Purina Beneful and the Growing Popularity of Wholesome Dog Foods

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Wholesome and premium dog food, such as Purina Beneful, has significantly increased in popularity over the last year. Freshpet Inc., which is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania currently makes their dog food out of both chicken and turkey chunks. Freshpet’s manufacturing chief, Michael Hieger has stated that their dog food tastes similarly to a Thanksgiving meal. Their CEO, Richard Thompson has predicted that it’s the next level of how pet owners are feeding their pets. Purina Beneful combines not only meat but also various vegetables in their diet mix. The Beneful Playful Life, which is targeted at puppies, also contains an egg for extra protein. The one for older dogs also contains antioxidants in order to aide in digestion. Purina Beneful purchased out Merrick Pet Care in July 2015. It was announced when the latter established its Backcountry line, which includes mini-brands such as Pacific Catch. Purina Beneful has since been pushing its own innovation to add coconut oil, which they say keeps dogs slim and energetic. Most pet food companies have been mixing meet such as salmon into their dry kibbles for several years. The difference now is that traditional pet food companies are finally stepping up to the plate in competition with companies such as Freshpet. For example, Colgate-Palmolive now mixes berries into their dog food in order to help overweight dogs slim down. As a result, it appears that eating more similarly to their owners is enjoying a new popularity. It has been reported that sales of wholesome, premium dog food have increased up to as much as 45 percent or $10.5 billion from 2009. However, there is some controversy about the new feed-your-pet-more-organically movement on the part of Wall Street since manufacturing meats, such as chicken, isn’t cheap. At the time of its initial public offering, Freshpet started at a price of $15 and has since lost half of its initial value.