Dog food maker Freshpet Co. in the US and people-food processor Tyson Foods Inc. have joined forces to expand the newer “refrigerated pet food” category, a higher priced, meat-based alternative to traditional dry pet food.
The two companies plan to capitalize on what they say is pet owners’ shift to food that more closely resembles fare for humans, natural and preservative-free with more meat, fresh ingredients and only whole grains.
Tyson, the largest U.S.-based meat producer, said it will take a minority investment in Freshpet; the company wouldn’t disclose any other details. Freshpet will use Tyson’s distribution network for refrigerated products to expand its national footprint.
The refrigerated type is considered designer pet food because its ingredients are largely meat–at least 70 percent in Freshpet’s food–with fresh vegetables and whole grains, compared with lower-priced pet foods made mostly with vegetables and grains such as corn and wheat.
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