Supreme Petfoods: Improving quality of life for small pets

Supreme Petfood’s ongoing mission is to improve the quality of life of small pets through the latest in small animal nutrition.

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Supreme Petfoods CEO Chris Childs is focused on leading the company in furthering small pet welfare and quality of life. | Supreme Petfoods
Supreme Petfoods CEO Chris Childs is focused on leading the company in furthering small pet welfare and quality of life. | Supreme Petfoods

United Kingdom-based Supreme Petfoods began in the 1990s as an agricultural farm providing local pet suppliers with hay and straw harvested from the farm’s fields. At the time the company perceived a gap in the market for high-quality small pet foods and decided to expand its business to fill it.

“Since then, we have always been guided by our founding motive which is to improve the welfare and quality of life for small pets,” says Supreme Petfoods CEO Chris Childs. “As time has gone on we have launched new products to do that, extending our range of foods and treats. Now we are known as a high-quality supplier of products not only for different species, but for different lifestyles and life stages.”

A specialized approach to small pet food

More specialized pet foods are common in the dog and cat space, but those pet owners are no longer the only ones looking to feed their animals something specific to their needs — small animal pet owners also want to give their pets the very best, a goal Supreme Petfoods has made it a mission to help those owners fulfill.

“Owners are becoming increasingly conscious about supporting their pets’ health and many people are seeking out high-quality products,” says Childs. “Tying into the premiumization trend, there’s growing demand for foods targeted at specific life stages and lifestyles — people are no longer just looking for ‘rabbit food’, but rather a food that suits their pet’s particular needs.”

The company’s recently expanded Science Selective range of products exemplifies the answer to these needs, and is a line the company is particularly proud of.

Supreme Petfoods Rabbit FoodSupreme’s Science Selective line has won the Small Animal Product of the Year award for five years running in the Pet Product Marketing Retailer Recommended awards. | Supreme Petfoods

 

“Science Selective is the widest range of veterinary-recommended species-specific foods available for small pets,” says Childs. “Building on this strong basis, we keep an eye on the latest customer trends to update our range in line with the needs and priorities of small pet shoppers.”

It’s a strategy that has worked well so far. In the last year Supreme Petfoods has seen 33% U.S. market growth, and the Science Selective range recently won the Small Animal Product of the Year Award for the fifth year running in the Pet Product Marketing Retailer Recommended awards. 

“Science Selective has gone from strength to strength over the last five years and it is the fastest growing small pet brand,” says Childs. Within the main line are the Selective Naturals treats products, which the company recently added to with Berry Loops and Orchard Loops. The new treats, geared towards rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas, are high in fiber and have no added sugar, meaning they cater to the consumer trend for natural and healthy products (both very familiar trends in the dog and cat pet spaces).  

“Our extended Selective Naturals treats range has shown phenomenal commercial growth, with sales more than doubling in the last year as customers increasingly seek superpremium treats,” says Childs. “The rest of the Selective range has seen robust growth too, with our House Rabbit food seeing a 110% increase in sales over the last year. Other strong performers include our Selective Junior Rabbit food which is designed to suit rabbits up to 20 weeks of age. The Junior food is a valuable element of the range for specialist retailers — by recommending a junior product from a range that is not available in supermarkets, stores can retain custom when the pet progresses to an adult food.”

Supreme’s commitment to retailer success

Naturally, ensuring the health and wellness of pets is Supreme’s highest priority. But alongside that is another mission: supporting retailers.

“As well as our reputation for pet care, we’re also pleased to be known for our commitment to support retailers with great offers, deals and a range of point-of-sale (POS) material,” says Childs. “Supporting specialist retailers is a priority for Supreme and we produce point-of-sale kits to help stores boost sales and build up their reputation. Our rabbit POS kits won ‘Shopfitting/POS of the Year’ in the same Pet Product Marketing awards and it’s great to get the recognition that we are making a positive impact.”

Education is a component of meeting both retailer and customer needs.

“Our success and growth also depend on our reputation for integrity,” says Childs. “A major part of our ethos is to support retailers and help owners out with educational material on small pet care. Since we work with expert vets and nutritionists, we’ve become known as a reliable source of trusted advice.”

Looking to the future for continued success

Challenges have hit every business in the last year-and-a-half, but there have been some positive trends as well.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic the industry is benefiting from the increase in pet ownership in lockdown, a trend which has included small animals as well as dogs and cats,” says Childs. “Alongside this, owners are spending more on pet care (the American Pet Products Association’s 2021–2022 National Pet Owners Survey found that 35% of owners spent more on their pets in 2020 than in 2021). Against this backdrop we all know that humanization and premiumization are major trends, especially as we see pet owner demographics shifting to favor millennials and Generation Z. Many of these owners are very well-informed about pet needs and keen to provide gold-standard care. As regards the small pet sector, this opens up a growing niche for products targeted at specific life stages and lifestyles — and this is where our extended Selective range performs particularly well.”

Overall, Supreme Petfoods is looking forward to continuing on its growth trajectory.

“The future’s looking bright,” says Childs. “We’ve seen dramatic growth over the past couple of years despite the challenges of the pandemic and we’re in a strong position to build on this success. We aren’t looking at a change in direction but will continue to extend our well-established ranges to meet market demands.”


Fast Facts

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Headquarters: Stone Street, Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom

Officers: Chris Childs, CEO; Claire Hamblion, marketing director; Matthew Russell, finance director

Brands: Science Selective, Tiny Friends Farm

Website/Social Media: www.supremepetfoods.com, @supremepetfoods on Facebook and Instagram 

Notable: Supreme’s foods are also enjoyed by raccoons and skunks. The company sponsors a nearby wildlife park and it turns out that their ferret food meets the nutritional requirements of the exotic species.

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