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Things nearly turned ugly for you. You almost ended up becoming a banker?
"Haha, yes," laughs Pernilla Westergren, founder, and CEO of Petgood.
"I was an investment banker in London and worked for a Nordic private equity company. But I have always been passionate about sustainability issues and wanted to make an impact."
Petgood makes dog food from insects. This means that the food has a much smaller climate impact than meat-based dog food. That climate impact is more significant than you might think—dog and cat food account for 25 percent of global meat consumption.
"Having a dog has as great a climate impact as having a car if the dog eats meat-based food," says Pernilla Westergren.
When she got a puppy, she discovered the problems with traditional dog food. She has always loved dogs but never had the time to take care of a puppy. When Covid-19 happened and we started to work from home, she took the chance and bought a yellow labrador, Siri.
"We then began to question what food we were giving her. She wasn't feeling well, so we contacted several dog food companies and got very vague answers about the food content. In addition to this, we also realized how much climate impact the dog food had."
When Pernilla Westergren thought about her food consumption, she had come across insects, and she thought it could also apply to dog food.
"Not only do insects have much less climate impact, but it is also a high-quality protein source for dogs. So it was a real win-win".
How did you decide to leave investment banking and become a dog food entrepreneur?
"It was not that I was actively on the hunt for business ideas. It was more that I felt that here is an opportunity to make a big difference and this is something I am passionate about".
Petfood buys the insects from a Dutch company, Protix. They are raised in an insect farm, live in composts, and eat food waste. A dream life, if you are an insect.
In addition to 94 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions, Pernilla Westergren lists a whole range of advantages of insects in dog food compared to meat:
- Lower water consumption.
- Smaller land area is needed.
- The quality of the amino acids is high, which means that the dog can assimilate the protein.
- No antibiotics are used to manufacture the food, which is a problem with traditional dog food.
- New type of protein for the dog, which reduces the risk of allergies.
What can the Warp community do to help you succeed?
"We want to reach out with facts about our product and traditional dog food. Both the health benefits for the dog and the climate benefits for the planet", Pernilla Westergren answers.
Today you can buy Petgood's dog food throughout the EU, and they will soon expand to Australia. The price is comparable to other premium brands. The company recently raised about $2 million in venture capital and is now ready to challenge the giants in the industry.
"We want to drive a dog food revolution and change the dog food industry. It is so cool that we can have such a big impact on both the climate and the dogs".