A Perthshire dog-food company is aiming to double turnover to £20 million in the next 12 months, as it grows market share and has a new product poised for launch.
Based in Blairgowrie, Bella and Duke was founded in 2016 by Mark Scott and Tony Ottley who both lost pets to terminal illnesses they believe were triggered by harmful ingredients in processed dog foods.
The firm, which specialises in raw pet food delivered frozen through a subscription service, added an extra 5,000 delivery slots to cope with soaring demand during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The increase represents month-on- month growth of 163%.
The firm served up 17 million meals last year and employs 40 at its headquarters, with a further 10 around Scotland.
The headcount is under review with proposals to increase staffing levels as it eyes a move to larger premises in the area.
Growth plans received a boost from a funding round which raised £3.5m at the beginning of this year.
Chief executive Mark Scott said the next step for Bella and Duke is to launch a cat food product over the next few weeks.
He said: “Our food is completely natural and people like the fact we are a subscription service which can be paused or cancelled at any time.
“We don’t just sell pet food, we provide a holistic service which includes access to a behaviourist and a social media presence where members can seek and share advice about pet health.
“Members can also easily add treats and remedies – all made from natural ingredients to their order.”
Another project in the pipeline for the firm is a dog obesity campaign which will challenge high levels of processed junk food for dogs.
The move comes after animal charity PDSA revealed 46% of dogs in the UK are carrying unhealthy fat.
Mr Scott said: “People are reading labels more and are increasingly aware of what is in their pet food.
“For humans, a calorie from junk food is not the same as a calorie from vegetables and the same is true for our dogs – we only use the best ingredients in our products.”
Around 25% of the company’s orders come from referrals while a television advertising campaign aims to grow the brand nationally.
Mr Scott said: “There are an estimated nine million dogs in the UK and around 11 million cats. We have 55,000 dogs on our database, so there remains plenty of scope for expansion.”