LINCOLN, NEB. and GREEN BAY, WIS. — Inc. Magazine named four pet food and treat manufacturers in its 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing independent small businesses.
The annual listing celebrates private companies in the United States based on year-to-year growth, revenue, their impact on the job market, and other factors.
"The companies on this year's Inc. 5000 come from nearly every realm of business," said Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. "The 2020 list proves that no matter the sector, incredible growth is based on the foundations of tenacity and opportunism."
Carnivore Meat Company
This producer of Vital Essentials and Nature’s Advantage pet food and treat brands was recognized for the second year in a row, this time as 2,241st in the United States and 23rd among other Wisconsin businesses.
"We have an incredibly dedicated workforce that has helped us achieve great results over the past year, and we're honored to be recognized again by Inc. Magazine," commented Lanny Viegut, chief executive officer and owner of Carnivore Meat Company. "We implemented a number of sustainability initiatives along with efficiency improvements that contributed to our overall success. This, combined with the new brand introduction of Nature's Advantage, gave us some great momentum that we will continue to build upon."
The company has posted a three-year growth rate of 187% from 2017 to 2020, following a growth rate of 204% between 2016 and 2019. Carnivore Meat Company ranked 1,966th on the list in 2019.
Its pet food and treat brands are sold in more than 6,000 independent pet stores across the United States, as well as on Chewy and Amazon. They are also exported to 14 international markets.
Carnivore Meat Company also offers private label, co-manufacturing and ingredient services for other brands.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has continued to grow and remained a partner for local and industry communities, Carnivore Meat Company said. In April, the company donated its brand-new ultraviolet sanitation machine to front-line medical personnel and other essential workers in the northeastern Wisconsin area.
"Our pandemic response made us much stronger and more unified as a company and within the community," Viegut said. "Our team pulled together to achieve some phenomenal results."
This all-natural pet food company was also recognized as 251st in the consumer products and services category in the 2020 Inc. 5000 list. The company’s pet food formulas contain no synthetic vitamins.
According to Nature’s Logic, Nielsen pet retail data shows the brand has been the fastest growing pet food in the pet specialty channel so far in 2020, as well as in 2019.
"Savvy, environmentally-minded consumers who care about all-natural nutrition are demanding more from brands," said David Yaskulka, Nature's Logic CEO. "We're thrilled that our vision and mission align with what our consumers want. Our deepest appreciation goes out to our customers, retailers, distributors, environmental partners and team members who have fueled our growth."
The company attributed its strong growth in part to its sustainability efforts. Nature’s Logic purchases 1 kWh of renewable energy for every pound of its pet food that is sold, while its headquarters and manufacturing plants are run on 100% renewable electricity.
The brand also formulates with Marine Stewardship Council-certified (MSC) seafood for its Distinction Grain-Free diets, and contributes a portion of its marketing budget to support environmental nonprofits and organizations.
"It's an exciting time for Nature's Logic," said Yaskulka. "Our growth is proving that sustainability and truly all-natural products align with our customers' values. We're excited to continue helping them achieve their natural nutrition and environmental goals."
The company was also named among Pet Sustainability Coalition’s 2020 Top 20 Sustainable Companies after showing improvement through the organization’s most recent Positive Impact Accreditation Program.
Mid America Pet Food
This Mount Pleasant, Texas-based pet food manufacturer was named for the third year, ranked 3,077th with 126% growth over the last three years.
“From our start in 2007, Mid America Pet Food has placed a strong focus on offering super premium pet food at a common-sense value,” said Greg Cyr, chief executive officer of Mid America Pet Food. “Delivering on this focus each day has played a big role in helping us be successful and continue to grow year-over-year. We have some exciting projects coming up, and I look forward to the continued growth we can achieve with the hard work of our team.”
The manufacturer produces two brands: VICTOR Super Premium Pet Food and Eagle Mountain Pet Food. VICTOR offers complete-and-balanced dog and cat diets, while Eagle Mountain focuses on dog food.
This brand by Smarter Paw, LLC was listed 336th by Inc. Magazine for its impressive 1,355% three-year growth rate since 2017. The company sells its cat treat, toy and supply products through approximately 4,000 pet retailers across the country, including pet specialty retailers, Petco and PetSmart.
“We are beyond honored to be listed in 2020’s Inc. 5,000 and join the ranks of our country’s most dynamic and innovative private companies,” said Scott Ragan, managing partner and chief executive officer of Meowijuana and Smarter Paw. “Meowijuana® was created to drive growth and innovation through a dynamic assortment of organic catnip blends, cat toys and cat treats that promote natural wellness, celebrate the emotional bond between pets and people, and deliver a whole lot of fun.
"I am very proud of our team for their dedication to produce the highest quality organic catnip, unique catnip blends and innovative cat toys you will find on the market today," he continued. "As a change-agent in an $85 billion pet industry that we are so proud to be a part of, Meowijuana, a SmarterPaw Brand, will continue to deliver innovation and fun serving pets and people across the United States and around the world.”
Meowijuana is headquartered in Lenexa, Kan.
Several other pet industry companies made Inc.'s 5000 list as well, including Milford, Ohio-based Trupet, a pet food, treat and supply retailer that posted 6,754% growth over the last three years and ranked 39th. Pawstruck, a dog chew company based in Long Beach, Calif., was also listed for its three-year growth rate of 3,891%. It was ranked 87th.
Veterinarian Recommended Solutions, a pet supplement brand headquartered in Blue Bell, Pa., ranked 300th on the list with 1,641% growth over the last three years. Vets First Choice, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform for vet-recommended medicines and pet foods, was ranked 1,815th with 248% three-year growth. Additionally, Vetsource ranked at 2,242nd with 186% growth over the last three years.
Nootie, an e-commerce retailer selling functional pet supplements, also made the list at 2,304th with 190% growth over the last three years.
Browse the comprehensive list of Inc.'s 5000 fastest-growing private businesses.
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