UK plant-based startup The Pack has launched what it claims is Europe’s first nutritionally complete oven-baked vegan dried dog food. The brand is championing the new kibble’s palatability over conventional extruded dog food, following a home-feeding trial, and confirms its expansion plans into Europe.
Touted as the first of its kind in Europe, The Pack’s Oven Baked Crunchy Feast is its first foray into dried dog food. Leveraging rice, pea and potato proteins, the kibble is packed with fruits and vegetables, alongside algae, oats, chicory and linseed to deliver both nutritional and flavour components. The brand has used a new strain of fermented rye in the product, which has the potential to improve the health of dogs’ microbiomes.
Peanut butter plays a big part in the product too, complemented by olive and rapeseed oils, and hydrolysed yeast. The 2021-launched brand says the latter is “far more nutritious than any meat-based ‘secret sauce’, containing the “antioxidants and B vitamins needed to maintain healthy skin and coat”. The flavours are further boosted by a range of herbs and spices.
Vegan dog food wins in feeding trials
Ahead of its launch this week, The Pack conducted home feeding trials to see how its new vegan dog food fared compared to meat-based market leaders. The independent volunteer trial saw 10 dogs being fed The Pack’s oven-baked dried dog food and Lily’s Kitchen‘s organic chicken and vegetable dried food for two days.
The total amount of the Oven Baked Crunchy Feast eaten by the dogs was 78%, compared to 28% of the chicken kibble placed side-by-side. In fact, 10% of dogs exclusively chose to eat the plant-based dried food. And despite only 40% of dogs choosing to eat The Pack’s product on the first bite, 60% ended up preferring it, according to the researchers.
“Our goal is to make food so good that dogs will happily switch their meat-based kibble for our plant-based formulation,” The Pack co-founder Damien Clarkson told Green Queen. “We believe that The Pack’s oven-baked formulation will offer pet parents an opportunity to give dogs a healthy product they love.”
Oven-baked advantages and expansion plans
Clarkson says The Pack’s oven-baked pet food have benefits over conventional alternatives: “Oven-baked food is cooked in smaller batches and at a lower temperature than extruded kibble. By doing this, the nutrients in the food are better protected and the food is more palatable.”
He added: “The food has been formulated with leading pet nutrition experts to offer a complete nutritional profile, meaning your dog can get everything they need to thrive on our oven-baked dried food.” In a press release, he said that 95% of consumers who were sent samples of the product said they’d be buying it.
The London-based startup, which closed an £835,000 seed funding round last December to bring its total funding to over £1M, says the new oven-baked dog food’s packaging is designed to be recycled and its paper-based bags use renewable materials like FSC-certified paper.
Asked about further scaling, Clarkson confirmed the British brand’s expansion plans. While the new dried vegan dog food will be available online and at independent UK retailers initially, the startup will be launching into Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in Q3.
He also hinted at future developments for The Pack, explaining: “We’ve already developed an exciting range of treats and are working on several top-secret projects with a massive focus on achieving outstanding palatability and functional health benefits for our dogs.”
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