As of press time, Adrian and Pamela Pettyan, co-owners and founders of Caru Pet Food, were on the cusp of their big brand launch at Global Pet Expo in March 2014. "We are encouraged by the responses we have received from consumers to date about both our delicious (as per the dogs, of course) dog food and the unique packaging," says Adrian. "Consumers have told us that their dogs find our food irresistible to eat and they love the ease with which they can store and serve the food, owing to the uniqueness of Tetra Pak containers." The fledgling, Florida-based company will have Natural Grain-Free Stews in Beef, Chicken, Turkey and Pork and the Natural Grain-Free Treats-in Bites and Bars-available in spring 2014.
"We went into this business because we have a passion for creating meaningful, differentiated products that improve the health and happiness of dogs and cats," says Pamela. "We wanted our products to be as health- and eco-conscious as we could make them." The brand's stews and treats are made with USDA-inspected meat or poultry as the first ingredient and are produced in a human food plant. The entire Caru line is grain- and gluten-free. Every recipe is made in small batches in the US, no ingredients are sourced from China and Caru treats are naturally preserved, says the company. "We strive to be known as the company that provides the closest thing to homemade wholesome food and treats that you can buy for your pet," says Pamela.
Caru stews for dogs are packed in Tetra Pak cartons instead of cans-a North American pet industry first, the company claims. "These biodegradable, BPA-free cartons enable us to provide a shelf-stable line without preservatives of any kind, as well as presenting a more impactful face on shelf," says Pamela. "Tetra Pak cartons contain up to 70% paper, made from selectively harvested and regrown trees. Plus, Tetra Pak packaging is easy to open, serve, close, travel with and store."
Another credential that separates the company from its competitors is its healthcare background, says Adrian. "Pamela and I are both medical professionals who owned and managed a primary healthcare center in our local community," he says. "So we are well-attuned to the connection between well-being and proper nutrition."
Caru also has several promising products on the drawing board including additional products for dogs along with a new feline line, which we will be launching soon in the suprepremium petfood category, the company says. "We know raising brand awareness about Caru is job one this year, and that it's up to us to convince distributors and retailers that Caru is committed to their success for the long haul," concludes the Pettyans. "We're a family-owned company that is answerable only to our customers, and we intend to stay that way."