Vegan Dog Food Company Wild Earth Scores Big on Shark Tank
This weekend, Wild Earth, creators of plant-based pet food, gained star power and a $550,000 investment during an episode of Shark Tank, the popular ABC reality show. Ryan Bethencourt, an animal advocate and a major player in the plant- and cell-based food industry, founded the company. Bethencourt is also co-founder of IndieBio, a leading biotech startup accelerator. Wild Earth had already partnered with MARS and received $5 million in seed funding from investors.
On Shark Tank, entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of wealthy and connected investors—Mark Cuban, the panelist who invested in Wild Earth, has a net worth of over $4 billion. Bethencourt pitched Wild Earth’s dog treats, made with high-protein plant-based koji, a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine. And dogs can’t resist the peanut butter in the recipe. The treats are already available for purchase online and in some stores, which is good news for animals and the planet.
The harmful environmental impact of all the meat we feed to cats and dogs is a sorely neglected issue. According to a UCLA study, the meat-based food fed to America’s dogs and cats generates the equivalent of 64 million tons of carbon dioxide per year—25 to 30 percent of the environmental impact of U.S. meat consumption.
Wild Earth isn’t the first vegan company to score big on Shark Tank. Cinnaholic, Heidi Ho, and Beyond Sushi all successfully pitched their brands on the show. Unsurprisingly, big-name investors are eager to bet their money on plant-based startups. From 2017 to 2018, the market for plant-based versions of traditional animal products grew by an incredible 20 percent, compared with just 2 percent growth for the food industry overall. Even the world’s largest meat producers, like Tyson, PHW Group, and Cargill, have invested in plant- or cell-based food companies.
To join the millions worldwide who are embracing new plant-based foods, sign up for our ChooseVeg meal planner today.