family owned and operated.

This snapshot of a consumer product category and distribution channel that combined forces at seemingly the perfect moment in time comes courtesy of Maria Lange, business group director of GfK, in a webinar entitled “Emerging pet food specialty retail trends to watch.” Her data show that from 2011 to 2016, pet food sales in the US pet specialty channel increased 29 percent, from US$6.2 billion to today’s US$8 billion, and the average price per pound has risen 34 percent, up to US$2.40.