Five Questions with Robery Downey, CEO/President of Annamaet Petfoods
Q What does Annamaet’s saying “True Passion + Real Science” mean to you?
A I was born and raised with animals; all I have ever wanted to do is work with animals. A nutritional deficiency found in my dog when I was entering college was the “aha moment” that changed my life. I was hooked on researching and unraveling the intricate benefits that different ingredients collectively bring to providing good nutrition for pets. We also have a board certified veterinary nutritionist on our staff with the same beliefs. So, I truly believe that our passion for animals is matched only by our background in science.
Q How do you source the ingredients for Annamaet Petfoods?
A We first look at the supplier—is it someone we have worked with in the past? Many of our suppliers we have been working with for over 20 years and have a good working relationship with mutual trust. If it is a novel ingredient or new to us, we will request a sample to have it analyzed by an independent lab to make sure it meets our specs. Novel ingredients in new products then go through six month testing before being released to the consumer. We always try to source ingredients as local as possible—not only is this environmentally responsible, but it also makes good business sense.
Q How would you describe the specialized formulas that comprise your pet food lines?
A For many years we have promoted all life stage products, but quite frankly, many owners just can’t wrap their heads around feeding the same food from puppy into the golden years. So, we have introduced two new puppy foods. Annamaet Ohana is a grain-free formula made with wild, line-caught Alaskan cod. Annamaet Original Puppy is a grain-friendly formula made with chicken. Both contain optimum levels of EPA and DHA to promote brain maturation and development. We have also just released Annamaet Re-juvenate, a senior canine formula with high levels of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are known for their anti-aging properties, and also turmeric, a powerful natural anti-inflammatory.
Q What inspired you to change to an environmentally friendly formula of packaging?
A I have enjoyed the outdoors all my life, so protecting the environment and preserving our natural resources has been a lifelong pursuit of mine. It was only natural that we would incorporate these beliefs into our business plan. Annamaet Petfoods continues our dedication to the environment, sustainability and preserving our natural resources by introducing degradable and sustainable packaging. This patented process, called Bio-Flex, provides materials that are specifically engineered to biodegrade in landfills and during this process create green, renewable and sustainable energy. Packaging which is not manufactured with BioFlex could take up to 800 years to breakdown with no benefit to the environment.
Q How did your dog, Lee, become Annamaet’s new poster model?
A Lee is an Australian Cattle Dog that was rescued from a shelter in North Carolina by the Carolina ACD Rescue & Rebound. At the time, he was a year-and-a-half old, kicked out of a foster home, returned to the shelter twice and deemed unadoptable. He was scheduled to be euthanized. We have had ACDs for years and know the breed well. They are very smart and often very intense; the rescue thought we would be a good match. That was 18 months ago. Lee hasn’t been on a leash in a year and loves to go everywhere with us, including work. He thanks my wife and I on a daily basis by guarding our office doors until we say it’s OK to enter. Lee has even become best friends with our two grandkids and four cats.