SEASON 10 EPISODE 16
eco-friendly alternative protein dog food
550k for 5%
550k for 10%
Capitalizing on the growing interest in alternative proteins is Wild Earth, the biotechnology startup developing clean alternative proteins for pets as a way to reduce the carbon footprint of the pet food industry.
Wild Earth’s Good Protein Dog Snacks are free of animal ingredients, antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, additives, fillers, and mystery ingredients. The veterinarian-developed formula offers omega fatty acids, digestion-boosting enzymes, and prebiotics to support gastrointestinal microbiomes.
WILD EARTH BEFORE SHARK TANK
Wild Earth was born in August 2017 when a small team of scientists and biotech lead by Ryan Bethencourt, Dr. Ron Shigeta, Abril Estrada, and Kristin Wuhrman decided to take on the opportunity to disrupt the pet food industry with clean and sustainable protein.
The project was inspired by a study released by UCLA on the environmental impact of meat consumption by cats and dogs in the United States that resulted in the equivalent of 64 million tons of carbon dioxide produced per year. That’s 25 to 30 percent of the environmental impact of consuming meat in United States alone.
By March 2018, Wild Earth would introduce its first product made from human-grade Koji – a fungus traditionally used in Japan to ferment soybeans to make soy sauce.
The company would work side by side with Peta to ensure their Koji-based food was digestible by dogs. This meant testing on volunteers animals in cage-free clinical trials that test for palatability and digestibility among other things.
By 2019, Wild Earth secured a total of $12.2 million in funding from a series of investors including VegInvest, Stray Dog Capital, Felicis Ventures, Blue Horizon, Babel Ventures, EverHope Capital, Macro Ventures, Aera VC, Founders Fund and Thiel Capital founded by PayPal billionaire, Peter Thiel.
In October 2018, the vegan meat, biotech company released its first consumer product – Wild Earth’s Good Protein Dog Snacks – the first dog treat ever to be made with the lab grown, Koji-based protein.
So why is a pet food company attracting the attention of big name billionaires and large investment firms? As some viewers have noted, the pet food industry is an opportunity for the company to test the results of its main selling point – its Koji based protein which has the potential to replace animal-based proteins for human consumption. Are you ready for a Koji burger?
LIFE AFTER SHARK TANK
Wild Earth treats are available in five-ounce bags through their online store, Amazon.com, at select brick-and-mortar retail stores, and wholesale to pet food retailers.
WILD EARTH REVIEWS
Reviews for the Wild Earth’s Koji-based dog food are fairly decent. Some customers love the idea of an eco-friendly, sustainable dog food, some believe dogs are not meant to be on a vegan diet, while others feel the price is simply too high.
Wild Earth remains a healthier option compared to the current pet food standard of fillers, preservatives and hormone-laden animal meats. Hopefully in time, Wild Earth will become a more economically viable option.
WILD EARTH ALTERNATIVES
Not yet ready to make the alternative protein leap for your dog? Try these other healthy alternatives: