People love their dogs; there’s no doubt about that. Just a quick look at Instagram or videos on Facebook show a ton of cute pups and adult dogs doing lovable things.
This love runs deep, as is clear from the billion-dollar pet food industry that churns out new product after new product each year. Some are great, others…not so much. Too many on the market use cheap products that any dog lover knows will end up harming their beloved pet.
Enter into this mix a company that is making dog food both healthy for our pets as well as sustainable for the environment. Chippin, a new pet food startup, is aiming to provide a tasty alternative to traditional pet foods made from…crickets.
By incorporating protein from crickets into its dog food recipes, this company creates a meatless option that dogs enjoy. Better yet, it’s good for them too.
Making Meatless Dog Food Work
The healthiest food for dogs is high-grade (which is fit for humans), high in protein, and contains no by-products.
Usually, only a meat-based product contains all three of these desired qualities. However, Chippin Co-Founders Haley Russell and Laura Colagrande discovered that using cricket powder as a protein source also works as a fantastic alternative.
From there, they tested a series of homemade recipes until they found two flavors that dogs seemed to enjoy consistently: Peanut Butter with Cricket and Pumpkin, and Apple with Cricket and Flaxseed. Since launching these products, the company has found success.
For instance, Chippin won $55,000 in a product design contest in 2018. This funding allowed the co-founders to invest in a broader operation and ramp up production. Since then, the company has acquired over 20 physical retail locations across the nation. In the future, the startup hopes to expand its operations to be wherever people go with their dogs.
Meat Alternatives on the Rise
If Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers have shown anything, it’s that there’s currently a huge market for meatless alternatives.
These plant-based meat substitutes have grown into an industry worth over $1 billion, and the market is expected to skyrocket from there. While there have been some concerns and complaints too, the massive popularity increase of plant-based meats is undeniable.
According to a 2018 report, in 12 months, the sales of regular meat grew by 2 percent, while the sales of plant-based meats grew by 23 percent. Beyond Meat alone saw a 70 percent increase in sales during this time. Moreover, today, about 30 percent of U.S. consumers claim they are reducing meat consumption. Additionally, another 32 percent describe themselves as flexitarians.
However, most of those statistics relate to plant-based meats people eat, not cricket-based or any other insect-like food Chippin makes. While eating bugs isn’t something that today’s human consumers are comfortable with just yet, putting it in their pets’ food is a different story.
After all, dogs love the taste of Chippin’s food, and its nutritional value is nothing to bark at, either.