Healthy eating is sweeping the nation and the world. Millions are becoming more sensitive to the foods they strategically consume. From organic produce to preservative-free proteins or the occasional kale salad, the clean-eating trend has become a global phenomenon that is influencing diets far and wide.

Now, this trend is infiltrating the diets of our pets. Pet owners are becoming more aware that organic, nutrient-rich diets offer a variety of health benefits for their beloved dogs and cats. They are looking beyond the crusty kibble to alternative pet nutrition solutions that all pets can enjoy. Including, if they so choose, the pet owners themselves…

The Honest Kitchen is a pet nutrition company founded by pet nutritionist Lucy Postins. Lucy says the company was founded by accident. That may be true, but ultimately, it is a company born from solving a personal problem.

In 2002, Lucy’s dog Mosi, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, was suffering from chronic ear infections. Lucy was spending too much time and money on veterinarian visits, ear flushes, steroids and antibiotics for short-term results. She needed to find a solution that would help cure Mosi’s ear infections once and for all.

After determining that food was both the “culprit and potential medicine,” of the problem, she began working on a homemade, raw-food diet for Mosi’s.

Results were apparent within a few short weeks. Mosi’s health was continuously improving but the downside was that the family’s kitchen was a disaster.

“The raw food diet was incredibly messy to prepare,” said Postins.

But after considering Mosi’s impressive turnaround, Lucy began to ponder how she could help other pet owners dealing with similar situations. And how to keep the kitchen clean along the way.

“I landed on dehydration as a solution. Still a way to feed a healthy, whole-food diet without the mess. There was nothing like it in the market, so I decided to make a little business out of it,” added Postins.

Lucy took a $7,000 loan from her husband to launch and scale the business. She converted a spare bedroom into an office and the garage into a shipping center. After additional financing, The Honest Kitchen found its stride by focusing on quality and brand integrity.

“We (The Honest Kitchen) source food directly from human-food supply chains. The finished products are finalized by human-food producers,” said Postins. It’s rare for a pet food brand to be manufactured next to breakfast cereals and bakery mixes, but the practice helps ensure the products are held to the highest standards of quality and care.

After 14 years, the company has built a work force of over 50 employees and amassed $40 million in annual revenue last year. It has also been able to deliver 30 percent year-over-year growth during that time span.

The company’s innovative ways of manufacturing pet food helped them achieve a high honor from the Food and Drug Administration. “We are the first and only pet food company in the world to have FDA approval to say human-grade on our labels,” said Postins.

Critical decision-making happens often at The Honest Kitchen. Postins claims that avoiding “paralysis by analysis,” is key in making decisions. The company cares deeply about “maintaining a balanced mindset,” between the entrepreneurial energy of the company, and analytics. They understand the value data presents, “but still trust (our) gut in the end,” she said. One way the company is achieving this is by introducing new technologies that are helping the business run better.

With technology as a critical appliance in The Honest Kitchen, the company is able to better understand their customers. Specifically, buying habits and brand expectations. Postins hopes that a more dynamic relationship with The Honest Kitchen customer base will help better-articulate how the company should operate from the ground-up. By doing so, they can deliver better products to the right pets at the right time.

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The Honest Kitchen has become one of the most disruptive brands in the pet food industry with the help of SAP Business One. Learn more about the solution here and watch “beam” featuring Lucy Postins here (Link To-Be-Added). Be sure to check out more stories and content on Growth Matters Network, and when you are ready to upgrade your pet’s diet, order The Honest Kitchen online or find a retailer nearest you.