Petsource by Scoular expands to cater for growing pet food demand in US

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Petsource by Scoular facility expansion

Related tags Scoular pet

Petsource by Scoular, the US-based manufacturer, is expanding its operations to cater for the growing demand for freeze-dried pet food in North America.

The company, which produces clean-label freeze-dried pet food, treats and toppers, has completed a $75m expansion of its plant in Seward, Nebraska. This has tripled the capacity of the facility providing an additional 70,000 sq. ft. of freeze-dried pet food ingredient manufacturing space. The facility offers all the manufacturing steps together from recipe development to raw meat processing, freeze-drying, and packaging.

Chad Kucks, director of commercial operations at Petsource by Scoular, told FeedNavigator that there is “high” demand from pet food manufacturers who are looking to expand and launch new products to market. While any upscale in production at the plant would be strategic, including working with the right partners, this additional production space could almost be filled now, Kucks revealed.

“We knew there was a high amount of demand within the market, but we just didn’t understand how big it was,” he said.

“As soon as we realized there was more need and there were more brands that needed our help and capability, we said we want to keep this freeze-dried category rolling and create more opportunities.”

The Petsource expansion is a critical component to the larger strategic growth plans of its parent company.

“Scoular is very interested in adding capacity and capabilities to the pet food market as needed, whether that is freeze-dried or some other product categories in the future,” he added.

Kucks said that the increasing demand has been impacted by growing numbers of pet owners in North America which “exploded” after the Covid pandemic when people working at home wanted the company of a pet.

He said: “There has been a new change in the dynamic of how people are feeding their animals. What the industry is going through right now is the humanization of pet food. There are a lot of animal owners that want to feed their dogs as good or better than they feed themselves or their own children.”


Freeze-dried is proving popular as it includes high-quality ingredients that retain composition and nutritional values as well as having a long shelf life, Kucks explained. Petsource uses human grade meat combined with fruit and vegetables that are blended to produce a full meal or a single ingredient treat that is made of products such as cow liver or organ muscle.

“These items are obviously highly nutritious for the animal and far exceed what you would get out of a kibble,” he said.

“The market is growing because there is a trend for higher quality ingredients.”

'Food to go' for pets

Kucks predicts more innovation in the pet food sector within packaging as he believes “food- to-go” for pets is set be a growing trend.

“Having opportunities to feed treats and food on the go beyond the traditional bowl are going to be interesting innovations as people take their dogs everywhere they go,” he predicts.

He also sees potential opportunity for freeze-dried products with plant-based and novel ingredients such as insects.

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