Page 77 - Food & Drink Magazine Nov-Dec 2018
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Barking the trend
Feed My FurBaby is an Auckland-based pet food subscription service with a unique algorithm to provide regular meals to hungry woofers. Amanda Bryan reports.
LESS than a year ago, Auckland couple Ben and Amy Rennell decided to take on big pet food with a premium, cost effective and sustainably packaged product.
They crafted their dog food product, Feed My FurBaby, from fine, locally sourced ingredients, collaborated to design a more sustainable packaging solution, and kicked off sales via a subscription model that is tailored to the dietary needs of every dog.
If sales growth is any indication, the idea has had lift off.
“We’ve seen strong growth – double digit percentage growth month-on-month, and this continues to gather
momentum,” Ben Rennell says. The business model draws
on Ben's retail technology and sales background, and Amy's environment management credentials, but the impetus for the business bubbled up following an everyday moment one morning when the busy family of four – five counting Jack the dog – ran out of dog food.
“We were in the middle of getting the kids ready for school, and I had to go to the supermarket to get food, and I thought ‘there has to be a better way’,” Rennell says.
“That was start, the pain point – running out of food. It was a light-bulb moment.
“So we looked at creating a
model in which the food just turns up – you don't have to think, and you never run out. And from there we looked at other areas of dysfunction in pet food.”
The pair took a good look at the massive category, and realised that the global pet food industry was having a significant environmental impact due to the large amount of brightly coloured plastic packaging that is predominantly used by the sector.
With this in mind, they decided to embrace healthy, sustainable and environmentally responsible practices across all areas of the business, including in packaging and supply chain logistics.
“We decided to come up with a solution that's more convenient and more sustainable and is also a genuinely healthy pet food that a dog can thrive on and not just survive,” Rennell says.
“The reality is that a dog needs a certain amount of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals based on its size and metabolism, so, regardless of breed, we can recommend how much food your dog should need.
“We chose to start with dry food because it’s convenient, cost effective and has all the right nutrients in one complete food source.
“Our number one ingredient is chicken, which is the least | November-December 2018 Food&Drink business | 77

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