SAN DIEGO — Natural Balance announced Aug. 18 plans to launch two new pet specialty-exclusive dog food products by the end of 2021, effectively expanding its product assortment to include freeze-dried and shelf-stable fresh formulas.

As a veteran in the limited-ingredient pet food category, the company now looks to solidify that claim and build on it with variety and convenience in mind.

“We’re excited about the innovation taking place across our entire portfolio,” said John Sturm, chief revenue officer for Natural Balance. “We represent limited-ingredient in the category and expect our brand to drive growth for the pet specialty channel – these two products are just the beginning.”

Natural Balance’s Freeze-Dried Raw diets are complete-and-balanced, minimally processed and packed with single-source protein. They are also formulated with a blend of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support skin and coat health. Available in two recipes — Beef & Rice and Chicken & Sweet Potato — in 6- and 13-oz packages, these freeze-dried meals can be fed as a full diet, meal topper or a treat.

“When we acquired Natural Balance, we wanted to immediately leverage the collective experience of our team of pet specialists,” Sturm said. “Speed-to-market on new innovation was at the top of our list. Our Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Raw line of products allows pet parents to offer their dogs this fast-growing category as a complete balanced meal, topper or treat. The products are also formulated to complement our LID dry and wet foods.”

The company’s new shelf-stable fresh dog foods, Platefulls Pouches, feature gently cooked fresh ingredients cooked in bone broth for added palatability. Natural Balance was keen to enter this category, not only to expand its own portfolio but also to bring a convenient fresh option to brick-and-mortar retailers in response to the flood of online brands bypassing retailers to offer these types of products directly to pet owners.

Platefulls Pouches are available in three formulas — Savory Duck & Pumpkin, Harvest Chicken & Rice, and Tender Beef & Potato — in 9-oz packages. They can be served as a complete-and-balanced meal or as a meal topper. They are fully shelf-stable until opened at home, according to the company.

“Our all-new Platefulls home-style feeding program brings a delectable quality food in a shelf-stable form to pet parents and pet store owners,” Sturm said.

Natural Balance came under new ownership in January 2021, acquired by Nexus Capital Management from The J.M. Smucker Company for roughly $50 million. Since the acquisition, Natural Balance has been busy revitalizing the brand on several fronts, including two new solutions-based formulas launched at Global Pet Expo 2021, and other exciting developments currently underway.

Read more about new pet food and treat products.