Bug-based dog supplements from small-batch start-up

Neo Bites, a pet supplement start-up based in Austin, has launched its first insect-based dog…

Neo Bites, a pet supplement start-up based in Austin, has launched its first insect-based dog meal topper range. The superfood-enriched powder is added to meals, making them more palatable to dogs.

Each Neo Bite hypoallergenic topper flavour meets a specific health need. They include a Health Aid Topper formulated with kale, oats, turmeric and kelp; a Digestive Aid Topper made with ginger, pumpkin, apple and oats; and a Skin & Coat Aid Topper formulated with flaxseed and peanut. Their products are made at a small-batch scale in Austin.

Neo Bites’ range offers an alternative to conventional dog feed which tends to be highly processed and filled with artificial preservatives. “Our products are designed to improve dogs’ lives and can satisfy even the most picky eaters,” said Winslow Marshall, co-founder of Neo Bites. “Dog lovers can trust that our dog food toppers are filled with the nutrients that are missing from legacy pet food.”

Insect protein emits far less greenhouse gases than the carbon-intensive proteins traditionally used in dog food. A UCLA study in 2017 found that cats and dogs are responsible for 25-30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the USA.

The company is working sustainability practices into all aspects of its operations. It is the first carbon negative dog company in the US. It has been certified carbon negative by CIRCA, a certification scheme that accounts for a range of greenhouse gases beyond just carbon dioxide. CIRCA is currently running a private pilot scheme for its certification and offsetting services.

Wesley shared Neo Bites’ next steps: “Following this product launch we’re focused on building up our distribution channels – our direct-to-consumer site, Amazon, Thrive Market, and regional grocery. We’ll be back in R&D closer to Q2 of next year to continue to build out our product portfolio.”

Neo Bites was founded in 2019 by Wesley Cooper and Winslow Marshall. The co-founders got talking about their shared passions for sustainability and dogs in a Zoom networking event during lockdown.

The insect-based pet food market has soared to meet rising demand for grain-free, high-protein pet food that is sustainable. Future Market Insights predicts sales of insect-based pet food will total US$ 7.09 Bn in 2021.