Raw and natural pet food business Natures Menu is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month.
Founded in 1981 as Anglian Meat Products, the company began producing biologically appropriate raw foods (BARF) for pets as a small family-run business in Norfolk.
Initially selling a limited range of simple minced meats to breeders, it was encouraged by passionate customers to produce an even wider selection of meats including British beef, Welsh lamb, fish from Lowestoft and many other products sourced from local specialists.
Chairman Craig Taylor joined the family business at just 16 years old and in 2012 – at the height of the banking disaster – he borrowed £8.5m to lead a management buyout (MBO) and has since grown the company five times over.
Fast forward to 2021 and Natures Menu is Europe’s leading expert in raw and natural dog and cat food. Now located in Snetterton, Norfolk, it is a multi-million-pound business and produces an estimated 20,000 tonnes of raw and natural pet food a year, supplying 3,500 shops across the UK.
The company employs more than 240 people locally and in 2017 opened a state-of-the-art new 11,000sq m factory in Snetterton – the result of a £12.5m construction and infrastructure investment and a £4.5m spend on new equipment. This made it the largest investment in raw pet food production in Europe.
At a time when many businesses have struggled due to the pandemic, Natures Menu has continued to grow and thrive as pet ownership has increased considerably over the past 12 months, with 14% year-on-year growth in turnover.
Managing director James Langan said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating an incredible 40 years in operation. We share our success with our loyal customers and retailers and I feel very proud of the company’s continued passion to deliver high quality pet food to four-legged family members across the country for four decades.
“Our 40th year will be an exciting one, with plenty of new product development in the pipeline for both dog and cat, as well as new plans to continue developing our sustainability as a business. We’ll also continue to focus on our expertise in pet nutrition and advice with further episodes planned for our podcast The Pupcast, plus there’s some interesting work with industry and brand partners on the horizon too.”
Natures Menu specialises in natural dog and cat food made with fully traceable quality meats and fish, blended vegetables, fruits and healthy carbohydrates – and uses British suppliers and ethical product sources wherever possible.