Aggressive investments and ambitious adjustments have stoked impressive growth for the company in the few years since it was formed.
Red Collar Pet Foods is not yet three years old and in that time has separated five processing facilities from Mars Petcare to form the company, expanded food safety and processing capabilities across its coast-to-coast network, and acquired a new treat manufacturing company.
The break-neck speed at which the young company has operated shows no signs of slowing.
Red Collar was created in December 2018 when private equity firm Arbor Investments acquired Mars Petcare’s Exclusive Brands business, which produced dry dog and cat food and extruded soft meaty treats. Very shortly after successfully separating from Mars, the newly rebranded company acquired Joplin, Mo.-based Hampshire Pet Products in February 2019. Hampshire is a leading co-manufacturer of baked and cold-formed pet treats.
Coming out of a large, successful, global leader such as Mars, the new company had to be deliberate about what existing aspects of the culture should be kept and what new values would need to be fostered to set Red Collar apart.
The pandemic offered an opportunity for Red Collar’s management team to live these values, including openness, collaboration, speed and agility and keeping the focus on the customer.
Adapting to a changing customer-base also required a culture shift for Red Collar. Whether the new packaging capabilities include bag-in-box, a specific packaging size or new sealing technology, Red Collar has had great success partnering with its suppliers to bring the solutions customers require throughout its network to meet the need where the customer needs it.
Adding the ability to offer a welded seal for woven polypropylene bags was a small technical change that has had a big impact for some of Red Collar’s customers.
In addition to Red Collar’s national network of processing capabilities, the company’s approach to ensuring consistent product quality and food safety sets them apart as well. Many of Red Collar’s customers serve both the pet food and treat industry and the human food industry on a national and international level.
FSSC 22000 certification offers a program these customers are accustomed to across all the brands they sell.
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