Ohio-based BrightPet Nutrition Group has acquired all of the assets of Phoebe Products, which include the SO Bright brand. Phoebe, located in Kiel, Wisconsin, is a manufacturer of premium and super-premium pet treats, providing both co-packed and private labeled treats for pet industry industry retailers and brands.

Phoebe adds another manufacturing facility to BrightPet’s portfolio, which includes Ohio Pet Foods in Lisbon, Ohio and Southern Tier Pet Nutrition in Sherburne, New York. Similar to BrightPet’s process of making premium pet food, Phoebe makes its treats in small batches and tests each one to ensure food safety. Phoebe produces functional, high-meat content, all-natural, organic baked and freeze-dried treats.

“Freeze-dried treats are one of the highest growth categories in the pet treat market,” said Matthew Golladay, president of BrightPet Nutrition Group. “Teaming up with Phoebe further illustrates BrightPet’s commitment to the premium and superpremium pet category.”

Superpremium pet treat trends: insects on the rise

Although many pet owners have anecdotal stories of dogs and cats eating insects, scientists haven’t fully studied the tiny animals’ nutritional and health effects on dogs and cats. However, basic analysis of many insects, such as black soldier fly larvae and crickets, suggest that the animals as packed with proteins and other nutrients.

“All insects are generally good sources of protein, b-vitamins and trace minerals,” said pet nutrition consultant Mark Finke, PhD. “Much of it depends on exactly what they are to be used for (what is their primary role in a complete and balanced pet food).  So black soldier fly larvae would be an excellent source of calcium as well, while crickets are relatively high in taurine. Note that some nutrients can easily be manipulated by diet so in some cases blanket statements should be made with great care.”