IPM Foods, a leading natural food manufacturer and co-packer in the United States is expanding into the surging wet pet food market with the launch of an exciting new company – NaturPak Pet – and, with an announcement that the company will be increasing its capacity by moving from its current location in Beloit, Wisconsin to a new 162,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art packaging facility opening in neighboring Janesville in the summer of 2019.
Family-run IPM Foods was excited to start this new venture in the natural pet food industry with the launch of NaturPak Pet which designs, manufactures and packages natural wet pet food products and offers a green alternative to packaging with recyclable, BPA-free Tetra Pak cartons.
“As a leader in natural food products, with 35 years of experience with packaging container technology, we saw a huge opportunity to expand into the wet pet food market by providing nutrient-rich pet food products and packaging services to pet food brand owners,” explains IPM Foods co-owner Pawel Marciniak. “We are so excited to see the pet food industry embracing the high-quality and natural products that can be made available to the US and Canadian markets via this innovative technology, and we see a bright future in our partnerships.”
Due to the ever-increasing demand for natural food products made in eco-friendly packaging, the company’s current facility in Beloit is already at capacity, which is why NaturPak Pet is expanding to a new location and adding additional warehousing space to accommodate growth. The expansion into the wet pet food industry also means staffing numbers will more than double by 2020, to upwards of 100.
Increasing consumer trends towards natural, organic and eco-friendly products has fueled the premium pet food segment; consumers are increasingly looking for natural ingredients for their pets and, are looking for transparency in ingredient sourcing and manufacturing process. According to the Packaged Facts report, retail sales of natural pet products in the U.S. hit close to $9 billion in 2016, reflecting a four-year compound annual growth rate of 11.6 percent. Annual sales growth has been consistently in the middle double-digits, and pet food retail sales reached $8.2 billion in 2016 with natural pet food accounting for approximately 25 percent of the total pet food market.
NaturPak Pet sees this growth first-hand. The company is currently in talks with approximately a dozen various-sized pet food companies about packing opportunities for their wet dog and cat food, which is offered as a complete and balanced meal, or as a top-up to dry food.
The new plant will include increased warehousing space and new processing equipment and is near some of the best farmland in the United States, ensuring NaturPak Pet is perfectly positioned to take a leadership role in the wet pet food industry.
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
Constraints and crises, like those experienced in 2020, help drive innovation and sustainability offers context.