“Wisconsin exports increased by 6.1 percent in 2017 and are off to a strong start again this year due in large part to the efforts of companies like these, which have developed strategies for reaching new international markets,” Governor Scott Walker said. “Congratulations to this year’s winners for their success in exporting. They are each helping grow Wisconsin’s economy.”
Vital Essentials and Vital Cat raw pet food brands have been growing at an extraordinary pace over the past three years around the world. It is because of this growth, plus the contributions to the overall state economy and trade development, that the company was chosen as one of this year’s award recipients.
“It’s with great pride on behalf of Carnivore Meat Company, our employees and our partners around the world that we accept the Governor’s Export Achievement Award this year,” said Lanny Viegut, CEO and owner. “Our mission is to make the most healthy, delicious and innovative pet food available to any cat or dog parent in the world. Growing our export sales with the support of organizations like WEDC is key to fulfilling this mission.”
One of the fastest-growth contenders globally in the pet food industry, specializing in the raw pet food category, Vital Essentials and Vital Cat make up the fourth largest brand with frozen and freeze-dried entrees, treats and snacks for dogs and cats.
The company, which began exporting in 2015, experienced a 54 percent increase in international sales from 2016 to 2017, and expects 2018 increases at an even greater rate. The number of retail outlets has grown to over 6,000 around the world with exports to 14 countries.
“We exceeded expectations last year and are making significant investments across the entire organization and anticipate a 50 percent increase in our workforce, just to keep up to demand,” Viegut said.