UK natural pet food facility expanding with grant help

Forthglade purchased two plots at a business park and will be developing a new natural pet food facility.

Tim Wall Headshot Small Headshot
courtesy Devon County Council
courtesy Devon County Council

Forthglade, a Winkleigh, Devon, England-based natural pet food manufacturer, has completed the purchase of two plots at a business park and will be developing a new manufacturing facility at the site, according to a press release. Forthglade was established more than 46 years ago.

The new UK pet food factory will increase production of Forthglade’s natural pet food, to boost its exports and increase its market share of the UK natural pet food sector.

Local government support of pet food facility

The UK pet food facility development, which is underway by Devon Contractors Ltd, is due for completion in the autumn of 2018. The move helps to retain Forthglade’s 80 jobs in the local area and create 25 new jobs over the next few years.

“We were adamant to keep the business in Devon and the Okehampton site is just ideal for us,” Gerard Lovell, Joint MD of Forthglade, said in a press release.The last few years have been a hugely busy time and without this move the business simply couldn’t continue to flourish. The new site will enable us to retain our fantastic team and increase our production capacity of pet food by 50 percent, whilst having our entire production line under one roof will significantly improve our efficiency”.

The grant funding comes from the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and the program is managed by Plymouth University and SWMAS Limited in partnership with South West Water.

Four popular natural dog, cat food trends

Marketing pet foods as natural, like Forthglade’s, has become a strong trend in the dog and cat food industry. Four trends that pet food consumers increasingly look for on natural pet food labels were identified by Maria Lange, business group director of GfK. She suggested that these trends could shape the next generation of natural pet food.

Natural pet foods have become the base of the pet food industry, Lange said during her presentation at Petfood Forum 2017. With so many pet food labels promoting products as natural, the challenge is to differentiate those natural dog and cat foods from each other.

“There are a bunch of other or new natural labels that are emerging in the industry that seem to shape the next level in the industry,” Lange said. “All of these are talking about where is the food coming from, what was the animal’s life like during the production process, what am I supporting. It’s becoming more of what is the brand all about and what are you supporting.”

She identified these four natural pet food labeling trends:

  1. Sustainable
  2. Humane
  3. Family Owned
  4. Organic/ Non-GMO
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