Too many people put too little thought into the food their pets are eating. It’s not simply a matter of keeping Fido fed with pup-appropriate food and steering him clear of scraps from the table. It’s also important to question what “dog appropriate food” really means. Obviously, humans and dogs have somewhat different nutrition requirements—but shouldn’t we be feeding dogs food with pure, understandable ingredients? FedWell, a new dog food brand, thinks so.
The company, owned and run by Bostonian, Emily Lagasse, bases its recipes on careful concoctions researched by Lagasse herself when she grew wary and weary of the weird world of supermarket dog food ingredients. She started cooking up homemade dog dishes for her canine companion, Fenway, after he suffered an illness that nearly ended his life. She recognized an opportunity: the chance to turn her passion for pure, healthy food for pups into an enterprise.
It hasn’t been easy. Despite a Kickstarter campaign that netted $20,000 in start-up capital, Emily still faced the hurdle of finding an appropriate manufacturer. And not only did she have to find one, they had to agree to make what would be one of the most premium dog foods currently on the market. After a few false starts, she’s finally there.
Currently, FedWell offers two flavors of dog food in a variety of sizes. Soon, the lamb and chicken offerings for canines will be joined by simple, healthy, high quality options for cats as well. FedWell even has plans to introduce a new dog food that utilizes crickets as the primary protein source, thanks to the current buzz over the potential for these hoppy insects to be a healthy alternative.
The major appeal of FedWell is obvious when you take the opportunity to read the ingredients list. The chicken based food contains:
- Chicken, Lentils, Chickpeas, Sweet Potato, Flax, Salmon, Ground Crab Shell, Ground Pumpkin Seed, Coconut Oil, Salt, Kelp, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrot, Beet, Tomato, Shitake Mushroom, Apple, Blueberry, Cranberry, Cherry, Orange, Strawberry, Rosemary Extract
Looks surprisingly appetizing, doesn’t it? FedWell’s pet foods are designed with pet nutritional needs in mind, but they use high quality ingredients fit for human consumption, and the formulas focus on whole foods that have undergone minimal processing. Or, as Lagasse put it in a write up for local news site BostInno, “Everything listed on my ingredients label is something you’d consider to be real food.” Of course, this incredible high quality doesn’t come cheap: A 25 lb bag of the gourmet kibbles runs pet lovers $92.99, nearly four times the cost of a comparably sized bag of Purina. But in truth, the size is the only thing comparable between the two foods.
Will Fenway’s favorite new dog food catch on? Fedwell seems to be building plenty of momentum. Lagasse is racking up sales at eight local Massachusetts locations, and online through Amazon and Fedwell.com, as well. FedWell’s inventory weighs in at 35,000 pounds now, and Lagasse is actively seeking opportunities to expand in-store sales to cities like Seattle, Portland, DC, Los Angeles, and New York.