PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 65

for around $160 million. Thompson's focus on innovation and fast change paid off in 2006 when Del Monte
purchased the Meow Mix brands for approximately
$705 million. After that sale, a core group of the Meow
Mix management team started Freshpet. Although
Thompson was not one of the founders of Freshpet due
to a non-compete agreement, he joined the company
as CEO in 2010 and helped take Freshpet public in 2014.
Thompson left Freshpet in 2016, raised money and
started Factory.
The center is actively looking for successful entrepreneurs with high-potential food, beverage and pet treat
brands to form a partnership with Factory and move to
its innovation center in Bethlehem. Thompson said that
finding the right entrepreneur to work with is a crucial
part of the equation. The second most important factor
is whether or not the product is scalable, differentiated,
and, of course, tastes good.
However, Factory is not meant for emerging businesses, as it specifically seeks companies with an annual bottom line of at least $2 million. This market experience
assures Thompson and his team that the entrepreneur
they are partnering with has "gone through some trials
and tribulations," as he puts it.
Although Factory doesn't manufacture products, they
practically do everything else in support of their brand
partners, including digital and social media, packaging design and innovation, sales and merchandising,
product and flavor development, food safety and quality analysis, supply chain and distribution logistics,
e-commerce, finance and more.
In an effort to find future Factory partners in the pet
care space, Factory and New Hope Network, a businessto-business media firm for healthy lifestyle products,
co-sponsored a Pet Innovation Challenge, where industry leaders and 10 selected companies came together to
share problem-solving ideas. Participating companies
had the opportunity to win prizes totaling more than
$50,000 that included funding and support, as well
as media exposure, a booth at Natural Products Expo
East in 2020, a spot in the New Product Showcase at
SuperZoo 2020 and six months of services from Factory.
Factory invited pet industry innovators working with
alternative proteins, functional nutrition, wellness and

supplements, and pet care technology, to apply for the
program. Six of the 10 companies chosen are focused on
developing pet food, treats or other nutritional solutions.

NQV8
President and CEO John Kuenzi describes his nimble team of experienced pet industry professionals as
guides at Manhattan, Kansas-based NQV8. The consulting company brings together innovation in the
form of product development and incubation that encompasses processes, product launches and steady state
production oversight.
In addition to working with individual brands for
start-ups and relaunches, NQV8 also provides independent consulting services to co-producers addressing
operational process improvements, facility assessments
and program reviews.
Kuenzi says NQV8 helps fill a void in the industry.
"There is a tremendous need for guided 'incuvation' in
the pet space," he shares. "If it touches the pet food or
treat industry, we're up for the challenge." Several members of the NQV8 team bring experience with multimillion-dollar and multi-national businesses. Both
early-stage and established companies benefit from
working closely with NQV8's brand strategists, product
development experts and pet industry veterans to take
their product to the next level.
The pet food industry is very challenging and isn't for
the faint of heart. Kuenzi points out that the best food
companies in the world see the pet space as critical to
their business success. "No one gives up market share
without a fight," he says. "Having unique capabilities;
significant funding and a boat load of resolve are necessary just to be in the game. Our goal is to come along
side and help make the most of the resources available
while having a little fun along the way if possible."
Pet food and treat brands can utilize accelerator programs, innovation centers and seasoned professionals
like some of those mentioned to get connected in the
industry, develop diversified, successful brands and
stimulate long-term growth. With exposure to industry
leaders, marketing moguls and product development experts, pet food and treat brands can set themselves apart
in an increasingly crowded market.
PFP

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PET Food Processing - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PET Food Processing - October 2019

Pet Food Processing - October 2019
Contents
Off the Leash - The intersection of industries
Industry Survey - Good problems
Statistics - By the numbers
Processor Profiles
Associations
Certifications - Living up to the label
Accelerators - On the fast track
Consultants - Tour guides
US Census - Just in
Ad index
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Pet Food Processing - October 2019
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Pet Food Processing - October 2019
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 2
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 3
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 4
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Contents
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Off the Leash - The intersection of industries
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 7
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 8
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Industry Survey - Good problems
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 10
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 11
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 12
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 13
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 14
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 15
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 16
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 17
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 18
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Statistics - By the numbers
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 20
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 21
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 22
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 23
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 24
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 25
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 26
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 27
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 28
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Processor Profiles
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 30
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 31
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 32
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 33
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 34
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 35
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 36
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 37
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 38
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 39
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 40
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 41
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 42
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 43
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 44
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Associations
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 46
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 47
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 48
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 49
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 50
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 51
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 52
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 53
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 54
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 55
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 56
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Certifications - Living up to the label
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 58
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 59
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 60
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 61
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 62
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Accelerators - On the fast track
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 64
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 65
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 66
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Consultants - Tour guides
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 68
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 69
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 70
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - US Census - Just in
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 72
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 73
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - Ad index
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 75
PET Food Processing - October 2019 - 76
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