skip to Main Content

Jiminy’s Uses Crickets To Feed Dogs More Sustainably

| Date Published:

Jiminy’s is a dog food brand designed to make canine nutrition more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The company says that using crickets as the main protein source significantly cuts the resources needed to produce healthy pet food. 

CEO and founder Anne Carlson — who had a background in the pet food industry — started the company to not only help the environment but also to find a better solution for dogs with food allergies. The company makes insect-based feeds, treats, and dental chews.

Photo Courtesy Jiminy’s  

“We replace traditional animal protein (beef, chicken, etc.) with insect protein, creating the next generation of pet food,” Carlson explained on the company website.”

“I often get asked why I started Jiminy’s,” she said in a video. “Well, I used to work for one of the big pet food companies, and we got acquired. And as I was trying to decide what I wanted to do next, I was talking with my daughter, and she kind of hit me with a bombshell.” 

“She told me that she didn’t want to have kids, and her reason was that she was worried about what the world would be like by the time those kids grew up — she was talking about climate change,” Carlson continued. “And, as we were having that conversation, I realized there was no way I could go back to just doing a normal job. I needed to do something that would really impact the future for her and for others, as well.”

Photo Courtesy Jiminy’s  

The environmental impact of pet food in the United States is enormous. A massive amount of land, water, and additional feed is required to raise the chickens and cows traditionally used for protein in pet cuisine.

In fact, a recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles, indicates dogs and cats are responsible for 25 to 30% of the environmental impact of eating meat in America. 

According to Jiminy’s, crickets are the antithesis of that approach, generating almost no greenhouse gases compared to chicken production. By cutting the need for resources down significantly, Jiminy’s produces a healthy feed that saved up to a half-million gallons of water needed for production annually.

Carlson describes the road that led to using crickets in her business. “…  I got approached to lead a pet food company — it was going to be a grass-fed beef, sustainable pet food company,” she said. “And I loved the idea of sustainability in pet [food] because our dogs pretty much eat the same thing every day; if we swap that with a sustainable alternative, we can make a ton of impact.

“However, I told them that cows would never be the answer, and so we started looking at other protein sources [and] saw the UN study that said insects could be the answer to world hunger,” she continued. “I ordered some dry roasted crickets online — yep, you can do that — and I fed them to my dogs, [and] the drool started immediately, so I knew we had something that we could work with. And, that was the start of Jiminy’s.”

Photo Courtesy Jiminy’s  

To date, Carlson and her company have raised $6 million in seed money and have secured distribution in more than a thousand Petco stores. They are already seeing millions in annual revenue. 

The company’s success is even better news for the dogs who eat Jiminy’s since the treats and food support a diverse gut microbiome and have no additives while still meeting the Association of American Feed Control Officials requirements for dogs

The company says dogs with allergies are also seeing great results from the switch to cricket protein. With younger generations increasingly focused on sustainable foods, Jiminy’s is poised to gain more market share.


Back To Top