Petfood Industry (PI) interviewed Scott Ragan (SR), president of Three Dog Bakery, in April about the company's aggressive new product plans, including the launch of a new baked kibble line called Bake to Nature. Here's the full Q&A.
PI: How was new Bake to Nature line received at Global Pet Expo (GPE)?
SR: There's a whole new line of products for the independent pet specialty market. Bake to Nature is the kibble or main food, what we call the center of the plate product. It's complemented by a wet product, Gracie's Gourmet. It's named after one of our founding dogs. There are three dogs, obviously, behind Three Dog Bakery. Gracie was a partially blind, partially deaf Albino Great Dane, a wonderful, unique albatross of a dog. So Gracie's name is on our wet product. Then there's a whole line of oven baked treats.
I think you saw a little bit of what was happening at GPE, which is really fairly unique, I think. We've been in business for over 20 years as a company, but our focus up to this point has really been on uniquely serving our small boutique line or network of retail bakeries. Over the years we've had people call us very regularly, from the littlest guys to the biggest guys, and ask if we would sell them our products. And we've always said, "No thank you." We've done a little bit of wholesale work, but that's not been a big part of what we've been doing.
So it was very interesting to come to GPE with an introduction to say we're making these products available. We had just a really warm reception. Our booth was incredibly busy. And that's going to lead to a lot of sales opportunities and promotional kickoffs with a number of folks across the country over the next few weeks.
It's been really fun. We're a small company, we're privately held, and we've always been focused on quality and it's not necessarily been about scale. I always joke with our employees: It's not the best business model to say no to people who want to buy your products over and over and over.
So we've decided to make that change, complement our bakery network, by making this product available in a lot of other geographies. We had a lot of people say, "Hey this is great" or "wow." And it wasn't "Wow, I've never heard of you" or "Wow, I've never seen you," it was "Wow, you're finally available. I'd love to have you come over, come to my offices in the next two weeks, we'd love to do something." So that's been very affirming, very positive for us.
PI: Is there an official launch date?
SR: Yes, we'll begin shipping next week, and those should be in stores over the next four to six weeks across the country. We're very excited about that.
When we showed everything down there (GPE), those were literally all of the new packages, just being packaged and ready to go.
PI: What's the name of the treat line? Is it also Bake to Nature?
SR: No, it's just under Three Dog Bakery, our brand, our bone if you will. There's just a line of almost 20 different treats. But they're more product descriptive. We have a line of kind of classic sandwich crÃ¨mes, much like you'd think of an Oreo-like cookie. And our oreos I would argue are as good or better for you and your dog than anything you'd buy at your favorite grocery store. I and my kids have eaten more than our fair share of them.
We have a line of classic wafers. If you grew up in the vanilla wafer family, you and your dog are going to love these. We have a chips cookie, which is a chocolate chip-like cookie. Obviously the chocolate is replaced by an all-natural carob, which is a chocolate alternative. It's delicious. And the ingredients are all natural, wholesome stuff that you'd find in your pantry, which is what Three Dog Bakery has always been known for.
PI: So these are sort of derived from what you sell in your franchises?
SR: Yes. You know, I think one of the things that's very unique and sets our company apart is, I think there are a lot of fine companies in the petfood industry, but that's the business they're in. They make petfood. We've always defined ourselves as a bakery for pets. We have trained culinary chefs on staff. Most of them have their degrees or training, if you will, from human culinary institutes. They have some work in animal nutrition as they get affiliated with Three Dog Bakery, but the orientation of what we do and what we have always done comes from how do we do all natural, wholesome ingredients and oven baking like you would for your family, but that do that in a way that's pet safe.
So I think that's just the change and orientation. When you sit down at a table full of a bunch of R&D guys at a company and say, we need to make the next dog food, what's that going to look like, I think the whole tone of that conversation is a little bit different than when you sit down at 3Dog and you're doing new product development work. And when we sat down to talk about our new Bake to Nature line, what we wrote on the big white board, when we all started, was what would Thanksgiving dinner look like for your dog? I think that's a different orientation, a different mind-set.
And so we started out with, immediately what people put on the list was, we need cranberries. And we need a little bit of sage. And it's got to focus on the smell and the aroma of Thanksgiving. So that's what we really focused on as we built our ingredients. And when we focus on baking rather than extrusion-we don't do any extrusion because we think that oven baking is better. It's the way you would cook for your family at home. No one extrudes things in their kitchen.
It's the way that we have always differentiated. People have always come into our bakeries and said, wow is this for people or is this for pets? And we've said, it's for people who like cooking for their pets. It's generally human quality type of ingredients. It's things you can pronounce. We always joke and say from grandma's cupboard, so whether that's wheat or molasses, honey or flour, things you can read and pronounce. And then prepared like you would at home and then oven baked, which is a slower process that we believe firmly locks in more of the natural taste and aroma. Because we do that, we don't have to spray on a lot of flavors or preservatives or things after the process that I think are relatively common in our industry. We serve it just the way it comes out of the oven.
PI: You talked about how you've never been about the scale or size, but obviously you've grown your franchise business. What would you say are the keys to your growth? Is it doing it in a small, careful, planned way?
SR: Yes, I think â€¦ as I said, the company's 20 years old, and first and foremost, while we are a business, we have always had an exceptional focus on quality in everything we do. So all the ingredients we procure are grown and made in the USA. The majority of them are right here in the heartland, we're located right in Kansas City (Missouri, USA). We do what you would call boutique or hand mixing. You know, we have a big mixer that we mix our dough in that would look like, it would surprise you, it's just a much bigger version of the Kitchen Aid mixer that you have on your counter at home. And we do oven baking, which is a much slower process.
So over time, we have always focused on what is the absolute best, most wholesome, all natural, made in the USA type of products, treats and foods, that we can do. And we've always believed that, while we're never going to be the biggest, that's never been our goal, it's how do we carve out a niche that's really producing the type of products that I think that pet families are really looking for today. They're a number of things that have really shifted more so than ever that focus on quality and wholesomeness and natural products.
PI: So are you going to wait and see how this line does in the marketplace before you would possibly consider possibly expanding it?
SR: We like to think that our 20+ years of working with our bakeries and customers, we've got our recipes right. They're delicious, they smell great. So this introduction for us is a fairly big deal. We'll be working with a number of the large distributors that you well know the names of across the country with the intention of taking these products out to thousands of independent pet retailers across the country before the end of the year, both the food line and the treat line. Based on the reception we know we have received in a much smaller distribution model and the reception we got at GPE, we're excited. This is really big deal for us. It's going out everywhere, and I think customers will love it.
PI: Do you do any cat products?
SR: We do not. You know it's interesting, we're asked very regularly in our bakeries, almost every day, and when we were at GPE, we had a good long list of folks asking us if we'd do an oven baked cat food. We have not. We have considered it. We do have one or two small treats available in our bakeries for our feline friends. It's always been with a little bit of tongue in cheek, if you will, because the name is Three Dog Bakery, it was founded around the three rescue dogs that our founders rescued. We have two treats that we call We Pity the Kitty. It was really tongue in cheek, meaning we pity that they don't get the rest of all the great treats we're making.
But over time, I think that cat owners clearly are looking for better quality products on the market, and I think it's something we'll explore in the future. All the research would say, and we certainly see it in our bakeries where we're able to interact with customers every day around the country and outside of the US. You know I'm quoting a certain stat, 50% roughly of all the dog owners also have cats at home. And you'd think the pet-buying family that's looking for the kind of quality pet products that we have at Three Dog are no less likely to treat their cats equally well. So for us, it's probably an opportunity down the road. But for now, we need to do this exceptionally well.
SR: We were so busy, at GPE, I didn't get a chance to see much of the rest of the show this year. I think that's an interesting observation [about a number of companies doing marketing around causes and foundations]. I look forward to learning more about that.
We have something we call the Three Dog Bakery Foundation. And we provide grants to organizations, shelters and sometimes individuals whose dogs are in need. We call them Gracie Grants, again after one of our founding dogs, and it's an important part of who we've always been. It's never been big, it's never been about being commercial. You used the word "overt." For us it's always been something fairly private and quiet.
I think you're dealing with an industry or sector â€¦ customers in this arena are â€¦ it's very emotive or emotional, very caring. People treat their pets as family members, and if there are ways they can feel good about not just the products they're buying but about the kind of companies they're doing business with and knowing those companies are focused on quality, that they do the right thing, that they're made in the US, and I think increasingly that they have charitable elements of their business just gives customers another reason to feel good about making that purchase.
PI: Discussed consumer research showing customers of all types of products are looking for that from the companies they deal with.
SR: It's interesting. I think customers' expectations of brands continue to go up. I think one of the things, a question we got quite frequently at GPE was, were you guys affected by the recalls stuff a couple years ago, and I think that dovetails into a lot of this.
First of all, the answer is no, we've never been affected by any type of recalls. I think those incidences in late 2006 and 2007 were a terribly tragedy to the families that were affected. But out of any tragedy there's always some positive that comes out of it. And I think a positive for the industry and certainly for Three Dog has been an increased awareness on quality and ingredients and where the products are made and what are those companies about, what do they stand for?
So for us, those recalls were very beneficial. Not to take advantage of a tragic situation, but we had always been doing all-natural products, always doing oven baking, always doing it here in the US, with a real focus on quality. So during that time, we saw a real surge in our business as consumers looked for those healthy, wholesome alternatives that they didn't know were available.
And I think out of that over the last couple years has come this increased awareness of some of the charitable aspects: what do those companies really stand for and what are they trying to do in the marketplace?
I heard someone describe us at the show in conversation, you guys are one of the good guys, you've always been doing done it right. And to be honest, as casual and as informal as that was, it made me feel really good.
PI: More discussion about the recalls and how they woke customers up about how petfood is made, what goes into it, how it's regulated. All of a sudden consumers became hyper aware and want to know more, and that hasn't dissipated at all.
SR: No, I don't think so. I think you see it in our name, you see it in the name of this new line. When we say Three Dog Bakery and Bake to Nature, and we talk about baked being better â€¦ Baked is certainly a niche, it is not the way most foods are made, and the reason most foods aren't made that way is it takes longer and it's simply more expensive to make. Most companies focus on how big can we get, how much volume can we do.
We certainly desire to grow, I don't want to say we're not a commercially oriented company, but our focus is on doing the highest quality food. Interestingly, as that tragedy of that recall came along, as you said I don't think it's dissipated. We've had more and more interest in not just the ingredients but where are you made and how are you made. So today on our packaging we talk a lot more about oven baking and the benefits of oven baking: more natural aroma, more natural taste, don't have to add any preservatives or artificial colors; we don't put any artificial tastes or sprays on afterward. You're basically getting like you would bake a cookie or brownie at home, the kind of taste profile, and when you open the oven, that natural wow, that smells great.
And I think a lot of consumers have really embraced us because of that. They see us doing for pets like they do for other members of their family. They really embrace that notion: not just the quality of the ingredients but the notion that you're a company that really gets me. You get that I really want to take care of my four-legged family members just like my two-legged family members, and you're giving me permission to do the right thing in the right way I want to do it.
PI: Comment on barking in the background.
SR: Yeah, we probably have about 15 dogs here, everything from our little 9-pound Yorkie-Poo, Buddy, to, we have a St. Bernard-Lab mix and a couple other Labs running around. At any given time, it can turn into recess here!
It makes it a lot of fun. We're very serious about the quality of what we do, but we also have a lot of fun. It's just a great business.
PI: Yes, it really is. It makes all the hard work even more worth it, doesn't it?
SR: Yes. Many of us here came to Three Dog Bakery, almost all of us had some professional experience before this. I think the greatest opportunity a person has, assuming you're not independently wealthy, if you're going to work for a living, if you can bring your professional talents and skills together with your personal passion, and if pets are a personal passion, it can make that be a place that you enjoy going to work every day, that's really a unique blessing that not a lot of people get. So we generally have a lot of fun and really enjoy what we're doing here.
PI: You're privately owned, so I guess you don't want to talk about annual sales. Can you give growth figures, percentages of how your company has grown?
SR: I can give you a framework. Our founders founded the company back in 1989. Myself and a small group of individuals purchased the company at the end of 2006 as the founders were looking to retire or step away a little bit to continue working on their publishing endeavors. Amazing Gracie is the book of our story, sold exceptionally well, it's on Amazon.com, it's in Barnes & Noble, and they're kicking off a 20-city media tour in support of the book in coming weeks. So they're focused more on that than the daily operations.
I carry the wonderful title of chief dog lover and have a lot of fun leading the team here. We've over the last three, three-and-a-half years, have experienced growth rates north of 30% a year. So fairly rapid growth for a smaller sized company. Q1 of 2010 was by far the best quarter the company has ever enjoyed. So while I think 2009 as an industry we maybe slowed down just a little bit from the very rapid growth that's been going over the last five+ years, our little slowdown was nothing compared to so many other consumer categories.
You know that and see that, and as you mentioned, that's probably what's driving so many of these other large, consumer food companies into the petfood industry. They see that over the past five+ years it's been growing really well, it's expected to continue to grow. We like to think we're carving out a very nice quality niche around oven baking; it's a small portion of the industry, but consumers are gravitating to it, so we're growing at a nice multiple rate of the industry's growth. Our outlook is to continue to do that for the foreseeable future. We don't see any reason why our growth will not continue at a very rapid rate. Consumers are embracing the category but they're also embracing Three Dog Bakery and the products we're doing.
PI: Are you also still focused on growing your number of franchises for the bakeries?
SR: Yeah, we are. We are going to open two new locations in June of this year. We'll be opening a bakery here in the Midwest US, probably in Omaha (Nebraska). We'll be opening our second location in Dallas, Texas. We'll be opening some additional locations later this summer in our international operations, which are in Hong Kong and Japan.
The reason we are introducing this new line, the reason you and I get the pleasure of talking today, is we are not leaving our bakeries by any stretch of the imagination. Our bakeries have always really been the foundation and the heart of our brand, and are really one of the best places to experience our products, because you can come in and the chefs are baking fresh on site each day, you can get your dog a birthday cake or special treat. But, we will never be a fast food-like concept. It's very much a specialty boutique. So we don't intend that we'll ever have locations on every street corner. So the bakery network we intend to continue to expand, and it will grow at a modest rate where we can find great locations in really neat, kind of boutique shopping locations. We will complement that in a lot of territories where we probably will not have bakeries, with this kind of line, where it makes it more broadly available. In that way, we'll continue to retain the heart of the brand with the bakeries and make our product much more widely available and more conveniently.
SR: It's a somewhat unique business model and not one that many people do. But we think there are, though, some really neat brands out there that have been very quality focused, started out as entrepreneurs, did their own retailing, and people loved the product so much they over time went out in a broader audience. I think of Ben & Jerry's as an example of that, just one that my family happens to enjoy, and we shop at both the Ben & Jerry's scoop shop here in town, we go and get malts and cones, but I've also picked up a pint of my favorite ice cream at the grocery store on a Sunday evening when I'm doing some grocery shopping. You know, we've thought of ourselves as somewhat of a boutique brand that had the ability to do something like that.
PI: You're a great interview subject, you're answering my questions before I can ask them! One thing we haven't covered, we've talked a lot about your opportunities, but what about your challenges?
SR: You know, that's interesting. I think that for us, one of the things that is challenging is, as we serve more and more customers, I'm confident that we will maintain our focus on the quality of the products we do. But consumer trends, you know, it's a very dynamic category. And consumers in our bakeries, people at GPE, consumers that interact with our brand, constantly ask if we will do new things. Because they like the quality of the products we do, and they're looking for a better alternative to some other things on the market.
So we have been asked, would we do cat food. Would we do a jerky type of treat, because almost everything we do is oven baked, more traditional type of pastries. And I think the challenge for us is as we continue to grow, we have to balance meeting consumers' needs and trends; you know, the favorite flavor this year will not be the favorite flavor next year. So you have to continue to be innovative and creative, and our chefs work on that each and every day, but how do you balance that with making sure that you keep yourself focused and can do that exceptionally well and not stretch yourself.
At GPE, I'll say one of the things I was surprised, because there were some folks very near our booth, was just the tremendous presentation in rawhides and jerkies and parts, if you will. There's certainly a place in the market for it. We don't do it. We had a bunch of people say I'd really like to carry your line, and could you also do some jerkies? I won't say never, but that's not part of our plan right now, it's not what we do exceptionally well, it's not part of what makes us different and unique.
PI: Comment on how amazing it is, in a kind of disturbing way, all the various animal parts they make into dog treats!
SR: I've had a number of our customers be interested in doing that, and in the same breath, I've heard how they describe those parts, and I say, well I'm not really sure I want to be in that business, the way you talk about them! And you know that you can sell them, you know some groups of people want them. But I've heard a lot of people jokingly refer to them as nasty parts, and I don't think of anything about our business being nasty. We really love the products we do, and we have chefs in chef hats and aprons, and our bakeries smell fantastic, and even our packaging facility here in Kansas City, we do some baking. We're baking these oatmeal and honey cookies or a vanilla wafer type of cookie, and the whole block smells fantastic! We have people pull up to the parking lot and go wow, what are you guys baking? That's the fun part of our business and we're going to try to stay very focused on doing that very well.
PI: Your main facility is in Kansas City, right?
SR: Yes, we do almost everything from here. This is where we do all of our packaging, this is where we do all our innovation; we have our executive chef here. The company was founded in KC and we've stayed here, and we kind of like to think ourselves as a neat little hometown brand here, but at the same time we're getting a little bit bigger.
PI: And you're using a co-manufacturer for the wet brand, or are you doing that in house as well?
SR: We do all of our pastry baking here. We have two other partner facilities very nearby that do human quality food lines and one of them is helping us with our wet line, which is all produced in a human quality facility. They don't do any other pet. They produce a lot of other things that you probably have at home in your pantry for your family.
And those are the same kind of quality ingredients that we put in our Gracie's Gourmet product, just chicken, rice and vegetables. It's very clean, and when you open it up, it looks a lot like your favorite stew-type products you'd eat.
We don't do the traditional canned; ours is a retort-type of cooking when we do this type of product. And we decided to do that well, we just think it's a much higher quality. When you open a bag of food, it should smell like food you'd want to eat, it should look like food you'd want to eat. If you open a can of wet, you should be able to see all the things that are in it and recognize them. Things that come out of a can that look like a log or are gelled, are not things I think you'd want to serve your family and we feel the same way about our pet family members.
You know, I by no means don't want to say anything negative about anybody else, there are a lot of good quality products out there. Our focus has always been doing, the language we use sets a lot of the tonality for what we do. We don't just make petfood; we make great foods for pets. And if you approach it with that orientation and that kind of, I'll say inside we put on a certain set of glasses, which is, well how would you want it if you were going to eat it? And then how do we make that safe for our pets?
And when you come into any new recipe or any new product with that orientation, it guides you down a very different path, which is much more quality and human-ingredient based with a focus on how do we cook it not just fast but how do we cook it so it retains the most amount of flavor, so it retains the most amount of ingredients that we intended to put in there. There are lots of ways to cook things really fast. You think it takes most of the flavor and the taste out. That's why so many companies end up spraying so much stuff back on afterward.
PI: Anything else that keeps you up at night (work related)?
SR: No, really we're having-I hope it doesn't sound terribly clichÃ©-we're actually having just a great time. I had a management meeting the other day, I'm kind of talking off the cuff, informally, but we were literally just taking a moment to pause, because we've been running at a very fast clip. But we just paused, because most of the challenges we were talking about as a management team, we're talking about can we get that done and can we get that to that customer on time and can we make that much more. But gosh, aren't those really good challenges to have?
Think of all the other industries right now that are in the Wall Street Journal or on the news everyday that are still basically falling apart and people being laid off and there's problems with products and there's recalls. And I think as an industry, the pet industry is a really special place to be. It's a place where everybody I've met is really truly caring about pets and if you're doing great quality products, what a neat place to be working. So the challenges we have are really how are going to continue to support our growth. But gosh, those are the really good challenges to have.
You personally could be working in so many other industries and the interviews you would do wouldn't be any fun at all!
PI: Yes, talk about the other industries our company is in, especially woodworking and how it's cratered.
SR: And you know, that's why I wake up each day and go, wow, we're doing great quality stuff. Customer like us, they're asking us for more, we're in a growth category. Like I said, it probably sounds a little clichÃ©, but we love our brand, consumers seem to be responding well and we're in a category that's fun and growing. I don't think you can ask for anymore than that. So we want to just make sure we're continuing to deliver really great products that are true to our heritage and our bakeries.
PI: Will your company eventually have a website(s) for the new lines?
SR: Yes, the new products will go up online probably May 1, as we begin shipping. We didn't want to put them up there when the products wouldn't be available. So the team's been taking photographs left and right for the past couple days getting that ready.
PI: I was looking online at some of your officers and your creative titles. Could I have the last names for Jeanne and Rocky?
SR: We have fun. It's Jeanne Mathiesen. Some companies her would call her the CFO, we call her the chief money dog. And Rocky Kristek heads up all of our baking. I believe you met Brad Allen is leading our initiative outside of the bakeries, the complement to our bakeries, and introducing the line to the independent pet market.
Brad comes to us from a lot of years in human food sales with Pepsico in drinks and snacks, but where he really got his toes wet or, if you want to use that metaphor, really jumped into the pool head first, was he was really I'd say, the architect of a lot of the growth and success at Greenies. He joined them in 2002 when they were very small and was with them through their sale and transition to Mars. He's a Kansas City native, and I asked him, if he would join us to help us with this, helping us take our products out to a broader audience.
I think the leadership team has a really nice complementary skill set. We're small, we're all based here in Kansas City, all of us have dogs and love pets, and everybody's had some previous success at doing things like this. So, like I said, all our challenges are I think the good positive kinds of challenges.
PI: How many employees do you have in all?
SR: Oh, we're about 60 employees now and growing. We're adding quite a few employees this year, both in our sales and marketing team and in our baking production team. We'll add, I don't know how many exactly; we're definitely growing, we've been adding staff thus far in Q1 and will continue to add staff throughout the balance of the year.
PI: That's a really good news story in this day and age.
SR: Yeah it is. You know, the Kansas City Business Journal here did an interview with us, and we had a little piece in their paper a couple weeks ago, just kind of a local hometown story. But I think they just were so excited, the Business Journal, to hear not only that we were doing well, but we were actually doing very well, and we had a great first quarter, and we were hiring and a big part of the story there was, hey, you guys are hiring.
We're actually expanding our facilities here in Kansas City to support our growth, and I think they like the idea of just talking to somebody who was doing well so the reporter didn't have to do another layoff story. So, they're very supportive of us, but I think the heart of it was they liked that we were growing and expanding our facilities, expanding the staff, and it was nice to run a feel-good story for once after a long hard 12 or 18 months of so many businesses being down.
PI: Like you said, those are the more enjoyable interviews.
SR: Well you know, you have a job and a unique set of talents, too, and you get to meet and talk with a lot of folks. I envy, I think, you're working, and you get to go to GPE. I was describing to a couple of people who had not been to that show, and we're not as familiar with the pet industry, but between you and I, I just said it's really neat because I can walk around that show and have a chance just to chat with the leaders or owners of other businesses and booths near us. And it's a very collaborative and very supportive industry. I genuinely think that by and large most everybody wants the industry to do well and wants everybody to do well. And when you have a big and growing industry, everybody feels like there's room for everybody. There's enough pie here for everybody. Rather than some of those industries that are small or getting smaller, and in those type of trade show environments, the tenor of the industry is generally, there's not enough pie, I need to take yours. And I don't sense that GPE, or SuperZoo, you don't get that tenor from this industry. This is let's all do better together. I think it's very unique.
PI: We have our own conference specific to petfood, we had it just last week, very positive, really good buzz, lots of business being done. Yes, like you said it's a very nice place to be in.
SR: Are you going to the Backer Show this coming week?
PI: No, I usually go to the one in October because it's so close, I live in the Chicago area. I am going to Interzoo in Germany in a few weeks.
SR: We really thought a lot about going, we're not. I passionately would like to go, again it comes back to, you know you said, what are your challenges, and it's stay focused and do great quality stuff. At GPE we had so many folks ask us, will you be distributing internationally and will we be at Interzoo. I think we'll be at the next one. We're going to do this really well first.
PI: Yeah, if you think GPE is good for new product introductions, Interzoo is like GPE on steroids! But if you're not focusing on international distribution â€¦
SR: Well, we have our bakery operations in Canada, Hong Kong and Japan, but we're not in Europe right now. That will be a step down the road for us. We're looking forward to it, we've discussed it, but we want to make sure we serve the customers here really well first.
I hope you have fun. I'm envious, on a personal note. I hope you get to a little bit of time to enjoy some time outside the show, too.
PI: Is there anything else you were hoping to talk about?
SR: No, I'm not sure I'm a great interview! I'd love to just give you sound bites that I wanted you to print, but I'm much more inclined to just kind of talk about our business and answer questions. I hope I've done that pretty fairly and openly. We're excited about what we're doing; we think there's a tremendous growth potential. Doing oven baking and all-natural stuff is not the biggest part of the business, but it's different, it's unique, it's something we do exceptionally well, we were the first really to be doing it, and we think the next couple years are going to be very exciting. That's probably where I'd end it!
Debbie Phillips-Donaldson is editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry and Petfood Forum.
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