Portland Pet Food Company (PPFC), a Portland-based natural pet food manufacturer, is going international, bringing their human-grade dog meals and treats to Japan, a country with pet owners passionate about providing fresh, natural foods for their furry friends. As of July, Portland Pet Food Company products are now available online to customers in Japan.
The announcement comes after finalizing a deal with Tokyo-based KK ASK Planning International, which will be the exclusive distributor of PPFC in Japan. In addition to online sales, PPFC plans to sell its products in Japanese natural food and specialty pet stores in the future, including Rosie’s Beef N’ Rice (wheat and gluten free) and Hopkin’s Pork N’ Potato (grain, wheat and gluten free) meal pouches, as well as its collection of dog biscuits and treats. The meal pouches can also serve as dry food toppers.
“I am indeed delighted to start selling PPFC’s superb products for All Dog Lovers in Japan,” said Tomoko Hirosaki, CEO of KK ASK Planning International. “PPFC is perfect for all dog lovers, especially Japanese health-conscious dog lovers, because we believe that these, additive-free, long-term storable, human-grade, and innovative products, which pay attention to every detail of the ingredients, are able to feed dogs safely and widely. As the first exclusive distributor in Asia, it is my greatest pleasure to provide meals for family dogs to live as long and healthy as possible, and I am more than grateful to be involved in this new product.”
“We are thrilled to see Portland Pet Food Company begin exporting internationally after receiving one of our export assistance scholarships,” said Matt Miller, interim president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc. “The Growing Small Businesses Globally program helps Greater Portland entrepreneurs grow their business outside our region, which is key to supporting our economy from within. We are eager to see PPFC reach new markets in Japan, which has a special cultural connection with the Portland area, as well as other markets in Asia.”
PPFC is the first pet food company to use 100 percent human-grade USDA meats and ingredients in their products that are all sourced and prepared in the United States. A hallmark of PPFC’s remarkable, cost-effective growth is their presence in high-end natural grocery stores and similar quality pet specialty stores, which has placed them in major metropolitan regions where their target customers – millennials and baby boomers – reside.
“This is a huge next step for our company, and we are so thrilled to now be selling our products internationally,” said Kate McCarron, Top Dog of Portland Pet Food Company. “As shopping habits continue to shift toward natural products and healthy foods, people are doing the same for their pets. Japan has an aging population with aging dogs, and they are very respectful of their pets, treating them as valued members of their family. Pet owners in Japan are particularly interested in products that will help keep their dogs mobile and healthy so our high end, all-natural human grade food is a perfect fit for the long years they spend with their pets. I’m so thankful for the support of GPI and the Oregon Department of Agriculture for helping make this possible.”
McCarron first explored expanding to international markets by participating in a trade mission to Japan three years ago sponsored by the Western United States Trade Agricultural Association and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
“When I travelled to Japan with Kate, I was so taken with her focus on providing nutritious food and treats for pets so that they can live longer, healthier lives, for their benefit and their owners,” said Theresa Yoshioka, international trade manager for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “I’m thrilled about PPFC’s success and to hear it will offer its natural dog foods and treats to consumers in Japan, who want to give their pets the best quality food they can eat. Oregon is not only a major producer of fresh, sustainable food for humans, but also pets, and PPFC is one of several Oregon companies leading the way in natural pet food products in the U.S. and international markets.”
In addition to its expanding footprint in the U.S. and the launch of exports to Japan, PPFC is also now available to pet owners in Canada.
As the company continues to grow, McCarron says PPFC’s popularity in both natural grocery and pet specialty stores is reflective of the mission of these retailers that offer knowledgeable staff and good customer relationships that support premium wholesome nutrition for dogs. “We’re so gratified that pet owners beyond the U.S. will be able to feed their dogs human-grade foods designed to help their pups enjoy long, healthy lives,” McCarron added. “Our products are very palatable and enjoyed by even the pickiest of eaters.”
Portland Pet Food Company is carried across the United States in over 1,400 Pet Specialty and Natural Grocery stores. West Coast stores, from Vancouver, B.C., to San Diego, include Whole Foods, MudBay, New Seasons Market, Market of Choice, Zupan’s Markets, HealthySpot, Metropolitan Markets, PCC Markets, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms to name a few. It’s also sold at Wegmans locations on the East Coast, Central Markets in the Southwest and Whole Foods markets nationally, as well as numerous Pet Specialty stores.
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.