Partner blog post / 18 October 2023

“Companies bear the greatest responsibility for taking action” – How did Volare’s insect-based protein find its way into Dagmark’s sustainable cat food?

Founded in 2016, developing sustainable pet food has been a no-brainer for Dagsmark right from the start. In 2022, Dagsmark embarked on a partnership with Volare, resulting in the launch of their first cat food products featuring Volare's insect-based protein in March of this year. We explored the reasons behind Dagsmark's decision to expand their range of sustainable protein sources with Volare's insect-based protein.

Dagsmark cat food

1. Sustainable practices of companies have the greatest impact

The role of companies in environmental issues has been a highly discussed topic in recent years. It's undeniable that actions companies take can have a significant impact on the environment, and they play a crucial role in driving positive change.

Dagsmark, a Finnish company specializing in sustainable and high-quality pet food, recognized both the responsibility and the opportunity to create pet food that places sustainability at the forefront, and chose to act upon it.

“Companies bear the greatest responsibility for taking action because operating responsibly yields the most substantial impact, not only on the environment but on many other aspects as well. We embarked on this journey because we have the capability and the desire to make a positive difference," says Riikka Koskenohi, CEO of Dagsmark.

2. The demand for locally sourced, sustainable products is increasing

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in awareness of sustainability among consumers. While pet owners often prioritize various other factors when choosing pet food, they hold pet food manufacturers accountable for producing these items sustainably.

“Our research shows that consumers primarily base their pet food choices on factors like suitability, price, and taste. Most consumers assume that pet food companies prioritize sustainability, and it is often taken for granted.”

In particular, pet owners appreciate products based on locally sourced ingredients with short supply chains. This is also something Dagsmark is deeply committed to: ever since the company launched its first products in 2017, they have only used domestic ingredients.

3. The pet food industry needs more sustainable options

Dagsmark’s approach to product development is grounded in persistent research that has unveiled the importance of finding new sustainable alternatives to traditional protein sources.

Notably, concerns such as the ban on herring fishing in the Baltic Sea and increasing allergies to traditional animal proteins like chicken, pork, and beef have increased the interest towards alternative protein sources. This prompted Dagsmark to explore the potential of insect protein as a viable and eco-friendly source of nutrition for pets.

“The more we have sustainable choices to offer, the better it is for everyone involved in the quest for a sustainable future. So we scoured the market for insect suppliers, and while domestic options were limited, Volare emerged as a very promising partner for us.”

4. Insect protein is appetizing to cats known for their selective palates

One of the challenges in developing sustainable pet food based on alternative proteins is ensuring that it’s both tasty and nutritious to our furry friends. Cats, known for their discerning taste, can be particularly tricky to satisfy.

According to Riikka, the products featuring Volare’s insect-based protein have received overwhelming positive feedback from the customers.

“The positive reception is especially noteworthy because cats are known for their selective eating habits. The feedback has been a great source of encouragement and motivation, given the extensive product development efforts we invested to ensure both palatability and visual appeal of the products.”

Dagsmark’s customers are already eagerly waiting for a broader range of insect-based products, especially those tailored to dogs.

“It would be wonderful to introduce insect-based proteins into every product line we offer,” Riikka adds.

5. Shared values and a smooth collaboration with Volare

Key to successful and smooth collaborations lies in sharing mutual values and commitment. The pet food industry is often a challenging terrain to navigate in terms of sustainability with limited options for innovative partnerships. In Riikka's perspective on the collaboration with Volare, it's clear that Dagsmark has discovered an ideal partner for advancing their shared objectives.

"We have been truly grateful for the collaboration with Volare who are pioneers in their field. The synergy between our companies has been outstanding: we share the same spirit and values. Together, we strive to turn our words into actions, proving our commitment through such partnerships."