Over the last few years, the freeze-dried raw pet food movement has gained momentum. This alternative to frozen or fresh raw food offers a convenient way for pet guardians to provide a species appropriate raw diet that is both safe and simple.
In 2011, the company launched three selections for cats. Then in July 2012 Stella & Chewy's re-launched the line to include six cat foods, all with fun names - Chick Chick Chicken, Yummy Lickin' Salmon & Chicken, Duck Duck Goose, Heavenly Herring & Tuna, Sea-Licious Salmon & Cod and Tummy Ticklin' Turkey. They decided to offer each variety in two sizes: single-serving pouches and 12-ounce re-sealable bags.
Using novel proteins like duck, tuna and herring for cats isn't the only thing separating Stella & Chewy's from other brands; the single serve packages has given consumers the opportunity to purchase different varieties for their cats to 'taste test' before committing to a large bag.
Beth Hackney of Miami, Florida, human mom to two kitties with hard to please palates, really appreciated the launch of the single serve portions.
"I wanted to be sure Rocky and Peaches really enjoyed the food before investing in a month's worth," she said.
"My cats have never responded to any food like the Stella & Chewy's Heavenly Herring & Tuna," shared Hackney. "They could barely wait for me to open that first pouch. I swear - this is some sort of crack for cats.”
Now that the foods have been on the market for 8 months, I checked in with Marie Moody, Founder and Chairman of Stella & Chewy’s to see how they have been received.
What type of feedback are you getting from consumers?
The feedback has been outstanding. We are told every day that the palatability is incredible. Since cats are obligate carnivores, they really need raw meat in their diets and the freeze-dried is the easiest, most convenient way to accomplish this. Many cats do not take to frozen raw due to the cold temperature and the difference in texture between raw and canned food. Cats like eating food at the “kill temperature,” so rehydrating our freeze-dried dinners with warm water accomplishes this while also making the food the same consistency as a canned food.
Are consumers asking for even more varieties for cats?
We have found that out freeze-dried has been feeding very well, but cat parents still want more options. Since we came out with our exotic line for dogs, people have been asking if the rabbit and venison will be available for cats. I’m sure that when we come out with our next exotic flavor for dogs later this year, they will be asking for that as well. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is! You will have to wait and see (smile).
My cats love the Stella & Chewy's Carnivore Kisses. Any plans to introduce cat-sized versions of these amazing treats?
The Carnivore Kisses are perfect for cats. Being an all-meat treat, it is exactly the type of treat that any cat should be given. The Kisses are a great intro into the raw category for cats. We have looked at making them a bit smaller but that is still in development.
Many natural pet food stores carry Stella & Chewy’s. To find one near you or to purchase online, visit stellaandchewys.com and click on 'where to buy.'
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To contact Jodi directly, visit HolisticHealthyPets.net or email email@example.com