Why this Melton pet food maker is enjoying the taste of success

Some of the award-winning Town & Country Petfoods team.
Some of the award-winning Town & Country Petfoods team.
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The business of making and selling pet food is highly competitive and one where innovation and good taste rule.

This is certainly true of the Melton born and bred pet food maker Town & Country Petfoods, based in a former stables in Asfordby Road.

Town & Country Petfoods' managing director Tony Parkinson, left, presenting the trophy to HiLife PAT Dog of the Year Winner 2017 Angie and her dog Sausage at Crufts.

Town & Country Petfoods' managing director Tony Parkinson, left, presenting the trophy to HiLife PAT Dog of the Year Winner 2017 Angie and her dog Sausage at Crufts.

The family-owned company, with a turnover of £21 million and 19 staff, has been making high quality pet food since 1974.]

Staying ahead in a market worth £2.5 billion a year and dominated by Mars and Nestle is a challenge. It requires constant innovation, a rigorous programme of taste testing and a commitment to using top quality ingredients and plenty of them.

It is why being named Top Launch for the Petcare category by The Grocer in its Top Products Survey for the year for its HiLife It’s only natural range was so significant.

It was a testament to the firm’s commitment to high quality pet food products that customers demand for their pets.

Managing director Tony Parkinson said: “It was fantastic - we didn’t even know we were in it until we were told we had won.”

“We have to keep evolving to stay ahead.

“We have to relaunch a third of our business every year.”

Taste testing to ensure pets will enjoy HiLife products is rigorous and carried out with help from focus groups and at kennels and catteries in the UK.

Mr Parkinson said: “For our customers, their pets are very much part of the family. They want them to have the best and are prepared to spend money on them.

“Our products all have a very high content of meat and fish, natural ingredients and very few additives.

“Customers will find the meat and fish content of our products is 40 per cent or more.”

Production of its pet food is done at Long Bennington, Peterborough, Yorkshire as well as Thailand, China and France.