News Industry Profile Nutriment



Industry Profile: Nutriment
10th August 2016

By Sandra Pearce

Organic food specialist Laverstoke Park Farm has partnered with Nutriment to launch a range of raw dog food. Laverstoke owner Jody Scheckter and Nutriment founder Suzanne Brock talk about this joint venture

The Laverstoke range comprises five organic raw dog foods

Laverstoke Park Farm has an award-winning range of organic products, many of which are sold through Waitrose and Ocado. Pret A Manger uses its buffalo mozzarella in its summer salad, and the farm supplies buffalo meat to the Gourmet Kitchen Burger for use in hamburgers.

Ex-racing driver and Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter started Laverstoke Park Farm with the goal of producing ‘the best-tasting, healthiest food without compromise’ for himself and his family. Located in Overton, Hampshire, the farm has pigs, cows, sheep and water buffalo, and this month launches its new range of organic raw dog food comprising five varieties: Chicken; Chicken & Tripe; Lamb & Tripe; Beef with Bone and Wild Venison with Duck & Beef.

The 2,500-acre farm, classed as organic by the Soil Association, follows biodynamic principles, which basically means the farm has a holistic philosophy: good, fertile soil leads to healthy plant growth, which in turn provides good nutrition for the animals that feed on it and inevitably better tasting, healthy food for people. It’s not a case of ‘You are what you eat’ but ‘you are what your animals eat’, said Jody.

The exact same principles and philosophy that govern the farm have been applied to the manufacture of this new range of dog food – every single ingredient used in it is certified organic.

Why should dogs be any different?
Jody believes processed foods have contributed to many of the health problems of today, and believes the same applies to dogs. “What does a dog eat in nature? It eats raw food. We would not be healthy if we ate biscuits all the time,” he said.

Laverstoke did offer a raw food range, but in Jody’s words: “Because it was one of my other businesses, we were gliding along and not going very far.”

Then one day, Nutriment’s Suzanne Brock got in touch because she was looking to source an organic range of treats. Suzanne said:
“Laverstoke have the best ethics and a quality product range, and the conversation eventually turned to us working together.”

New facility has enabled Nutriment to double production

The partnership saw Nutriment move into its new state-of-the-art temperature-controlled production facility at Laverstoke, effectively doubling its production, and developing the Laverstoke Park Farm range of dog food as a sub-brand. Out went Laverstoke’s original 12 skus, and in came a sleek range of five offerings, in striking, stylised packaging.
The two brands complement each other perfectly, she said. Nutriment’s portfolio comprises Just, Nutriment Core and Dinner for Dogs and offers a complete pet food range with added vegetables and supplements, whereas the Laverstoke range is 100% organic and adheres to BARF’s 80:10:10 ratio of meat, offal and bones.

It’s two different products, and two targeted audiences, she said. Both are super premium offerings, with the Laverstoke brand serving an untapped niche sector. “It has the potential to grow to become a really popular high-end food.”

Production runs will be on separate days to preserve the organic range’s integrity, and the facility is subject to a deep clean every night. Ingredients have been sourced from organic UK suppliers ‘who are excited by what we are doing’, said Suzanne. The range is in the process of being certified organic by the Soil Association.

While the food offering is available now, the air-dried organic liver and beef treats will be released this month, she said.

To encourage retailers to trial the Laverstoke brand, retailers are being offered high margins. She explained: “When you bring out a new product, you want to make margins work. We are offering even better margins than Nutriment on this range. Laverstoke is opening a new market with its quality and good name.”

Laverstoke Park Farm will launch a range of air-dried organic treats later this month

Apart from the launch of the Laverstoke food and treats, Nutriment has a further reason for celebrations this month – its third anniversary. Turnover this year is expected to hit £5m, up from £1.4m in year one, with the company scooping a number of awards in the last 12 months including the prestigious Artemis Award at the NatWest Everywoman Awards. It now produces 200 tonnes of raw food a month, with 300 stockists selling its range – “We are always planning and coming up with new ideas because we love what we do.”

She added: “We feel a strong affinity to the independent trade that has been instrumental in our early success, and while many have been quick to embrace the raw opportunity, there is still plenty of scope for growth. We are now at a stage where existing and new pet food providers are entering the raw fray. Competition is good, of course, but a time will come when a few brands will stand head and shoulders above the pack, and then those brands will be perfectly placed to take even bigger strides.”