British pet food brand Omni has launched its first meat-like vegan dog food product capitalising on the growing demand for more sustainable pet food.
The vet-formulated wet food range has been a year in development with a patent pending, and currently consists of beef and chicken-style options, all supplemented with vegetables. There are also plans to expand into other styles including lamb, turkey and salmon in the coming months.
Omni is just one pet food company globally that is tapping into the growing market for vegan options. The trend stems from concerns about the environmental impact of conventional meat-based dog foods, as well as health considerations and the increasing humanisation of pet foods.
Other major players internationally include USA-based Wild Earth, Petaluma, V Dog, German-based VegDog, Italian-based Ami Foods and UK companies including The Pack, Noochy Poochy as well as major brand Lily’s Kitchen.
In 2023, the vegan dog food market was estimated to be worth US$ 13.58 bn. It is anticipated to register a CAGR of 7% from 2023 to 2033, reaching a value of US$ 26.35bn. (Future Market Insights).
The nutritional impact of a vegan diet
Omni founders are veterinary surgeon Dr Guy Sandelowsky and ex-investment Banker, Shiv Sivakumar, who work closely with Nottingham Vet School and various experts in the field of veterinary nutrition including those working closely with FEDIAF, the European regulator.
Dr Guy Sandelowsky told FeedNavigator: “We’ve developed a proprietary blend of plant and yeast proteins that provides dogs with an essential amino acid and fatty acid profile equivalent to meat. This ensures dogs get the essential nutrients they need to thrive.”
He added: “Our technology centres around a unique mixture of ingredients and cooking processes that has allowed us to create a fibrous juicy mouth feel and texture that is likeable to chewing chunks of chicken and beef, without using any animal ingredients - we’ve a patent pending for the invention.”
There has been concern raised about the nutritional impact of vegan foods on dogs’ diets. But increasing amounts of research on the benefits of vegan food for dogs is being released which has prompted the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to conduct a review which is currently ongoing.
Alternative diets for pets
British Veterinary Association (BVA) senior vice president Justine Shotton told FeedNavigator: “There is increasing interest amongst pet owners around alternative diets for pets and whilst there is a lot of ongoing research into the impacts of vegan diets in particular, there has been a lack of robust data mapping the health consequences of this diet over time.”
She added: “In light of ongoing research, the BVA recently convened a companion animal feeding working group which will inform our recommendations going forward.”
However, trade association UK Pet Food in its latest Vegetarian and Vegan Diets Factsheet said that dogs are omnivorous carnivores which meaning that they can digest and utilise both animal- and plant-based ingredients.
The factsheet said: “Their physiology can adapt to a well-balanced and carefully formulated vegetarian or vegan diet, given their individual circumstances.”