The treat provides conscious consumers and pups an option that embodies the values of circular economy. Insect treats have caught the attention and curiosity of dog owners.
Pet food has a new category: insect-based dry foods and treats are here to stay. Insect-based products have many claims that make them the perfect option for pet food and treats. This raw material is not only healthy and nutritional, but it's also very eco-conscious when compared to traditional animal proteins. Although insect protein has been all the buzz lately, a Nordic option has not been available. The insect ingredient has so far been manufactured elsewhere in Europe and beyond.
Now Alvar Pet and Volare are bringing a fully Nordic insect treat to the market - making it the first Nordic option dog owners have had in insect products. The launch caters to consumers who prefer locally produced alternatives.
Alvar's insect treats the main ingredient, black soldier fly meal is produced at the demonstration facility of Volare in the Finnish town of Hyvinkää. The ingredient is mixed to a minimal amount of other raw materials and made into a final product by the production partner Premium Pet Food in Lieto, Finland.
Result of meticulous product development
The partnership between Alvar Pet and Volare began in 2021 when the companies conducted a consumer pilot of dried insects as dog treats. According to the feedback collected, 60% of dog owners were interested in insect-based treats. The positive signals encouraged the startups to further develop the product. Fast forward to the autumn of 2022 the final product is finally hitting the virtual shelves of Alvar Pet’s online store.
“We are really excited to be able to provide a new sustainable option for pet parents with Alvar Pet. To our understanding, this is the very first insect-based dog food made with Nordic ingredients, and developing it together with Alvar Pet and Premium Pet Food has been a great journey!” says Jarna Hyvönen, COO of Volare.
Customer feedback as the inspiration
“Insect-based treats have been highly requested by our customers”, tells Henna Söderholm, Alvar Pet’s CPO & veterinarian. “Dog owners want variation and new, innovative products to try out.” Insects are a novel ingredient in pet food, which also makes them well-suited for dogs with sensitivities and allergies to traditional, common ingredients. “To create a product that ticks those boxes, we’ve developed a recipe with a very short and simple ingredient list of only natural ingredients.”
Insects are a good choice for the eco-consious dog
Using Volare’s larvae as an ingredient advances the circular economy and minimizes waste. The maggots are fed with food production sidestreams such as oat hulls and grains that would otherwise be wasted.
Due to the combination of clever usage of technology and the natural superpowers of the black soldier fly, the emissions of the larvae ingredient is among the lowest protein sources in the world.
“By using ingredients produced in the Nordics, we can minimize the carbon paw print even further, as the logistical distances are reduced” Söderholm explains.Figures are based a customer questionnaire conducted by Alvar Pet, January–February 2021