How a Canadian veterinarian and a Spanish designer revolutionize the future of dog food

Revolutions are born of unexpected encounters …

Nothing destined Véronique Glorieux and Gema Aparicio to associate professionally. The first, a Canadian emigrated to Berlin in 2007, is a veterinarian for pets. The second, Spanish and Berlin-based graphic designer is working on exciting projects for exhibitions and design agencies.

They get to know each other at a kung fu school in Schöneberg. They discover that they share a lot of passions and interests, including love for animals. The environment and the future of the planet are concerns they have in common and both believe it is within everyone’s reach to adopt rational behaviors to reduce its ecological footprint and consume in an ethical and eco-responsible way.

In early 2017, they read an article on edible insects in the Canadian press. It was explained how highly nutritious and sustainable for the environment they are. Edible insects are seen as one of the most promising solutions to the need for food for a growing humanity, and against the over-exploitation of natural ressources to produce proteins (intensive livestock farming and fisheries). Their nutritional content is equal and even higher (for proteins, iron and calcium) than that of meat, with significantly less water, food and farmland consumption.

From this reading came an idea: to develop dog and cat foods whose main ingredient would no longer be meat (and its low nutritive by-products), but rather insect proteins highly nutritious and eco-responsible, that meet the sustainability goal of the 21st century. At the same time, people could treat their pets with delicious high quality food and support the health of the planet with a 100% eco-responsible and sustainable protein.

Doing pet food is not something to be improvised. After reading everything about edible insects, meeting experts and choosing which species they would work with, the two entrepreneurs gathered reliable partners to make this idea a reality. They needed a premium Hermetia Illucens (Black Soldier Fly) farm and a kibble producer, both of whom met stringent European standards of production and hygiene, as well as suppliers for quality secondary ingredients. For the development of the recipes, Véronique needed a consultant specialized in animal nutrition to complete her knowledge in animal medicine and physiology. During spring, they trained in business management and won a prize in a Start-up competition in Berlin / Brandenburg for the aspect “sustainable development” of their idea. It is during the summer of 2017 that they officially found their company: eat small GmbH.

Eat Small means eat small (insects) and think big, to our pets health and also to our planet’s health.

Early 2018, one year later, here they are with their first production of 4 different products: one line of dry food for adult dogs and 3 lines of training treats, all made with Hermetia Illucens nymphs and delicious ingredients carefully selected for their nutritional quality, their value on the dog’s body and of course, for their flavor. Hermetia has a meaty taste with a touch of hazelnut that dogs just love !

Gema’s creativity and experience with design and visual language has allowed them to develop a totally original identity that reflects them and makes Eat Small instantly recognizable through other foods on the market.

It is therefore with the phrase “We’re more than your typical pet food” that they will launch their tasty products as soon as their “four-legged tasters” give their approval. Indeed for Gema and Veronique, no question of offering a product that will not please their canine customers. Again, they have surrounded themselves with the best experts: 65 dogs of all sizes and races “committed” to test the palatability of their food. So far, it’s a big hit !!

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Veronique Glorieux is a canadian-board veterinarian who cumulates more than 10 years of medical work and experience with dogs and cats. Animal wellfare and environment are 2 topics that moves her. She lives now in Berlin, where she co-founded Eat Small and uses her experience in a different field of practice. With healthy and sustainable insect-based pet food she aims to support both the health of pets and of the planet.

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