Carbohydrates Are Wrecking the Health of America's Pets
But the Ketogenic diet is primed to revolutionize the pet food landscape.
Co-founder and CEO
I wrote the book on pet food. Literally. Prior to that, I built a highly-automated e-commerce pet business to $1M+ in passive income, without investors, employees, or an office. I'm also a lawyer.
|1||Raised $127,500 in equity investment prior to proof of concept.|
|2||Granted regulatory approval for two dry dog food formulations with less than 5% carbohydrate.|
|3||Completed 2nd most successful pet food Kickstarter campaign in history for our "minimum viable product," with more than $11,000 in funding raised from 100 new customers.|
|4||Founded by Daniel Schulof, the Dr. Atkins of the pet world and author of the only book ever devoted to the scientific benefits of a low-carb diet for pets.|
|5||The founding team grew our sister company (Varsity Pets) to more than $1M in revenue and more than 20,000 paying customers without any third-party investment.|
|6||In the two months since our "soft launch" -- operating with a limited budget, essentially no paid marketing, and selling only our minimum viable product -- our total revenues already exceed $15,000 and monthly subscriptions already exceed $1,000/month.|
But the Ketogenic diet is primed to revolutionize the pet food landscape.
Check out our financial information, the status of operations, and plans for 2018 and beyond.
Ketona is a complete and balanced dry dog food containing 75-90% less carbohydrate than other leading "ultra-premium" dry pet foods. While other kibbles rely heavily on starch ingredients (even so-called "grain-free" brands), Ketona uses a revolutionary, high-collagen formula in order to deliver healthy, delicious kibble with less than 5% digestible carbohydrate. It's made in the United States from natural ingredients, including non-GMO, antibiotic-free chicken.
There are more than 140 million dogs and cats in the United States and the American pet food market exceeds $28 billion/year. This makes the U.S. pet food market larger than the markets for craft beer, men's grooming products, mattresses, chips, energy bars, jerky, popcorn, and pretzels combined. The market is growing at more than 4% per year and is widely considered to be "recession-proof." 47% of pet-owners identify as "brand loyal" and buy their preferred brand regardless of coupons or other financial deals. Average household spending on pet food products in the United States among pet-owners is approximately $329/year.
The majority of pet food products being sold in America today contain 50-75% carbohydrate. As such, pet-owners looking to minimize the amount of carbohydrate in their pets' diets essentially have two options: (1) Premium "grain-free" kibbles and (2) Raw ingredient diets. Ketona combines the best of both worlds.
Of the twelve most popular "grain-free" kibbles in America today (including brands such as Orijen, Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild, and Natural Balance), the average carbohydrate content is more than 34%. Ketona is priced to compete with these leading brands but contains approximately 85% less carbohydrate.
On the other hand, commercial raw diets (such as Stella & Chewy's, Ollie, the Farmer's Dog, and Primal Pet Foods) often contain little (or no) carbohydrate. But they cost approximately 500% to 1,000% more than even the most expensive kibbles on the market on a per-calorie basis. These products also require elaborate refrigeration, preparation, and sanitation procedures.
Ketona provides the best of both worlds: the carbohydrate content of a raw diet with the cost and convenience of a kibble.
We understand that there is a robust and growing body of scientific evidence showing that dietary carbohydrates are the key drivers of obesity, cancer, osteoarthritis, and diabetes in dogs and cats. In the great majority of cases, eliminating carbs is simply the single healthiest nutritional change a pet-owner can make for his or her animals. Due to many years of bad-faith industry influence, this conclusion is not yet considered conventional wisdom (either among laypeople or veterinarians). But, having written the leading treatise on this subject, we understand the underlying evidence (and can explain it) as well as anyone else in the world.
We also have a deep understanding of the deceptive practices that leading pet food firms have long used to hide the dangers of carbohydrates from their customers. In the course of writing "Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma," our co-founder conducted copious firsthand research into the ways that leading pet food firms exert influence over veterinary clinicians, regulators, medical organizations, and consumers. Our institutional knowledge of these corrupt practices enables us to not only counteract them, but use them to our own advantage.
Critically, we also understand that leading pet food firms are unlikely to introduce their own competing brands of ketogenic kibbles, at least not anytime soon. This is because marketing low-carbohydrate pet food products inherently requires the vilification of carbohydrates. And, like tobacco companies faced with mounting evidence that smoking causes lung cancer, the core business models employed by leading pet food firms are simply too reliant upon carbohydrates to risk vilifying them for the sake of marginal growth.
By explaining to pet-owners why carbohydrates are so dangerous for their pets and by selling them ultra low-carbohydrate pet food products.
Primarily through internet-based marketing platforms. Creating and optimizing ROI-positive paid advertising campaigns on platforms such as Google Adwords, Facebook Advertising, Twitter Ads, and Amazon Sponsored Products is one of our core competencies. Our leadership team has abundant experience with all of these platforms and our primary customer-acquisition strategy over the next 12-18 months is to use that experience to target American pet-owners who, through their shopping habits and other behaviors, show a strong pre-existing belief in the benefits of low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets.
No, we don't think they will. The reason for this is all leading pet food brands use carbohydrate ingredients extensively in their recipes. Starchy carbohydrates are as central to the modern pet food industry as tobacco is to the cigarette industry or sugar is to the soda industry. As the science of ketogenic diets has emerged over the past 15 years, these businesses have fought tirelessly to protect the faltering reputation of the dietary carbohydrate. It would jeopardize their entire billion-dollar product lines to embrace a "carbs are bad" message. As such, we don't expect that they'll do so until the dangers of carbohydrate consumption are universally appreciated by consumers. By that time (likely a decade or more in the future), we expect to be a large enough enterprise that any competitive advantage enjoyed by leading brands has been minimized. We believe that leading brands will primarily aim to fight the emerging evidence on the benefits of carbohydrate-restriction, not embrace it with their own low-carbohydrate products.
There are hundreds of pet food brands operating today. And all of them claim that their products are uniquely "healthy." But these claims amount to hollow puffery and marketing jargon, not substantive, evidence-based argumentation. The supposed benefits of "fresh, wholesome ingredients" or "real food" or "human-grade nutrition" are vague and non-specific. There's no actual scientific evidence behind them. They are, in a word, bullsh@t.
KetoNatural is different. As explained in detail in "Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma" and as summarized in the various evidence review papers available for download from our main campaign page, there is real, valid, and compelling evidence that minimizing carbohydrate intake is likely to improve real, tangible health outcomes (obesity, cancer, diabetes, etc.) for dogs and cats. And KetoNatural is the first pet food company in the world to explicitly embrace an anti-carbohydrate message. This allows us to not only make sound and compelling arguments to regulators, veterinarians, public health authorities, media figures, and consumers, but to position ourselves as industry leaders as well.
We urge prospective investors to compare the KetoNatural website (particularly all the free educational resources we've gathered at our KetoNatural Academy) with the websites for leading pet food firms like Blue Buffalo, Purina, and Natural Balance. We think the differences will be obvious.
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