Freshpet is an American manufacturer of refrigerated food and treats for dogs and cats using natural ingredients, and are the first in the fresh and refrigerated category to be distributed across North America. It was founded in 2006 and combines meats with fruits and vegetables to make foods and treats for pets. Freshpet stock is traded on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "FRPT".
Pet foods manufactured by this company are available in over 10,000 stores in North America, including mass-market stores, natural food retailers, pet specialty stores, and retailers Target, Whole Foods, petco, petsmart and Walmart.
While sales in other pet food categories were declining due to the recession, the frozen/refrigerated dog food market grew by 10% in 2010, with similar growth in the refrigerated cat food market. According to Pet Market Outlook 2011-2012, "this growth is attributable almost exclusively to the efforts of Freshpet." While frozen/refrigerated pet food still represents less than one percent of total pet food sales, sales in this particular segment are expected to grow by 25% on a compounded annual basis through 2015. Freshpet also has Freshpet Vet site where veterinarians can gain detailed information on which fresh pet food is best to recommend to pet patients.
Freshpet foods are packed fresh and must be served accordingly. Just like the refrigerated food that humans eat, "Pet parents" must ensure that purchase and serving is within expiration date.
In 2013, Freshpet opened a new manufacturing facility, the Freshpet Kitchens, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This new $25 million facility was built to resemble human-grade manufacturing standards. All Freshpet food recipes are manufactured in this facility.
Freshpet food makes refrigerated dog and cat foods and dog treats under the brands Freshpet Select, Dog Joy, Vital, Nature's Fresh and Dognation. Freshpet Select foods and Dog Joy treats are sold at grocery and mass merchandise retailers. Vital foods, and Dognation treats are sold at pet specialty retailers. Nature's Fresh foods are sold at natural retailers. Freshpet Vital Raw selection consists of ready to serve refrigerated raw meals for dogs. The recipes include probiotics with raw chicken or beef and kale, spinach and sweet potatoes.
Freshpet Vital Whole Blends are mix-ins for dogs, dedicated to specific needs such as dental health, immunity and digestion. They can be added on top of Freshpet dog food or any other food for added nutrition.
Fresh Baked is Freshpet’s dry dog food recipe range. According to Freshpet it is made with 100% fresh poultry, real fruits and vegetables. Freshpet also claims it does not contain any processed meat meals and is made using the latest technology that allows cooking at low temperatures.
Freshpet announced in 2016 that more recipe options for cats would be offered. New recipes would include slice and serve rolls and reseal able cat cups in gravy.
Unlike traditional shelf-stable pet foods, Freshpet ingredients are cooked once at lower temperatures. Thus, similar to less-processed foods such as milk, natural cooked meats and yogurt, the meals have a shorter shelf life.
During the 2007 pet food recalls, being one of the few pet food companies not affected, Freshpet capitalized on the opportunity and had record-high sales. The New York Times reported that as of April 2013, Freshpet sales revenue grew more than 44 percent. In the fall of 2013, the Associated Press wrote a feature article on Freshpet food and the growing trend of buying holistic food for pets. In September 2014 Freshpet placed at number 8 on Google’s YouTube Ad Leaderboard, which ranks the 10 most-viewed commercials posted to the site in that month. The commercial starred YouTube celebrity, Noah Ritter - nicknamed "Apparently Kid," garnering 3.2 million views. In 2011 Freshpet signed with Darling Agency of New York as its first agency of record. The agency created a TV campaign that aired on ABC, CBS and NBC. The 30 sec and two 15 seconds spots ran during The View, Good Morning America, The Today Show and Rachael Ray. Fresh Pet ads also ran on cable networks. According to Kathryn Winstanley, VP of Marketing at Freshpet, the target audience for Freshpet food is ‘empty nesters’ between the ages 45 – 54, whose household income is in excess of $100,000.
On December 7, 2015, Freshpet uploaded the Santa Elves video on their YouTube page with 458,618 views so far. The video was made in collaboration with the Salt Lake County Animal Services and Freshpet donated one meal of Freshpet food for every share the video generated. Freshpet has been a leader in the utilization of digital viral videos which gain many millions of views and in addition significant levels of PR in Mashable, Huffington post, previously Freshpet has released the Freshpet Holiday Feast – 13 Dogs and 1 Cat Eating with Human Hands and the Apparently Kid’s First Ever TV Commercial. According to Katie Tyson, Freshpet’s Marketing Manager, Apparently Kid’s First Ever TV Commercial was released to "drive brand awareness."
In April 2014, it was reported in MediaPost that Freshpet in partnership with Whole Foods Market intends to introduce a national poster contest. Each Whole Foods Market store will design a poster and Freshpet will make donation to the winning store’s favorite pet charity.
The Youtube video “Le Holiday Feast” was a joint venture between Freshpet and the Humane Society of Utah to help animals find permanent homes. This collaborative effort was able to collect supplies and donations for many animal shelters. Freshpet also offered to pay the adoption fees and provide the families with a supply of pet food to get them started. In June 2015, Richard Thompson, Freshpet’s CEO, presented a check of $6,500 to Colonial Regional Police Department Chief Roy Seiple in support of the department's K-9 Unit.