this young sprout from Isère that puts raw food on the feed menu

Offer raw meat to carnivorous animals to meet their metabolic needs: the idea is not entirely new, it even has a name: BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). But so far we have encountered both practical obstacles, as well as ignorance of animal feed and the daily needs of our four-legged animals.

But for Mégane Richez and Estelle Evieux, it was “the” solution for pets, and especially dogs, to eat as close to their natural needs as possible.

Faced with the legacy of a diet consisting mainly of croquettes, from the agri-food industry, the Isère start-up has wanted to offer alternative food. Especially because with the health crisis, the increase in the number of pets, now considered full members of the household, has made its way into the minds of households.

“There’s a mirror effect where people start wondering what they’re giving their animals, and in particular what they’re putting in their bowl. Carnivorous animals like dogs, for example, don’t need to eat carbs, but we find a lot of them in croquettes, because they are cheaper than meat and allow these foods to come together better, ”explains Mégane Richez.

However, when dog owners want to have their food prepared for their pets, they encounter obstacles in terms of practicality, but also lack of knowledge: ” we don’t really know what to give or how. Not to mention that raw meat is not always easy to work with she admits.

A raw menu but adapted to the profile of the animal

It is therefore based on both the recommendations made by organizations such as the NRC (National Research Council Committee on Animal Nutrition) and the European Federation of the Pet Food Industry (FEDIAF), which QRU established “their”, or rather “their” recipes. .

Each menu, made up of various types of ingredients (red or white meat, bones, meat, offal, fruit and vegetables, oils) is handcrafted from a warehouse located in the Grenoble region, which already employs 12 people. workers.

Beyond the BARF, Qru has wanted to go further by offering a food tailored, manufactured and calculated according to the needs and physiognomy of each animal. That’s why when ordering, each new customer will first need to show information about their pet, so that a nutritionist can determine their food profile.

“Next, we offer an already calculated daily ration, which is delivered frozen and thawed directly in the fridge, and then delivered in one or more installments. “, says Estelle Evieux.

The rations will then be delivered once or twice a month, within a network of partner landmarks, equipped with freezers and funded in part by the startup, according to a purchase aid system, built on the basis of the volume of the purchased freezer.

For its deliveries, it uses three carriers specializing in the cold chain, one of which specializes in last mile delivery in the Paris region.

The subject of the delivery (and the cold chain)

The two co-founders also know that the expansion and diversification of their “highlights” will become a key point for their future development.

With already 70 member relief points, which allow them to deliver more than 3,500 weekly rations to nearly 500 customers throughout France, their goal is to continue to grow this network, either through stores or specialized structures, such as schools. , dog grooming, etc. but also stables, seagulls, organic producers, and remunerating them with a commission on the volume delivered.

That is why the young outbreak is preparing a collection of 600,000 euros that should be completed in 2022. The stated goal: to quickly expand its network of landmarks to be able to deliver more than 5,000 rations per week.

Because in the long run, the ambition would be even ” reach 1,000 highlights in 2025, to establish itself as the leader in personalized BARF in France confirms Estelle Evieux, who does not rule out exporting, in a second phase, the know-how of Qru to other European countries.

With an average purchase price with VAT of 3.5 euros per 500 gram portion (for a 17 kilogram animal) and a minimum order of one week, Qru knows that its regular customers, valued at just under 500 customers a month “, Is currently composed of CSP +, consisting mainly of thirty and forty years.

Almost half live in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, but believe that the potential on a French scale goes much further. “Our goal is gradually being expanded to include families,” says Estelle Evieux, who estimates that within five years, between 3 and 5% of dogs could be fed an alternative diet such as BARF.

If this type of food may also be suitable for cats, the two founders mention additional complexity, however, to address this segment. “ as cats tend to be more demanding with their tastes and like to eat ad libitum, which lends itself less to raw food. “adds Mégane Richez.

A confidential concept, friends who want to gain market share

Although the concept has been around for ten years across the Atlantic, and particularly in Australia, it remains confidential in France.

The two co-founders, however, have found the support of certain veterinary professionals, such as Dr. May, a veterinarian in Faverges (Haute-Savoie), although the trend is still embryonic: The classic starch-filled croquette isn’t really the ideal diet. We don’t feed chickens but carnivores! To me, croquettes are like junk food for humans. Therefore, it is necessary to favor rations with a large part of raw meat, the rest in fiber-cooked vegetables and some food supplements such as brewer’s yeast to have a very dynamic and varied flora “, explains this” partner “veterinarian.

“However, there are still few studies on this subject because the work does not get funding to compare the benefits of this type of diet, in representative samples of dogs and cats. Raw food is still a proven food as a last resort, when you have insoluble problems with dermatitis, hair, etc. “, adds Mégane Richez.

According to her, the first comments from customers about the benefits associated with raw foods would be related to “ the quality of the hair, the reduction of the amount of salt and the smells, or even sometimes in an improvement of the problems of otitis or fertility on the part of the breeders ”.