Pets for the Environment

BareItAll Pet Foods

2. Zero Hunger 14. Life Below Water 15. Life on Land

Overview

BareItAll Pet Foods is a sustainable pet food company focusing on the health of pets, the environment, and the community. Through their platform they promote the elimination of euthanization of dogs and cats nationwide. BareItAll Pet Foods focuses on the reduction of the Asian Carp population to prevent their spread into the Great Lakes by using them as their main ingredient within their line of products. They believe fully in honesty and transparency with the ingredient for their products which is why they only use ingredients their customers know about and are comfortable with.

Authors

Caroline Hitt

Caroline Hitt

Natalie Klitz

Natalie Klitz

School

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

Professor

Nancy Landrum

Nancy Landrum

Innovation

BareItAll Pet Foods receives a majority of their supply of Asian Carp from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, who they have a contract with, but they also recieve Asian Carp from local fishermen. BareItAll Pet Foods uses the “Pantry Principle” for their ingredients which is the use of natural ingredients that consumers would find in their home, such as mango, flax seed, and peas. The company strongly believes in full transparency with what they put into their products. To uphold this belief they clearly explain the health benefits of each ingredient on the back of their packaging. They are working to push-back against “greenwashing” by highlighting their philosophy of full transparency. BareItAll Pet Foods also switched to rice paper as a means to differentiate themselves from the competition. Their product can be found mostly in “Mom n’ Pop” shops because they tend to sell more organic and unique products. BareItAll Pet Foods chooses to sell in the region where the Asian Carp issue is more prevalent (i.e. along the Mississippi River, Saint Louis area).

The use of Asian Carp as the main ingredient in their products support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of zero hunger and life under water. The use of Asian Carp allows for other aquatic life to grow and flourish without the threat of this invasive species. This, in effect, increases aquatic food supplies used to feed humans in the Mississippi River Basin. By using Asian Carp, the population threatening native species is reduced and also makes consumers aware of the problem at hand. Animals who use BareItAll pet foods also benefit from the high protein content and the nutritional benefit of locally sourced organic ingredients.

Asian Carp in nature can be incredibly destructive to species in water and on land. The species disrupts the biodiversity of native environments and in extreme cases can lead to the displacement or elimination of a species. The founders of BareItAll saw the struggle to combat this issue and took it as an area of opportunity to incorporate into their business model. Their unique business model aims to protect local biodiversity, push back against invasive species, and contribute to the fifteenth UN Sustainable Development Goal, Life on Land.

Pets for the Environment

Inspiration

BareItAll Pet Foods began with a mutual interest in entrepreneurship, dogs, culinary, and sustainability. Michael Cody knew from the beginning that he wanted to start a business that had an environmental or social aspect. He knew that there was more than the economical side. The founders were most excited when they made the shift to using a manufacturer in Wisconsin rather than hand packaging all of their products themselves. This advancement allowed them to take the next step forward with their growing business and gave them the opportunity to focus on other aspects of their operation.

Overall impact

Since their company is still in its growth phase, it is difficult to tell what the full long-term effects of their innovation will be. However, in BareItAll's first 5 years they have grown and expanded greatly. Their products can now be found in 64 different locations from Connecticut to Oregon, they have expanded their product line to include a variety of flavor combinations, and will soon include more invasive species in addition to Asian Carp as part of their ingredients. These are a portion of some of the short-term effects of their innovation but has paved a way for further growth in the future. The more BareItAll continues to grow, the more Asian Carp will be out of our ecosystems and the more funding that will be able to go to animal shelters and rescues. Ultimately, the more this company grows, the greater their platform is to give back and do good both locally and nationally, and they are on the right path to do so.

Business benefit

BareItAll’s competitive edge is their use of an invasive species in their product line. This allows them to have suppliers who are more than willing to provide a steady supply of Asian Carp and gives them an opportunity to have a positive impact on their local environment. Asian Carp provide natural nutritional benefits for our loveable furry friends and keeps them healthy inside and out.

Michael and Logan are now looking into incorporating other invasive species into their products beyond Asian Carp. One of these new add-ins will be wild boar from Texas. Wild boars have become a major problem for locals and have become dangerous to the native environment. BareItAll Pet Foods will be launching a new line of products that will integrate wild boar in the next 3-6 months, so keep an eye out!

Social and environmental benefit

From the foundation of their company, Michael Cody and Logan Honeycutt have placed a strong focus on sustainability. Their decision to use Asian Carp in their products served as the first stepping stone towards sustainable practices. They consistently evaluate their production process to identify areas of opportunity and how they can solve them. An example of this is when they switched from plastic to rice paper for their packaging. Rice paper is a better alternative to plastic packaging and serves as a more sustainable option than plastic.

Not only do they have a focus in environmental sustainability, they have also put an emphasis on social sustainability, by partnering with local animal shelters and the Shedd Aquarium. BareItAll partnered with the Shedd Aquarium within their first year of business and has contributed to their dog rescue program. They also partnered with the Anti-Cruelty Society by donating treats to them and sponsoring an adoption fee for one animal per month. These partnerships support their cause to end systematic euthanasia within animal shelters.

Interview

Michael Cody, Co-Founder and CEO, Operations

Photo of interviewee

Keep this story going! Share below!

BareItAll Pet Foods

BareItAll Pet Foods

Chicago, Illinnois, US

Business Website: bareitallpetfoods.com

Year Founded: 2014

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

BareItAll Pet Foods is a company based on honesty and transparency that strives to produce healthy understandable pet treats, eradicate institutionalized euthanasia of cats and dogs nationally, and reduce the Asian Carp populations in the Midwest Region.