Did you know that 20% of the global meat production is consumed by dogs and cats? And that meat is the number one cause of pet allergies? The meat industry has an enormous negative impact on greenhouse gas emissions and thereby contributes to numerous unwanted climate effects. Moreover, it harms biodiversity due to deforestation and it’s responsible for the depletion of water resources. The solution is very simple according to Imby: stop putting meat and fish in our pet’s food bowls.
“With Imby, we finally offer dog owners a solution to buy both healthy and sustainable food for their favorite four-legged friend”
– Founder Nicolas Bartholomeeusen
Instead of meat, Imby uses the yellow mealworm, which has many (nutritional) benefits in comparison to meat: first of all, mealworms contains three times more proteins than meat and are 50 times more sustainable regarding greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water usage. By switching your dog’s diet to an Imby diet you could save about 114 flights Brussel-Rome during that dog’s lifetime.
“We are committed to operate carbon neutrally. Any remaining emissions in our process flow are compensated through ‘carbon offsetting’ and by planting trees in local communities. In this way, we invest in new forests in Belgium and the Netherlands, which help to protect the climate and preserve our biodiversity” – founder Nicolas Bartholomeeusen
Moreover, insects are natural composters and function in a completely circular way; they are fed by agricultural by-products of local farmers and their residues can be used as fertilizer for crops. On top of that, they have a high digestibility score and are naturally hypoallergenic meaning that they are especially good for dogs with food allergies (these are often linked to beef, chicken or dairy products).
There are still a lot of people that are convinced that dogs are carnivores when in fact they can perfectly thrive on an omnivorous diet. Imby’s recipes are created by a team of pet nutrition experts and offers a complete alternative for current meat products containing all essential amino acids and vitamins dogs need.
Future and ambitions
Imby is ambitious and aiming abroad. But first, the company wants to focus on Belgium and The Netherlands and make sure to establish a stable business. Soon they are moving to the United Kingdom, where there is a lot of potential for the product. In Belgium, Imby is opting for a multichannel approach, selling their products both on their own webshop (imbypetfood.com) and in the specialty stores of Tom & Co.
Imby is also launching their insect-based cat food in June/July 2021. Initially the start-up wanted to launch this cat food in a later stage, but thanks to a grant for innovative projects of the city of Antwerp, Imby has the resources and time to start this project sooner. Luckily, because insect-based cat food is a real gap in the market.
Starter of the year 2022
Only five months after the launch, Imby Pet Food was awarded with the title of “National start-up of the year 2022” by UNIZO. Imby is a good example of a company that is doing everything possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to an absolute minimum by making sustainable choices in terms of ingredients, preparation, packaging and distribution. Imby was also included in the KBC start-up accelerator.
Change starts with yourself and that’s what Imby stands for with their slogan “Change starts In My BackYard”. Because at Imby they are convinced that we can only change our world if everyone takes (small) steps individually.