CLIMATE-friendly pet food developed in Henley is now being sold across the world.
Percuro Primal Pet Food is named after the Latin word for ‘heal completely’ and key to its sustainability credentials is the use of black soldier fly larvae as its protein source for its products.
The company has secured contracts with retailers in the UK and globally in just six months after business support funding from Coventry University helped get its product to the market.
Dogs and cats alone consume 20 per cent of the world’s animal-based sources of protein such as meat and fish, but as the edible insect protein in Percuro’s pet food uses only a fraction of the land, water and energy, it is a climate change positive regime for feeding pets.
All of its plant-based ingredients are fully sustainable with 95 per cent sourced within close proximity to its manufacturing site in Europe.
Percuro secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund through ‘Proof-of-Concept’ programme, which is delivered by Coventry University, to carry out a feasibility study that helped to help establish market demand.
The innovation and growth programme supports businesses across the region, in the early-stage development of a product, through access to funding, one-to-one support, and workshops.
The study found quality of ingredients was the most important factor when choosing food product for their pet. Though many respondents were not aware of products using insects as a source of protein, they were willing to at least try it after reading the concept.
Others showed a positive response towards pet food having limited impact on eco-systems and said they would prefer a brand having a proactive stance towards the environment and would spend more to do so.
Percuro is now selling direct to consumers in Europe via its website, and has secured supply contracts with big name UK brands including Pets at Home, Ocado and Amazon.
Founder Denise Saber said: “We came away from the ‘Proof-of-Concept’ research that the team at Coventry University helped us to fund with a clear market that was commercially viable and one that also helped us come up with a narrative. The university’s support really got us going and was an important part of our process to get to where we are now.
“We also knew anecdotally that sustainability would be important to consumers, but we needed something to really help get us to understand if we were on the right track with something that consumers would actually buy.
“We believe that this is innovation at its best because of the positive impact it can have on animal health and life expectancy, and also climate change. Through having 100 per cent sustainable insect protein and plant-based ingredients that are traceable, and 100 per cent livestock-free, this is a business that can scale up and become a leading brand globally.”
Visit www.cuebusinesssolutions.com for more information on the programme.