SAN DIEGO — On March 1, Petco announced a large expansion of its partnership with JustFoodForDogs, a fresh and frozen pet food company.

As part of the partnership, the companies will co-develop and produce a new human-grade fresh and frozen pet food line under the WholeHearted Petco brand, which is planned to launch in the second quarter of 2022, and will also create a custom food program at select Petco locations. JustFoodForDogs is currently offered at 700 Petco locations, and the expanded partnership will increase the pet food brand’s availability to more than 1,000 Petco stores nationwide by the end of 2022.

"Pet parents are rapidly shifting feeding to the fresh frozen category, which is predicted to grow from $1 billion to approximately $4 billion by 2025, and 92% of it is selling through physical retail today," said Ron Coughlin, chief executive officer, Petco. "Expanding our relationship with JustFoodForDogs ensures Petco's continued leadership in the category and reinforces our unmatched commitment to pet health and wellness.

“Broadly, we offer pet parents the fastest and most convenient access to fresh, human-grade food in the industry, whether purchased on and delivered same-day to their doorstep or picked up at a Petco pet care center,” Coughlin added. “We look forward to further innovating with the JustFoodForDogs team to deliver new and exclusive options to our customers as we grow this long-term, mutually beneficial partnership, and are excited to become equity holders."

Also included in the partnership is an exclusivity arrangement, through which Petco will act as JustFoodForDogs’ national brick-and-mortar retailer until 2024 to 2026. The companies also plan to jointly invest in marketing programs to expand their presence. Petco will also receive a warrant for the pet food company’s equity and will have opportunities to acquire more of the company’s equity in the future.

"Petco's commitment to health and wellness, as well as setting a higher standard for pet nutrition, are in perfect alignment with JustFoodForDogs' values and mission," said Julian Mack, chief executive officer, JustFoodForDogs. "We want every dog to live its longest and best life possible through the transformational power of fresh food, backed by science. Pet parents value both the expert nutritional counsel they receive in store at Petco as well as the convenience of Petco's store locations and delivery options. Our partnership with Petco has been a fantastic collaboration to date, and we now look forward to deepening this partnership further to help even more dogs thrive from the health benefits of fresh food.”

The partnership between Petco and JustFoodForDogs began in 2018, allowing the pet retailer to become a leader in the fresh and frozen sector. In 2019, the companies launched a state-of-the-art kitchen at Petco’s Union Square store, and has plans for additional kitchen locations later this year.

More on Petco and JustFoodForDogs’ expanded partnership.

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