Natural Foods Merchandiser

Industry Innovators: Michael and James Crouch

Michael and James Crouch founded Organic Pet Superfood to offer ingredients geared toward better pet health.

For most pet parents, administering a supplement is taxing. Dogs and cats won’t eat something if it doesn’t smell good. Owners won’t buy it if it’s too expensive. And now that one in three dogs over the age of 3 is diagnosed with cancer, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, it’s more important than ever for pets to get the right nutrition. That’s where James and Michael Crouch, brothers and founders of Organic Pet Superfood in Boulder, Colo., come in. With their medicinal mushroom product that’s sourced in the United States, they hope to change the way the pet industry approaches supplements by focusing more on preventing rather than treating disease.

It’s just the two of us, and we both do everything.

We found that mushrooms are massively powerful in so many ways. We just started to think of ideas of where they might fit into a marketplace. The pet market, with all its commercial food processing, was lacking in good, nutritional products.

We saw an opportunity to change how people and pet owners supplement. Most people don’t understand where their supplements come from, let alone their pet food.

We are trying to change the way people react to pet issues. If your dog has a rash, we want you to think of trying natural pet supplements before you go to the veterinarian.

People care about their pets as much as they care about their kids, so why wouldn’t they feed them the best thing they can find?

We’ve been told many times that mushrooms don’t sell.

The human supplement market is quite saturated. There is a lot going on and it would be pretty difficult monetarily to break into, and the need isn’t that great. There are a lot of great choices in the human market; there aren’t a lot of great choices in the pet market. When we were doing our research, we learned how sick pets were getting and thought this is where we can help the most. On the business side, we saw a pretty good opportunity. It’s a growth industry.

There is plenty of research on the benefits of mushrooms. I could give you stacks of data once a week for the rest of your life. The challenge is to really bring all that research into something that doesn’t overwhelm, but gives enough information on why and how it works.

We’re the first pet supplements company with natural eggshell membrane to be on retail shelves.

The thing you have to remember is if you take anything out of its natural chemical form, the possibility for toxicity increases and the beneficial effect decreases.
We want to change the pet industry in general. We want to show that you can be successful while holding to the natural theme.

To make an impact, to change the industry, it’s kind of a lofty goal.

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