Petfood Industry - January 2018 - 18
18 | www.PetfoodIndustry.com
WellPet: focus on
freeze-dried, raw meat
premium pet food
WellPet CEO Camelle
Kent, here with her Yellow
Lab, Rommel, at the
company's headquarters in
says the company's focus
on innovation will keep
it ahead of the industry
game in premium and
superpremium pet foods.
Photo courtesy WellPet
This independent company fast tracks
innovation to stay on top of the 'fourth
category' in premium pet food.
WellPet, according to CEO Camelle Kent, has all the benefits
of being a 100 percent independent company combined with
being just the right size to take advantage of all its resources.
"We're still family owned, but we have a nice balance
of having size that allows us to innovate and do things like
purchasing Sojos (in January 2016) and WHIMZEES (in
February 2017), or restaging our Holistic Select brand, which
has a 100-percent independent focus," says Kent.
The company's history seems to bear that out. According to
Kent, WellPet was the first brand to introduce grain-free recipes
and is a forefather in the natural pet food space. WellPet's
focus now is the "fourth category," the company's name for
the growing fresh/freeze-dried/frozen and raw categories in
premium and superpremium pet food.
"We're really excited about where the fourth category is
going," says Kent. "We've been doing a lot of work in the
dehydrated space with our Wellness TruFood brand. [In 2017]
we introduced our first kibble-plus product, which is called
Wellness CORE RawRev, and that's our product that takes our
high-protein, grain-free CORE kibble and adds 100 percent
freeze-dried raw meat. It's the fastest-growing segment within
the fourth category because it's not requiring pet parents to
implement a change in behavior - they can still just pour the
food - and how we differentiate is we're the only ones who use
And now that the company has the Sojos facility at its
disposal, WellPet has expanded in-house specialty production
capabilities. This "is allowing us to produce the freeze-dried
meat ourselves, getting it to our facility in Indiana where we
produce our kibble, and so be in complete control of the manufacturing process, which nobody else is able to do right now,"