Mackle Petfoods has appointed David Shorthouse as its new business development manager, a move that will see a bigger focus to work more closely with independent retail and the pet trade across the UK.
While the group has seen its brand Naturo Natural Pet Foods reach shops in countries as far away as South Korea and Canada, it said that building the brand closer to home, across England, Scotland and Wales “remains a key focus”.
Commenting on the new role, he said “These are exciting times to be joining Mackle Petfoods, a family-owned business which holds huge potential. There are brand plans to the grow the pet specialist channel with a channel specific offering and we look forward to seeing what the future holds.”
Having previously received a £5.7m investment into the brand, Naturo has seen exceptionally strong growth in recent years, supported by expansion of the range which has included three new three new Grain and Gluten Free Cans in a Herb Jelly, Senior Dog variety pack, and Adult Mini Dog variety pack in the first quarter of 2021 alone.
Since its launch in 2010, Naturo has grown from four varieties to 38 in 2021. Ranges include dog food options in grain free trays, with rice trays, grain and gluten free cans and grain free dry food, as well as options for all stages of life from Puppy to Senior.
Operating over two state of the art facilities in Northern Ireland, Mackle Petfoods has also grown its capacity to produce 50 million trays and 70 million cans per year. These facilities have also allowed for the introduction of a new super-premium treat brand, Norsh Petfoods, another 100% natural offering of raw freeze-dried treats for dogs and cats.
Commenting on Natuo’s “significant growth”, commercial director, Elaine Hall, said: “We are proud to be Great Britain’s #1 Natural Wet Dog Food according to recent Nielsen data for Grocery Multiples, showing the biggest value growth in the Natural Dog Food Category. Naturo stands out in the pet trade market as a fantastic, natural option for dogs and cats.
“Last year, we launched a pet trade exclusive line of 12 pack formats, which have been extremely popular due to changing consumer habits of bulk buying. We have seen tremendous growth recently, and we plan to build on this even further.”