Chris Achenbach has always been an avid animal lover and couldn’t be happier to have found the pet-centric culture of Ainsworth Pet Nutrition. The company has been making pet food for over 75 years – since founder George Ainsworth Lang’s springer spaniel, Lady, had a dozen puppies and he decided to start making pet food himself. He felt that pets were part of the family and was intensely committed to making the best foods possible. Ainsworth Pet Nutrition has since evolved from a small regional business to a multi-tiered North American organization that now makes a wide variety of pet food and snacks – but they are really proud to say that the Lang family still leads the business. Chris works exclusively on the newer Rachael Ray Nutrish Cat line, and feels right at home in the really unique and fun cat culture provided by the company.
From a nutrition standpoint, Chris and the company feel it is most important to offer consumers the level of quality nutrition that they would find in a “Pet Store,” but with the convenience of the Supermarket. The idea behind their product is “Pet Store Quality, Supermarket Easy.”
From a “bigger picture” standpoint, they see the work of animal rescues as tremendously important to the cat population.
Chris describes the work that these groups do as invaluable. Rachael Ray donates her personal proceeds to rescue organizations and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition partners with a variety of shelters and other groups to raise awareness and provide support for their efforts. This will continue to be a big focus for Ainsworth Pet Nutrition as they grow.
Chris’s company became aware of Cat Con last year as the organizers were working on getting the event going. They thought it was a great idea and a great opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to cat culture. Through involvement in the event, they are hoping to learn even more about this unique and important culture so that they can better service cats and their pet parents with products and programs that matter most to them.
On the horizon for Ainsworth Pet Nutrition is continuing the ceaseless goal of bringing the products that cat parents want to the stores that they are already shopping in. For example, they recently launched Zero Grain for Cats, which has real whitefish and the first ingredient and contains zero grain, glutens, and fillers. This ultra-premium recipe can be found right in the Super Market at a price that is more accessible than most Pet Store products. The company has additional launches cued up for the coming years based on what cat parents report they want most.
As they are looking forward to becoming more of a fixture in the cat community, this initiative will mean continued interaction with cat parents and ongoing support for important events and rescue efforts.
Having found his passion for pets through experience, Chris fondly recalls his childhood cat named “Bleach” (who was all gray with a small white spot on her head) as one of the most beautiful souls he has ever known, and gives her credit for instilling his love for cats. Today, he has a rescued pit bull at home named “Wesley.” Wesley is a huge character and an even bigger love-bug. Chris is currently “in the market” for his next cat and am looking forward to an adoption appointment at a local shelter this summer!
Photo Credit: Brian Leon