What Was The Inspiration For Setting Up Huxley Hound?
Mike & I are proud dachshund owners (Huxley & Rolo) and have always been very inquisitive about what we feed them. Earlier we’d made the decision to raw feed them without appreciating that when it comes to veg, a dog’s old-school anatomy is ill-equipped to break down the stubborn cellulose barrier that guards their all-important vitamins and minerals.Working with the learned Bio-Science department of Nottingham University we uncovered a dehydration process that unlocked the veggie’s defences, nudging the essential nutrients to the surface of our veggie slices which makes it so much easier for your pet to ingest them.We think of Huxley Hound as a ‘step change’ moment in better-for-you pet snacking, a long overdue remedy to the vast array of unhealthy over-processed pet food bites (nominal nutritional worth) currently clogging up the pet treat aisles.
In 2016 pet treats were worth £434m (107 tonnes produced)
Please understand that we’re not on some ill-judged mission to turn hard-core carnivores into vegetarians, however we do believe that top-notch veg has a leading role to play in the crafting of a well-balanced daily diet for dogs.
Describe a Typical Day at Huxley HQ?
Hold on to the seat of your pants YET immensely satisfying. In loose terms Mike is in charge of production whilst I head up sales, marketing and social media although exhibitions (PATS…) and events are a ‘shared’ adventure.
The dehydration process isn’t a ‘quick fix’ operation so unfortunately Mike spends many hours at our Guildford business unit nurturing and packaging our British born organic veg, liaising with learned partners like The Vegetarian & Vegan societies whose hard-earned accreditations sit proudly on our new packaging.
From my perspective spreading the word is pivotal to a young brand’s success so I spend a lot of time talking to our flourishing on line account base, our national independent pet store portfolio and any nationwide champions like Natural Pet Products and Fetch.
We believe very much in meeting our customers face-to-face (Twilight Bark, Pup Aid, PATS…) whilst doing what we can for our inspirational friends at Dogs On The Streets who focus on the ongoing well-being of those noble, four-legged companions that live on the streets with their homeless human companions.
Where Do You See Huxley in 5 Years’ Time?
I honestly believe that the world is our oyster. Export certainly has real legs since British-based companies are deemed Europe’s ‘wellness’ pioneers when it comes to healthier living meals and treats. (we’re already in Denmark).We also have a real opportunity in upmarket dog-friendly venues like hotels, bars and holiday venues that understand only too well that these days, dog owners are more dog parents. (pet food vending?). Obesity amongst UK dogs is rife (1 in 3 needs a dietary rethink) so it would be great to align with the great outdoor embracing institutes like the National Trust and Center Parcs
What Do You Think Will Be The 3 Biggest Food Trends of 2017?
Vegetarianism certainly has more distance to travel. There are already 3m vegetarians and 700,000 vegans in the UK.
Gluten-free – too many pet foods and treats are still riddled with cheap and inappropriate filler grains.
Artisan – When it comes to premium tier why trust cold, at arm’s length corporates to do right by your dog?
What Do You Like To Eat & Drink
Anything Japanese with a glass of fizz
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