Petco has teamed up with JustFoodForDogs to open stores within stores featuring exhibition kitchens to demonstrate to customers how fresh dog food is made. JustFoodForDogs is expected to be in 500 Petco stores in the next four years.
JustFoodForDogs is eager to demonstrate in Petco stores that its food is made in small batches and is fit for human consumption. The food is made fresh daily in exhibition kitchens throughout Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.
While some Petco stores will feature these kitchens, others will have pantries supplied daily with fresh products, starting with locations New York City and Southern California.
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Last year, L Catterton LLC made a big investment in JustFoodForDogs to expand its footprint by way of build-in pantries and independent store locations.
The partnership comes on the heels of several major acquisitions in the pet food arena, including General Mills' purchase of Blue Buffalo for $8 billion and J.M. Smucker Co. purchasing Ainsworth Pet Nutrition for $1.8 billion. Both brands were looking to have pet food boost sales in a sluggish human food economy.
"As more and more pet parents are steering away from kibble and embracing real food (made from USDA-grade meats and produce), such strategic moves like those made by General Mills and Smuckers may prove obsolete," Shawn Buckley, founder of JustFoodForDogs. "Just as the once-powerful Blockbuster Video gave way to Netflix, I believe we'll soon see a paradigm shift in how we feed our beloved pets."