Pet owners buy organic, raid fridge to feed Fido

October 27, 2013 • Business

In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, photo, dog food pellets, brown, are move down a conveyor belt as chicken breast meat, white, and vegetables, orange, are added shortly before packaging at Freshpet, in Bethlehem, Pa. Freshpet uses fresh meat, poultry and vegetables in a pricey, preservative-free product that requires refrigeration. Sales exceed $100 million. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — Organic kibble? All-natural chow? Fido and Fluffy don’t know it, but their owners want them to eat better — and they are forking over big bucks to make it happen.

Marketed as a healthier, more nutritious alternative, some premium dog and cat cuisine has gone the Whole Foods route.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the new $25 million eastern Pennsylvania factory of upstart pet food maker Freshpet, where thousands of pounds of fresh meat and poultry are pasteurized, mixed with vegetables and then immediately chilled, packaged and sent to branded, refrigerated display cases in more than 10,000 stores across America.

The 7-year-old company, founded by former Purina executives, is trying to establish a new category in an industry long dominated by kibbles and cans: fresh, preservative-free food that requires refrigeration. With sales Login to read more

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