2017 Animal Health & Wellness Awards

6 GHP / 2017 Animal Health &Wellness Awards , AH170010 Best Canine Nutrition Products Provider - South England & GHP Excellence Award for Gluten Free Dog Treats - UK Billy +Margot is an innovative pet food firmwhich creates a range of nutritious, healthy and delicious treats and food for dogs. We invited Helen Ellwood, UK CountryManager to talk us through the firmand the unique story behind this extraordinary brand. Billy + Margot is not your usual dog food brand. It was born out of a real passion for dogs, nutrition and food. The creator, Marie Jones, has always loved dogs and as the daughter of a chemist and a French restaurant owner, it was only natural that she grew a true passion for health and nutrition of dogs. Marie was lucky, she was able to take her first dog, Billy, a Black Labrador, to work. The only problem was that when the ice-cream truck visited, other people would buy Billy an ice-cream. Marie was studying her degree in Nutrition at the time and was particularly careful about what she, and Billy ate. Knowing that ice cream is bad for dogs, but keen for him to enjoy his time at work, she began to research Billy’s nutritional needs, and specifically a dog’s cooling system. This inspired the idea for her first product, a non-dairy iced treat. It was made of nutritious ingredients that Billy could lick to cool down, while also being healthy for him. It was not long before Marie was a Certified Human Nutritionist, and later became a Canine Nutritionist. This focus on nutrition steered how the brand was developed. Like many dog owners, the bond that Marie had with her dogs, Billy, and later Margot was unlike any other. She, like other owners, wanted to care and nurture them, she wanted the best for them in every way, always. This belief inspired the product’s development; a focus on the health of dogs, while not depriving them of great tasting food, as Helen is eager to emphasise. “In 2016 Billy + Margot joined the Real Pet Food Company family. Together we share a vision of healthy and natural ingredients that promote the health and wellbeing of pets. This shared knowledge guides the development of product. We carefully, and expertly combine ingredients to create an array of super nutritious products that provide natural nutrition using quality ingredients that provide a taste that truly delights. “Unlike many of our competitors, we are unique in our flexibility to be able to develop food of the highest nutritional standards across a range of formats. We can innovate within traditional formats of dry, while also launching entirely new categories – all with the same single-minded focus of delivering owners super nutritious unique recipes, each perfectly balanced, full of natural proteins, superfoods and a taste that truly delights. Billy + Margot is the one brand that provide owners with the natural nutrition and a great taste that they want to feed their dogs, which ultimately enriches the bond they have with their dog.” To ensure the firm’s continued success, Billy + Margot looks to adapt around changes in the pet food industry which, as Helen explains, is exceptionally fast paced and constantly evolving. “The products we develop closely align with the shifts in the market. Consumers are increasingly focused on what they eat, and are applying the same principles to their pets. Their relationship with pets has also shifted and they now are a key part of the family. This is evident in the big shifts globally towards natural foods with ‘grain free’ products. Understanding our market in this way meant it was a simple choice to make all products grain free, and focus on natural, quality ingredients. “Fundamentally, our industry is one of the most dynamic and ever evolving there is, innovation at every level of our organisation is integral to our ongoing success. We operate much more like a start-up, but with the backing of an established business. This approach and a flatter structure empowers the team to move quickly to always keep the consumer and their needs at the centre of what we do, while allowing us the flexibility to adapt and innovate to the ever-changing needs in our market.” Moving forward, there are exciting times ahead for Billy + Margot. Marie might have had humble beginnings, but her conviction and passion for the brand meant that she always had global ambitions, which we are sitting on the cusp of. Billy + Margot is only weeks away from a full launch in Australia, and expansion into USA, New Zealand and Asia is locked in for the near future. Along with global launch, Marie continues to innovate her recipes and formats, focusing on the fresh and raw range. She has developed a Raw Meat Promise –this allows consumers to purchase products (even dry dog kibble) that have been made using fresh, raw meat that has been minced and cooked into super concentrated single protein food, ensuring superior quality and taste. Marie also continues to explore the range of superfoods to give our dogs the absolute best in natural nutrition. g

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