Insect protein-based pet nutrition start-up receives investment from Thai company

BANGKOK — Thai Union Group PCL, a global seafood producer, on Nov. 1 announced an investment in Orgafeed, a Thailand-based insect-based pet treat start-up. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

Orgafeed produces pet food and treats for its Laika brand formulated with black soldier fly larvae, an increasingly recognized sustainable protein alternative in the global pet nutrition market. The company participated in Thai Union Group’s first cohort of SPACE-F, an incubator for global food tech startups the company co-founded in 2019.

“We believe insect protein is a sustainable choice that helps raise the bar for the pet food industry, both in terms of nutritional benefits and sustainability,” said Ittikorn Thepmani, co. -founder and responsible for the circular economy of Orgafeed. “Through this partnership and investment from Thai Union Group, we will be able to scale both our business and the positive impacts on the environment. We look forward to this journey with Thai Union Group and their pet care experts and professionals.

Thai Union Group’s PetCare platform, i-Tail, stands to benefit from the investment in Orgafeed as it seeks to improve its nutritional portfolio. Orgafeed adds to i-Tail’s existing pet portfolio, which includes Marvo, Bellota, Paramount and Calico Bay brands as well as several private label brands.

Thai Union recently expanded its presence in the Japanese pet food market after establishing a subsidiary to import, distribute and sell pet food and other pet products, the company reported.

“At Thai Union, innovation and sustainability are two important pillars of our business,” said Roy Chan, Managing Director of i-Tail. The pet industry is experiencing strong trends of humanization and premiumization, which has led customers to seek healthier and more sustainable products, thereby shifting our portfolio towards sustainable pet products, such as insect protein, where the environmental impact (emissions, land and water use) is significantly lower than other types of farmed protein.

“Orgafeed will help us better serve our customers, especially in the sustainable pet food segment. We are very pleased to participate in this round of financing and look forward to exploring opportunities for collaboration with them.

The investment was made possible through Thai Union’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund, which focuses its strategic investments on early-stage companies developing alternative proteins, functional nutrition, biotechnology and new technologies to benefit the food value chain.

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