This month, Made by Nacho, the world's first cat-crafted, chef-approved cat food, celebrates its one-year anniversary. Launched in April 2021 by Chef Bobby Flay and his cat, Nacho, alongside food industry veteran Elly Truesdell, the brand offers premium, flavorful ingredients that support the needs of cats everywhere. On the heels of announcing its Series A funding round, Made by Nacho is commemorating its first year in business by debuting more than 18 new products, launching new distribution partnerships with Chewy and Petco.com and releasing its first-ever merchandise collection, amongst other initiatives.
"When Nacho and I set out to create Made by Nacho, we wanted to provide cats with food that was not only healthful and nutritious, but also delicious--something we truly felt was missing in the market," said co-founder Bobby Flay. "Our rapid growth in our first year proves to me that other cat parents have been feeling the same way, and we're grateful to all who have welcomed Made by Nacho into their homes. For us, the work has just begun; we can't wait to show you the exciting things we have in store as we head into year two."
Although only 12 months old, Made by Nacho has already emerged as an innovative leader in the premium cat space, surpassing over 400,000 transactions to date and filling a sizable void in the pet industry.
"Though cats now outnumber dogs as household pets in the U.S., there's huge stagnation in the marketplace when it comes to cats," said Tessa Gould, CEO of Made by Nacho. "Half of all cat parents don't think enough attention is paid to cats, and nearly three-quarters wish there were healthier options available for felines. Yet, despite the clear consumer desire for innovation and the fact that cat food is a large, $40b+ and growing market globally, nearly all venture capital funding in the pet industry goes to dog-centric companies. Made by Nacho is changing that. When we launched a year ago, we knew we had something special with our culinary-first approach--thanks to Chef Bobby Flay--but we're blown away by the consumer response to our brand and recipes in our first year in business."
FUNDING AND THE TEAM
In February 2022, Made by Nacho closed a $14M Series A funding round, led by CAVU Venture Partners with participation by New Fare Partners and Mars' Companion Fund, bringing total funds raised to date to $24M. Mars also participated in Made by Nacho's seed round in 2021, which was led by Sonoma Brands.
Headquartered in New York City, Made by Nacho has 18 full-time employees that bring years of experience in consumer brands, pet retail and wholesale, digital and growth--including from Whole Foods, Petco, SoulCycle, Buzzfeed, Glossier and other leading companies. Additionally, the Made by Nacho advisory board includes entrepreneurs and executives from top brands, including Michael Dubin, former CEO of Dollar Shave Club, as well as other prominent industry leaders.
NEW DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIPS
Beginning this month, Made by Nacho will expand its distribution through new partnerships with two major retailers; the brand will now be stocked and distributed through Chewy, as well as will launch on Petco.com. Made by Nacho launched with a six-month nationwide exclusive in more than 1,300 PetSmart stores, as well as on their own direct to consumer site. The brand is also sold on Amazon.com.
To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Made by Nacho recently debuted its first merchandise collection--liimited-run hats and mugs that pay homage to Nacho's instincts as a founder and business mogul, which sold out in the first week. One hundred percent of all profits from the "Very Serious Business Cat" collection were donated to the Made by Nacho Charitable Fund at New York Community Trust, which supports feline rescue and research organizations.
Giving back is a core aspect of the brand, which is committed to helping every cat live a happy, healthy life. In addition to providing assistance to those making a difference on the ground—including shelters, adoption initiatives, cat health researchers and more through the Made by Nacho Charitable Fund at the New York Community Trust—Made by Nacho has donated over 200,000 meals to cats in need to date. Most recently, Made by Nacho teamed up with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, a non-profit rushing emergency aid to shelters in Ukraine.
Also launching this month, Made by Nacho will roll out 18 new SKUs, including the brand's first-ever Pâté--its most-requested texture--and recipes designed specifically for kittens. While Made by Nacho is chef-inspired, the brand works with Nacho's lifelong veterinarian, Dr. Katja Lang, to help craft the menu, which now includes 48 items that deliver the balanced nutrition cats need.
New products include:
· Pâté ($2.99/6.4 oz): Grain-Free Pollack & Salmon, Grain-cat Free Chicken, Grain-Free Skin & Coat Support Herring & Cod
· Functional Puréed Toppers ($1.19/1.4 oz): Cage-Free Chicken with Bone Broth available in Immune Support; Digestive Support; and Bone & Joint Support
· Culinary Kibble ($13.99/2 lb; $24.99/4 lb; $44.99/10 lb): Paella-inspired sustainably caught whitefish, chicken, and bone broth recipe with freeze-dried pork livers; Provençal-style grain-free cage-free chicken, turkey, and bone broth recipe with freeze-dried pork Llvers
· Kitten Kibble ($13.99/2 lb; $24.99/4 lb): Chicken, chicken liver & bone broth formula
· Additional Minced Recipes ($2.99/6.4 oz): Grain-free pollack & salmon, grain-free chicken
· Value Sized Treats ($9.99/1.6-1.9 oz): Freeze-dried salmon, Freeze-dried ahi tuna
Made by Nacho's complete line is available on madebynacho.com