Freshpet and Tyson team for deli food for dogs

Tyson, know as a processor of meat products for humans, is allying with Freshpet for the first national line of refrigerated dog food, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Freshpet wants to provide pet food similar to human food in taste, small and appearance.  Tyson wants a product that will help complement its other meat products, which are subject to high commodity costs and slowing consumer demand for expensive cuts.  Both say that the humanization of pets trend will continue, with devoted owners willing to feed their pets pricier food.

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Tyson took a minority stake in privately held Freshpet and will provide the research labs and the refrigerated trucks needed to distribute the products.  The products, however, will be branded as Freshpet.  A Tyson exec predicts that the fresh pet food market will reach $500 million in sales in five years and wants Freshpet to be a dominant player.  Freshpet’s 2008 sales were under $100 million.

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