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May 25. 2013 1:53AM

Exeter company launches refrigerated dog food line


Bhriley, the spokesdog for Pet Pantry Provisions in Exeter, tastes the new Butchers Feast dog food created by the store. (COURTESY)

EXETER - People aren't the only ones considering healthier food options these days.

Pets are watching what they're putting in their mouths as well, or at least their conscientious owners are.

The demand for pet foods that support a natural, healthy diet has led to a new food for Fido called Butchers Feast Premium Pet Food.

The healthier choice created by Pet Pantry Provisions in Exeter was launched earlier this year and is a refrigerated dog food made from locally sourced premium meats and vegetables.

"More and more people are realizing how important it is to feed their pets healthier, just like we're feeding our families. People want to see their pets live longer and healthier lives, and realize that in the wild, dogs and cats don't consume grain, soy and wheat in their diets. They lived off the protein they could find as well as vegetables," said Bev Hanson, who handles marketing for Pet Pantry Provisions.

The store at 78-A Lincoln St. opened four years ago and has been working on developing Butchers Feast for the last three years.

During the development phase, Hanson said a network of customers and friends performed taste testing and feeding trials to see what flavor profiles were the most preferred.

"We recruited a lot of pets through our customer network who were confirmed finicky eaters. Our final results were overwhelming. We didn't have a single dog turn their noses away from this food," she said.

The store carries dog and cat food and researches all the foods and treats that it carries to be sure they're made and sourced with products from North America, Hanson said. Nearly 100 percent of its products are grain free.

Butchers Feast is an alternative to dry and canned food, according to Hanson.

The food is made with locally sourced beef, chicken, turkey and liver from Vermont. The carrots, butternut squash, peas and green beans also come from local sources.

Butchers Feast has no preservatives, gluten, grains or soy, but has essential vitamins and minerals added.

"The Butchers Feast food has been well received by our customers," Hanson said.

The food is being sold in local butcher shops like the Meat House, but Pet Pantry Provisions plans to expand to larger, high-end grocery stores and butcher shops.

Because Butchers Feast is made in a USDA-approved facility from human-grade ingredients, Hanson said the food can be sold in the butcher's case or right out of the deli case.

Butchers Feast comes in 1.5-pound rolls (chubs) and 6-pound chubs. Flavors include chicken, turkey and beef. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $8 for the 1.5-pound roll and $21 for the 6-pound roll.

The treats are $6.49 and are available in chicken and beef.

The store is also in the process of developing a fish-based dog food, as well as cat food.

For more information, visit www.petpantryprovisions.com or www.butchersfeast.com.

jschreiber@newstote.com



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