Albion Pet Foods successfully transitions to in-house manufacturing with ULMA’s SIENNA flow wrapper (HFFS)

Albion Pet Foods, based in Alcester-Warwickshire, has over 40 years of experience as a leading company in the pet food industry. Specialising in raw dog food and treats, the company’s philosophy hinges on the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) Diet, underscoring a commitment to natural, additive-free ingredients. Their extensive product range includes categories like Standard, Complete Adult, Complete Puppy and more, catering to dogsdiverse nutritional. This approach aligns with their core belief that a natural carnivore diet, devoid of preservatives and fillers, is paramount for the health and well-being of dogs.

The company’s dedication to quality and natural diets is further evidenced by its engagement in educating pet owners. Through resources on raw feeding and tailored advice for dog breeders, Albion Pet Foods strives to inform and support their clientele in making beneficial dietary choices for their pets. Their products, popular among dog owners, are readily available across the UK, reflecting their reputation and reach in the pet food market.

Challenges for Albion Pet Foods

Recently the company made a strategic shift from outsourcing its production by Nature’s Menu, Europe’s largest raw pet food producer, towards establishing its own in-house manufacturing. The move was primarily designed to exercise control over increased production costs that were eroding Albion’s profit margins.

By taking charge of the manufacturing process, Albion would gain not only in terms of cost efficiency, but also in ensuring consistent quality control, a vital aspect in the pet food industry where customer trust hinges on product integrity.

The transition was not without its challenges, necessitating capital investment in machinery, particularly in having a flow-wrapping capability, which would allow for greater efficiency and cost-

effectiveness in their packaging process.

The Opportunity

Albion’s interaction with ULMA began at the PPMA (Processing & Packaging Machinery Association) show, an industry event that facilitated the initial assessment of ULMA’s packaging solutions. This was followed by a more detailed, direct engagement where specific needs and potential solutions were discussed, leading to Albion’s decision to invest in ULMAs SIENNA flow wrapper (HFFS).

The Solution

Albion Pet Foods’ choice of ULMA’s SIENNA flow wrapper for their in-house manufacturing operations was influenced by several specific factors:

Underneath feeding mechanism: One of the key reasons Albion chose ULMA’s SIENNA flow wrapper is its underneath feeding mechanism. This feature was particularly attractive because it automates the process of placing products onto the conveyor, leading to greater efficiency and reduced need for manual handling.

Increased efficiency and productivity: The SIENNA flow wrapper is designed for high efficiency and productivity. Its automated process allows for a faster packaging rate, which is crucial for Albion as they scale up their production. The ability to package large volumes of products swiftly and consistently helps in meeting increasing market demands.

Reliability and durability: ULMA is known for producing reliable and durable machinery. For Albion, investing in a machine that is less prone to breakdowns and requires minimal maintenance is essential to ensure continuous production and reduce downtime.

Ease of operation and maintenance: The SIENNA model is user-friendly in terms of operation and maintenance. This ease of use is important for Albion to ensure smooth production runs and quick training for staff.

Quality of packaging: The quality of packaging is critical, especially in the pet food industry where product integrity and shelf life are important. ULMA’s SIENNA flow wrapper provides high-quality packaging that preserves the freshness of the products and is visually appealing for retail display.

Brand reputation and support: ULMA has a strong reputation in the packaging industry for quality and service. This reputation, coupled with the availability of support and service, was a reassuring factor for Albion in making their decision.

ULMAs SIENNA flow wrapper has not only streamlined our packaging process but also reinforced our commitment to delivering the highest standards of pet food products to our customers. Its automated feeding mechanism and robust performance align perfectly with our goal of embracing innovative solutions for sustainable growth.

We’re confident that this investment will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Albion Pet Foods, allowing us to meet the evolving needs of our market with greater agility and reliability.”

Giles Bower – Managing Director, Albion Pet Foods