Is Your Pet a Flexitarian? Please Pass the Bison and Quinoa

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Freely Pet Launches and Targets Millennials with Unique Nutritional Options

“Millennials understand that pet food isn’t just to nourish their pet. They recognize what and how their pets eat is a lifestyle and at times a reflection of their social values.”

Pet food industry veteran, Reed Howlett, has just launched a new pet food brand, Freely Pet. Freely® offers simple Limited Ingredient pet foods and is focused on the needs, wants, and eating habits of Millennials and their pets. As Millennial pet parents treat their dogs and cats like a member of the family, more dogs are now consuming vegetarian and flexitarian diets just like their pet parents.

Howlett said, “Millennials understand that pet food isn’t just to nourish their pet. They recognize what and how their pets eat is a lifestyle and at times a reflection of their social values.” Freely offers a unique range of protein options from vegetarian and flexitarian to meat (including rabbit and lamb) and fish. Freely also includes other ingredients that you would expect to find on any human foodie’s plate including sweet potatoes, spinach, chicory root, rosemary, and turmeric. Freely has chosen brown rice, oat groats, millet, quinoa, and pearled barley to support those pets that thrive more easily on recipes that include grains.

The Food Industry Association, or FMI, finds a rising number of households (33%) have at least one member voluntarily following a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or flexitarian diet—a trend which is higher for Gen Z and Millennial households. Non-meat based proteins are the anchor in many of these unique diets, therefore, a growing number of shoppers are turning to them to help meet their evolving nutritional needs – including their pets’.

According to Sara Gilbert, DVM of the Freely Nutrition Center, “I am excited that there are now complete and balanced nutritional options for pet parents looking to explore less meat-centered diets for their dogs. These recipes thoughtfully take into account the specific biological requirements of our canine companions rather than treating them simply as small humans. While cats are obligate carnivores and specifically need meat to fulfill their amino acid requirements, dogs can use the alternate plant and egg sources of protein provided in a thoughtfully designed diet. This allows their parents the freedom to pursue a less ecologically impactful style of feeding without having to risk the imbalances veterinarians frequently see in exclusively homemade diets over time.”

Flexitarian lifestyles are increasingly prevalent. Among Gen Z, 13% eat a flexitarian diet versus just 6% of Older Boomers. Millennials and Gen X average 10% each for consuming flexitarian diets. Women, at 15%, are also more likely to be flexitarians than men, at 6%. Whether people choose to consume less meat for health reasons or because they want to lead more environmentally-friendly, sustainable lifestyles, they’re helping to drive the flexitarian trend. An increase in plant-based protein options also has more people experimenting with these new food options. According to Howlett, “we see this quickly crossing over to dog nutrition.”

Freely’s Whole Grain Flexitarian recipe is a Limited Ingredient dog food that blends animal- and plant-based proteins, along with fiber, vitamins, and minerals to deliver complete and balanced nutrition. A combination of Freely’s Whole Grain Turkey and Whole Grain Vegetarian recipes, it features fresh turkey, eggs, and quinoa as some of the primary protein sources. This unique recipe offers a flexible feeding alternative to traditional meat-based diets for conscientious pet parents looking for better options for their pet and the planet.

Freely Pet, LLC was started in 2020 by a group of passionate pet parents committed to making pet food easier to understand and buy. Freely products are available online at and Chewy and will be available starting in July at select local neighborhood pet retail stores across the US. The company is driven by its purpose of enabling pet parents to nourish their pets with confidence and ease. All Freely products are limited ingredient diet recipes made in the USA from the finest ingredients from around the world. Freely offers a selection of premium dry and wet foods as well as functional bone broth toppers for both dogs and cats, in a range of protein options from vegetarian and flexitarian to meat and fish.

Freely is privately held and headquartered in Brentwood, Missouri and can be visited at and followed on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @freelypet.

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Craig Kaminer
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