California-based all-natural pet food producer Canidae is worth several million dollars, a rare feat for a family-run company with 65 employees. Canidae controls every ingredient and step of its supply chain, and it owns a small plant in Texas that Marketing Director Rafi Kalachian likens to a microbrewery. Despite giants Mars and Nestle entering the natural pet food market, Canidae has shown 40% growth year over year.
Satin bow ties, bejeweled collars and luxurious beds are among top treats owners can give their pets as pampering becomes increasingly fashionable. The pet-supply industry grew 4% last year, according to APPA, and some small-business owners have noted marked increases in business in the past 10 years.
Natural pet food is a growing trend, and Nestle Purina PetCare is jumping on board. The company's Beyond brand features "super foods" for pets, such as pumpkin and sweet potato. In the next few years, natural pet foods could make up about 25% of the sector, according to Beyond Brand Director Amanda Culbertson-Kraemer.
Nestle's Purina PetCare ranked first in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Top Workplaces survey, due in large part to the benefits it provides employees to stay healthy. Its campus features tree-lined trails for walking, and the company provides on-site massages and a dietitian. Employees also can take free tests to measure blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, weight and body mass index, and they can take their pets to work every day.