2 Pet Food Startups Receive Pet Care Innovation Prize

ST. LOUIS — Purina announced startups Bright Planet Pet and uPetsia as the winners of the 2022 Pet Care Innovation Award. Other winners include FluentPet, Paway and QSM Diagnostics. Purina’s award recognizes some of the innovative products and startups in the pet care industry.

Minnesota-based Bright Planet Pet makes plant-based dog treats that taste and smell like meat and are formulated with sustainable, natural ingredients. According to the company, its treats create up to 90% fewer carbon emissions and use 68% less water compared to meat-based treats. Bright Planet is also donating to plant a tree for every bag of goodies sold.

Arizona-based uPetsia tackles bad breath in dogs by modifying dogs’ natural oral bacteria to create a minty aroma. This bacteria can be used in dog treats and food formulations, giving them a naturally minty breath for hours.

According to Purina, more than 120 companies in 75 cities around the world applied for the 2022 Pet Care Innovation Award. Bright Planet and uPetsia, along with the three other winners, will receive $10,000, mentorship from the Purina’s innovation team and will be able to participate in an accelerator boot camp with pet industry experts.

The five winners will then have the opportunity to pitch their companies to industry influencers and investors, who will choose an ultimate winner. The winner will be chosen at the Global Pet Expo 2022 and will receive an additional $10,000 in cash.

Purina’s Pet Care Innovation Prize is a collaboration between the company’s 9 Square Ventures group and executives at Active Capital. Companies are looking for innovative startups that strive to meet the needs of pets and pet owners in health and wellness, nutrition, technology, services, and litter.

“This year’s class of winners showcases the breadth of opportunity that exists in the pet care industry,” said Blair Morgan, co-director of 9 Square Ventures and vice president of strategy and innovation. at Purina. “From pet technology to diagnostics, each company is unique, but all are driven by a shared love for pets and a desire to have a positive impact on their lives, which is also the cornerstone of Purina’s mission. »

Since its inception in 2014, Purina’s 9 Square Ventures group has invested millions of dollars in a diverse range of pet care startups.

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Marie R. McCraw