“As dog owners are becoming more educated about what is actually in commercial foods, and how they are made, many are turning to feed low processed, raw and home cooked meals, using high quality ingredients,” says Pure Pet Food co-founder Daniel Eha. “Pure takes away the inconvenience, health risks and costs that raw feeding and home cooking can bring, while providing a healthier alternative to those feeding one of the current commercial options.”
Eha, with the help of his childhood friend, Mat Cockroft, entered the petfood industry with their dehydrated dog food in 2013, hoping to answer the question, 'Why should pets be exempt from getting a minimally processed and varied diet, made from quality ingredients, just like humans do?’
“It made no sense to us that a highly processed food, containing low-quality ingredients, manufactured into small biscuits and fed each and every day could possibly be ideal,” explains Eha. According to the company, Pure makes natural dehydrated, human-quality petfood. “We avoid the harsh cooking procedures involved in making the wet and dry dog foods currently available to owners,” says Cockroft. “We make Pure from 100% human-quality ingredients, becoming the first petfood company in the UK whose manufacturing facility is regulated by the human, rather than animal, food authorities.” The company’s four dehydrated dog foods—Chicken Delicious, Duck Delight, Chicken Dinner and Vegi Plus—are all produced at their human-grade facility based just outside their hometown of Halifax.
Based on a survey of over 3,000 responses from pet owners feeding their pets a dehydrated diet, 74% reported an overall improved well-being/energy level of their animal, 70% reported improved skin and coat health, 60% reported an improvement in their animal’s body weight as well as appetite, and 43% reported they were able to reduce their pet’s medications, according to the Pure Pet Food website.
The Pure petfood brand started small; initially co-founders Daniel and Mat were making the recipes in their kitchen, with a small dehydration machine they saved up to buy. “We had friends and family pets try out the foods,” says Eha. “We then worked together with some of the UK’s leading pet nutritionists to further hone our original recipes to ensure they were complete and balanced meals suitable for dogs of all ages, breed and size. We were also lucky enough to receive funding through the European Union Innovation Fund, which helped launch our online store.”
Shortly after the launch of their online store, the Pure co-founders were approached by Piers Smart, owner of independent UK retail front Scampers Pet Shop. “We were delighted to find someone who shares our vision of independent British manufacturers and pet specialist retailers supporting one another to offer a variety of healthy and natural options to owners,” says Cockroft. “We see our products as perfectly suited to pet specialist retail—the education and advice they can provide is essential.” Pure’s reach has quickly grown and is now available in over 50 locations throughout the UK, mainly in independent pet stores, farms shops and vets.
Pure Pet Food has received a further boost by claiming Pet Product Innovation of the Year at the inaugural 2013 PetQuip awards. The entrepreneurs have also recently launched an additional retail pack for each of its stockists which includes branded feeding bowls or Rehydration Stations.
“We want to try and make the Rehydration Station a key part of our space in-store and hopefully provide a little theater to help retailers engage with their customers about the range and demonstrate that there are refreshing options now available," Cockroft says. “Our first ambition is for pet lovers all over the UK to be able to feed a Pure food diet to their pets. After that we see huge export opportunities across Europe, and then the world.”