Vegan dog brand Omni inks deal with European pet retailing giant

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Vegan dog brand Omni forms partnership with Fressnapf

Related tags Yeast Algae Omni dog pet food lab meat

UK-based vegan dog food company, Omni, has formed a strategic partnership with Fressnapf, a major German pet retailer boasting over 1,400 stores across Europe.

Omni's product line features plant, yeast, and algae proteins; the startup's dry life stage diets for puppies, adults, and seniors, as well as a functional treat range promoting joint and gut health will be available to Fressnapf's online customers.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone for Omni, propelling the startup into the mainstream pet food market, co-founder and co-CEO Shiv Sivakumar told this publication, with the former investment banker noting the positive shift in attitudes towards vegan and plant-based pet food.

Research and collaborative efforts, he says, have helped shape a more receptive environment: “The narrative is shifting, getting the largest pet retailer in the European market to add a brand like Omni to its online listing is a step in the right direction for pet health and for the environment.”

Established by Sivakumar and veterinary surgeon Dr Guy Sandelowsky, Omni maintains a longstanding partnership with a third-party manufacturer, leveraging its extensive European scale to achieve substantial production capacity. “We never wanted to be a small player in this market. We want to become large and disruptive.”

Beyond dry pet food and treats, Omni's diverse portfolio includes a taste topper and wet food designed to emulate the taste and texture ​of chicken and beef, all without animal ingredients. The startup reports sales growth of over 70% since January, generating £1.6 million (US$2.03m) in sales in the UK.

The company has secured financial backing from food tech investors, and it also launched a crowdfunding round last year. “We have raised around £1.8m to date, and a new funding round is currently underway.”

Research and development

The Omni team, he explains, spent a year undertaking research and development work, experimenting with recipes until they reached a point where dogs were selecting their diets above some of the market-leading conventional meat-based brands.

In collaboration with its manufacturing partner, the startup focuses heavily on ensuring quality ingredient sourcing, with an emphasis on freshness of ingredients. “We spent a lot of time at the start ensuring our supply chain was robust and reliable and of high quality, and I think that did make a difference when it came to taste test trials.”

Moreover, Omni backs its offerings with research data, citing peer-reviewed studies​ supporting plant-based diets for dogs. The startup says its own research​, conducted in collaboration with the University of Nottingham Vet School, indicates statistically significant improvements in gut and skin health among dogs on Omni for 3-12 months.

Climate impact

“We batch test all our production to ensure that the amino acids, vitamin, and minerals levels meet or surpass FEDIAP guidelines. What sets us apart is that we are vet-founded brand, so we are doing things in a scientific way, but, ultimately, dogs love our food, and that's shown by the loyal customer base that we already have,” Shiv Sivakumar, co-CEO, Omni. Photo credit: GettyImages/PK-Photos

Environmental sustainability is a key focus for Omni, which collaborated with ClimatePartners to assess the carbon emissions of its dog food. The findings revealed a substantial reduction in carbon impact compared to meat-based diets, claims the founder.

In line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol), the study's boundary followed a ‘cradle-to-customer plus waste’ approach. Emissions were considered according to the following lifecycle stages: Extraction and pre-processing of raw materials and packaging, production, supply of the product up to the customer’s factory gates as well as any relevant disposal emissions for the product and its packaging.

The findings showed that an average size dog on a meat diet had a carbon impact of 770 kg of CO2e per year, whereas the equivalent on the Omni diet had a carbon impact of 205.2 kg of CO2e per year. That translates as carbon savings of 565 kg of CO2e per year per dog or 73% fewer emissions on the vegan brand, says Sivakumar.


Looking ahead, Omni is exploring further innovation in the cultivated meat space, teasing a potential ground-breaking announcement in the coming month. This aligns with a broader trend in the industry, as evidenced by Czech start-up Bene Meat Technologies securing EU registration​ for lab-grown meat for use in pet food.

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