Americans’ love for pets pays off for Carnivore

Posted on Jan 30, 2019 :: Editor , Editor’s Insights
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

will freely admit it: My family is right at the tipping point of having too many pets with three cats, two bunnies and a guinea pig. We are not alone when it comes to being pet lovers. An estimated 68 percent of Americans own pets and spent nearly $70 billion on food, vet care, supplies, pet services and more on them in 2017, according to an American Pet Products Association survey. In short, Americans are not afraid to spend money — in some cases a lot of money — on their pets.

Green Bay-based Carnivore Meat Co. is part of that trend. The manufacturer of premium-quality, raw frozen and freeze-dried pet food and treats under the Vital Essentials brand has grown dramatically in recent years as word has spread about its innovative products, including its Raw Bar. Carnivore also is a great comeback story since owner Lanny Viegut purchased the company when it was really struggling and was able to turn it around. To learn more about Carnivore, please see Jessica Thiel’s cover story starting on page 20.

While the specialized pet food industry is going strong, Wisconsin’s dairy industry is struggling. Record-low milk prices and declining exports have followed the retaliatory tariffs leveled by other countries in response to U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum and other products. In this month’s Insight Insider starting on page 28, I look at some of the causes of low milk prices and what advice farmers are receiving to help them hang on until prices increase.

As you page through this month’s Insight, take notice of our Anniversaries section, which celebrates businesses throughout the region that are marking milestones in 2019. It’s wonderful to see so many companies marking more than 100 years of doing business in our communities — that is something we can all be proud of.