Did you know the back of the pet food bag is regulated, but not the front? That’s why you see “All natural!” on food you know is not. The back of the bag is different — to be labeled organic, pet food must consist of at least 95 percent organic ingredients and meet human-grade production standards. There are majority-organic options out there, but few qualify as 100 percent organic. You’re more likely to find organics used when possible, rounded out with minimally processed and responsibly sourced ingredients.
CANNED PRICE SCALE: $$: 16-23 cents/oz | $$$: 24-30 cents/oz | $$$$: 31-40 cents/oz
DRY PRICE SCALE: $$: $2-$3/lb | $$$: $3-$4/lb | $$$$: $4+/lb
The surplus of organic ingredients in these wet blends leaves no room for fillers and fake preservatives. Limited-ingredient diets are good for pets with sensitive stomachs, and most wet foods can be fed as full meals or supplements to dry diets.
Selling point: Organic turkey meets Kurobuta pork, a Japanese delicacy with superior marbling that’s fed organic foods and raised in a hormone-free environment.
Marketing tip: Play up the high-end pig, called “the Kobe beef of pork.”
weruva.com, (800) 776-5262
Cocolicious Organic Beef
Selling point: Certified organic, this blend includes beef, broth, coconut oil and liver, topped with vitamins and minerals.
Marketing tip: You can call this “clean eating” for dogs.
partyanimalpetfood.com, (855) 727-8926
Cooked Chicken Recipe
Selling point: Whole, dressed organic chicken is packed in natural well water and cooked inside the can.
Marketing tip: Certified Kosher for Passover.
evangersdogfood.com, (847) 537-0102
The high bar for organics means there aren’t many organic dry foods out there, but if you look you’ll definitely find some that meet the 95 percent organic ingredient mark. The benefits of buying organic mean no GMOs, antibiotics, artificial flavors or colors. Dry food works for busy folks, so sell it to unfussy customers looking for ultra-premium kibble.
Organix Chicken & Brown Rice
CASTOR & POLLUX
Selling point: Free-range chicken is the first ingredient, followed by flaxseed, brown rice and fruit and vegetable purées.
Marketing tip: Ideal for active dogs through their senior years.
castorpolluxpet.com, (800) 875-7518
GATHER ENDLESS VALLEY
Selling point: Crafted from certified, organic, non-GMO and sustainably produced ingredients, GATHER Endless Valley is a vegan recipe with organic peas.
Marketing tip: Also available in Wild Ocean (cod) and Free Acres (chicken) varieties for your carnivore customers.
petcurean.com, (866) 864-6112
Chicken & Oats
Selling point: This recipe blends chicken, oats, barley, peas and brown rice, all certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Marketing tip: Housed in environmentally friendly and 100 percent compostable packaging.
naturalplanetpetfood.com, (800) 525-9155
Raw, unprocessed and organic? That’s a tall order, so instead of trying to organically certify New Zealand’s free-range venison, dehydrated dog food makers tend to lean on a human-grade protein, shorn up by organic vegetables, fruits and nuts. Sell these thaw-and-serve and just-add-water recipes to dog owners who want to serve a raw diet without any grinding, chopping or mixing.
Primal Pet Foods
Selling point: Fresh, human-grade duck joins organic fruits, vegetables and nuts in this blend, including kale, carrots, squash, broccoli, apples, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and parsley.
Marketing tip: Procured from sustainable farms and ranches in the U.S. and New Zealand.
primalpetfoods.com, (866) 566-4652
Simply Venison Dinner Patties
Stella & Chewy’s
Selling point: Stars raw venison and supported by certified organic fruits and veggies.
Marketing tip: Sell to the back-to-nature set: It’s the same diet dogs would eat in the wild.
stellaandchewys.com, (888) 477-8977
Thrive Chicken & Quinoa
The Honest Kitchen
Selling point: Six ingredients make up this high-calorie, high-protein diet: free-range chicken, organic quinoa, organic kelp, sweet potatoes, spinach and parsley.
Marketing tip: Good for dogs that run more than walk.
thehonestkitchen.com, (866) 437-9729
This article originally appeared in the May-June 2017 edition of PETS+.