Finnish natural dog food Mush spreads internationally
There is a reason dogs are called man’s best friend. We want to do the best for our closest animal companions, and recent research suggests raw food is healthier than dry or cooked alternatives. The Finnish company Mush have been making raw food since the 1980s and now find their products in high demand.
“All of our products are natural and we are imitating the food that dogs have been eating the last 30 000 years and what a canine would eat by instinct, if it was living in the wild,” says Petri Tapio, brand and marketing director of Mush.
Many dog foods contain cooked meats, grains and various preservatives. Proponents of raw feeding say that it is more natural and healthy for dogs to eat raw meat, bones and organs. Mush’s food contains beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, eggs, oils and vegetables, as well as a few more ingredients with a Nordic touch.
“We know where our ingredients come from: Finnish family farms, except for reindeer which is roaming free in Finnish and Swedish Lapland, and salmon which comes from fish farms in Norway which are certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council,” continues Tapio.
Mush’s product line Vaisto – meaning “instinct” in Finnish – contain between 90 and 95 per cent meat, bones and organs while the remainder is vegetables. There are no grains, additives or preservatives, and the food is not heated. This is the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet.
“All our products are as little processed as possible. We mix fresh, raw ingredients that are identically quick frozen. You are able to use our Vaisto product series just like commercial dry food, with the one exception that you have to remember to defrost it before serving.”
10 years ago most of Mush’s customers were professional dog handlers or owned working dogs, but there were more people interested in the raw food diet besides kennels, hunters and sled dog mushers. In 2010 the company targeted individual consumers, and they had perfect timing as raw feeding grew in popularity. Between 2011 and 2013 Mush’s sales almost tripled and they are seeing strong international demand.
“Today our products can be found in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Slovenia. In Germany we just entered the Fressnapf pet food chain. The next step is to build the retail network in Germany to its full potential,” says Tapio.
The public appetite for quality raw food for their pets is such that Mush sees even more international market opportunities.
“We open in Denmark this autumn as we are signing a contract with a local distributor. We currently have ongoing negotiations in several European countries. The next larger market to enter will be the UK.”
Text: David J. Cord
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