About ten years ago, Rich Thompson and a team of pet food entrepreneurs saw two trend lines intersecting: the explosive growth of fresh, healthy eating and the humanization of pets. So they set out to make fresh pet food – with all natural ingredients and no preservatives – especially for the palates of dogs and cats.
After several years’ work, Freshpet was born. Pets loved it. The team had hit a home run! But then they confronted a harsh reality. Freshpet has no preservatives, so it has to be refrigerated, just like the meat and veggies you bring home from the market. And there was no refrigeration in the pet aisle.
So Rich and his team visited every major cooler manufacturer across the globe. They studied every design, stress-tested equipment for reliability, commissioned new interior lighting systems, and tested multiple exterior displays. Then they began persuading retailers to let Freshpet install coolers in the pet aisle – in-line and on end caps.
The rest is history. There are now over 18,000 Freshpet Fridges across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The company has achieved 8 years of year-on-year double-digit growth, while the category has been mired in low single digits. Most stores with a Freshpet Fridge have seen increased traffic and overall sales in the pet aisle. And Freshpet has become a thriving public company.
Freshpet was made possible by cooler innovation – which led Rich to found Cooler Innovation LLC. Now, F&B entrepreneurs with products that need refrigeration, or just taste better cold, have the opportunity to replicate Freshpet’s success.