“Quality first, pets first, without compromise” is the primary tenet Petcurean Pet Nutrition adheres to while focusing on growth in the pet food market. The Canada-based premium pet food company has been around since 1999, and is independent and privately owned, which Petcurean says only enhances the company’s focus: “We can remain fiercely, single-mindedly devoted to pet nutrition and nothing else,” says Rick van Schagen, president of Petcurean. “And with no shareholders to answer to, we are never asked to put profits before the health and well-being of pets.”
Increasing and maintaining pets’ health and well-being is Petcurean’s singular goal. The company makes a range of recipes to meet the various needs of pets, “because a one-for-all philosophy just isn’t our style,” says van Schagen. The company uses premium ingredients from a trusted network, and even has a senior nutritionist on staff with a PhD in pet nutrition to assist in formulating the best possible pet food.
“At Petcurean, we create premium-quality, nutrient-rich food that’s right for pets, to help our dogs and cats get the most out of their lives with us,” says van Schagen. “We always have, since day one when two good friends, Ron Mayert and Dan Vanleeuwen, started a little family operation in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. They were driven by the idea that pets deserved better: that pets deserved food that was made with the same love and care as we put into preparing meals for our own families.”
That idea has served Petcurean well since the company’s inception in 1999, leading to annual growth rates in excess of 25% and the ability to continually reinvest in new and existing markets. In October 2015, Petcurean broke ground on a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, in partnership with Elmira Pet Products, to meet growing demand. “At Petcurean, we have a deep-seated commitment to providing the freshest, highest-quality premium pet food for our customers and their four-legged family members,” says van Schagen. “Ownership in this new facility allows us to ensure a secure supply for our growing customer base and provides us with a solid foundation to continually innovate the best, premium pet food recipes that our customers have come to know and expect.”
Petcurean has opened a new manufacturing facility in partnership with Elmira Pet Products to meet the growing demand for the Canadian brand’s products. The facility, opened in October 2015, features state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, according to Petcurean. | Courtesy Petcurean Pet Nutrition
In December 2015, the company launched its first-ever dog treat, Spike, in response to growing consumer and retailer requests. Spike jerky treats come in four recipes—duck, catfish, turkey and venison—while Spike snack bars come in a chicken and sweet potato formula. “Our treats have been performing very well,” says van Schagen. “The quality of the products are exceptional, and the bright, unique, colorful packaging really pops in the cluttered treat section.”
Petcurean’s first dog treat brand, Spike, was introduced in December 2015. The jerky treats come in four varieties: venison (pictured), duck, turkey and catfish. | Courtesy Petcurean Pet Nutrition
Overall, the company has expanded its product offerings and brands, grown its team, increased investment in research and development, and increased its focus on sustainability. In addition, Petcurean has increased its export channels and hired its first overseas employee, setting its sights on expansion opportunities beyond North America.
Further validating Petcurean’s growth, in April 2016 the company was recognized for the first time as one of Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers. The national competition recognizes outstanding small and medium businesses that have not only created an outstanding work environment for their employees, but also offer forward-thinking human resources policies.
“We do everything we can as a company to keep our people happy, healthy and productive,” says van Schagen. “We empower every one of our team members to take personal control whenever necessary in order to make sound decisions on behalf of Petcurean that will enhance and protect the health of our customers’ pets, and to put those pets first, always.”
Petcurean’s new limited ingredient diet line has been a huge success, says the company, meeting the increasing desire from retailers and consumers for limited ingredient options with novel and unique proteins. | Courtesy Petcurean Pet Nutrition
That determination also extends to the companies Petcurean works with. “We work in partnership with our pet specialty retailers to support their ongoing success and growth,” says van Schagen. “We are proud to be independently owned and operated, and continue to support retailers who share our independent vision and spirit.”
When discussing the premium pet food category, van Schagen says increasing competition is cluttering the segment, causing challenges for companies and consumers alike. “As a small-but-growing company, one of our challenges is to convey the quality of our products to consumers in the competitive landscape,” he says. “We are constantly looking for the best-possible ingredients, the best-possible production method, the highest-quality control and cutting-edge innovation while embracing our responsibility to our customers, our people, our community and our planet. We constantly listen to the consumer needs in order to make the best possible products.”
Petcurean believes that the premium pet food industry in general will continue to develop in two directions—grocery versus premium pet food—and that the premium segment is going to gain market share because pet parents are increasingly demanding the highest quality of food for their pets. “The consumer demand for products that meet the desire to feed their four-legged family members ‘the best’ will continue to grow,” says van Schagen. And with the recent investments in R&D and Petcurean’s focus on innovation, the company expects to continue increasing its presence in that segment for the foreseeable future.
Just the Facts
Headquarters: 435 – 44550 South Sumas Way, Chilliwack, BC Canada V2R 5M3
Facilities: Petcurean dry pet foods are produced in Ontario, Canada. Our canned products are primarily produced in Ontario, Canada and, secondarily, at a plant in New Jersey, USA. Our Spike Jerky Treats are manufactured in Gainsville, Georgia, USA, and our Spike Treat Bars are made in Brampton, Ontario.
Officers: Co-founders Ron Mayert and Dan Vanleeuwen, President Rick van Schagen
Sales: Petcurean is proud to have experienced steady growth since inception 15 years ago in North America and our international markets, and is forecasting continued growth for the future.
Brands: Now Fresh, Go!, Spike, Summit
Distribution: Petcurean pet foods are sold exclusively through pet specialty retailers in Canada, the United States and more than 23 countries internationally.
Video: The Petcurean story