While the market value of pet food around the world is massive, only about 2% of all pet food is made from insect-based protein. This has created a huge untapped opportunity for manufacturers of pet food made this way.
Orgafeed developed Laika pet food from a desire to promote sustainability. Insects can consume many different types of food waste, contributing to better food waste management.
“The insect that our company raises is the black soldier fly which provides a clean and safe source of protein,” says the company’s co-founder Ittikorn Thepmani. “We are also the first company in Asia to use insect protein for pet food.”
According to Thepmani, the company takes pride in upcycling food waste into a sustainable source of protein which is also environmentally-friendly. Moreover, insect-based protein was selected as a key ingredient for Laika dog treat recipes because they are high in protein, have healthy fat, and are a great source of vitamins and minerals suitable for a healthy dog diet.
“Laika currently offers two formulas of dog treats. The first is the Cotton Touch formula which promotes a healthy skin and a soft coat, while the second, Happy Vitamin, helps boost a dog’s immune system and body maintenance,” says Thepmani.
The co-founder of Laika believes the company can help drive the circular economy in Thailand, and that dogs can play a role in this initiative. However, to really make an impact on food waste management, Laika needs to expand its customer base to other countries.
While Thepmani is interested in penetrating the pet food market in China due to its high potential, he is also exploring the possibility to export to other Asian countries, such as Japan and Taiwan.
Thepmani states that consumers are now looking for unique products to reflect their identity, thus, they are more open to considering alternative sources of protein, such as lab-grown meat, plant-based meat and insect protein.
“I think Thailand will greatly benefit from this trend, as the government is already promoting this industry,” he says. “Consumers in Europe and the US are looking for more sustainable products and this awareness is likely to spread to other regions in the future.”
For more information, please visit www.laikapetfood.com
Words by Pimsirinuch Borsub