Part II of IAMS/Eukanuba Behind the Paw: The Manufacturing Plant & IAMS Corporate
Before I move on to the second part of the IAMS/Eukanuba tour, I wanted to show you the following pictures that IAMS let us use from their Catteries, which show the open-air space and how happy the pets are… there’s also one of some food-testing Labrador Retrievers: now they look real bloody and miserable don’t they PETA????
*** Okay, so now we go on to the visit to the Leipsic Manufacturing Plant. Remember the video I showed you all of the people who work there on my previous post? Well their care, passion and pride for their jobs and the animals shows in how they talk to you, in their actions, and in how they carry out their day-to-day tasks.
We had a lecture from Dr. Amy Dickey, who is a Chief Nutritionist for the company. She explained how IAMS has been around since 1951. The company works around the cornerstones of the dietary matrix:
Fiber (for GI tract health)
Fat – Omega-3 fatty acids for balance; benefits skin and coat and reduces inflammation
These are the nutritional pillars that lead the the IAMS and Eukanuba creations like weight-loss diets, high-fiber, etc. Each brand is made with chicken muscle and skin, meal – which means cooked skin and bone, and by-product meal, which is cooked internal organs. So there’s technically no real “by-products” in IAMS and Eukanuba like you have in other pet food brands, which just use the whole entirety of the chicken – even the gross parts – to make their “by-products.”
It was explained to us at Leipsic that it’s actual human food-grade material that’s used. The World-class Microbial programs at Leipsic have been benchmarked; the site is now swabbed in 30 different places a day in the testing phase to ensure health, cleanliness, and a spic and span micro-lab.
The manager of the plant actually put it like this: “We want a food plant, not a feed plant.” He also said that everyone who works here is in a “leader, student, owner, teacher, role model” position.
Leipsic is the largest food plant in terms of volume; and its generally the place where IAMS new food initiatives start and roll out. Here the company receives 8 various frozen meats, and 82 raw materials to create 86 different formulas.
The Leipsic Plant makes, packs, and ships to 28 countries!! IAMS also makes a point to check its product in random stores to ensure there was no tearing of the bags, cross-contamination from shelf-side products, etc.
Obviously, the lab at Leipsic is quality and food-safety driven. Just a handful of tests are performed before a batch is made – a handful of nearly 200 Q/A tests!! This in-process testing is done to look at things like the Ash and Crude Moisture content, as well as protein and fat. Materials come into the plant every single day – some are high-risk – so IAMS tests every single material that arrives into Leipsic. They also test for toxins, of course.
The Leipsic warehouse where the food is stored and put onto trucks is 350,000-sq-ft!
Our visit to the Corporate Headquarters of the Proctor and Gamble’s Pet Health Brands was equally stimulating. Unfortunately, I have no pictures to offer up of that event as my camera was malfunctioning. I did borrow one photo from Amy at Hearts Into Home. She also provided me with the final list of we bloggers who went to the Influencer Summit:
- Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, Pawcurious
- Susi Szeremy, Knobnotes
- Jaime Lynn Smith, Thoughts Fur Paws
- Paris Permenter and John Bigley, Dogtipper and Cattipper
- Joanne McGonagle, The Tiniest Tiger
- Jennifer Costello, My Brown Newfies
- Jennifer Phelps, Preston Speaks
- Pam Hoerauf, The Daily Oskar and Pet Blogs United
- Lynette Robinson (Canadian!), My Wee View
- Jackie Lindsay (Canadian!), Dogs, Dogs, Dogs
- Amy Urquhurt (Canadian), Hearts into Home
The visit we took to the Corporate office was, to me, a crucial part of our trip at Behind the Paw. Why? Because there was a representative from nearly every division of Pet Care there, and they put us on the spot! After we had our turn asking them questions about the company, they turned to us for information on the state of the blogosphere, the image of IAMS and Eukanuba, and more.
It was dually entertaining and informative.
The experience I had at the Behind the Paw Influencer Summit was one-of-a-kind; I met some of the most intelligent and some of the most passionate (overused word, we all agreed on that!) pet folks in the industry. I can guarantee you this: each and every IAMS/Eukanuba worker that we came across LOVES and CHERISHES their pets EXACTLY how you and I do. They have silly nicknames and pet voices, they have little intricacies and hobbies, they have all this and more. But mostly, they have LOVE. They have unsurpassed LOVE for animals that drives their passion to be and do better for them every day.
This passion-machine drives the development of new products and is the same one that comes to the rescue like IAMS did in Joplin, Missouri this past week. They have such a big heart for the animals; P&G has donated nearly 8 tons (33,125 bowls) of dog and cat food to help the animals in Joplin that were displaced by the F5 tornadoes. The food was distributed to several locations throughout the region to help save the lives of the many dogs and cats that were affected. Also last month they sent nearly 12 tons of food to Arkansas and Alabama.
So I feel it necessary to send a big fat warm thank you (and an equally big fat warm HUG!!!) to the folks at P&G Pet Care, and those workers from IAMS and Eukanuba who kindly hosted us. Thank you Beverly, Jason, Vicki, Eric, Jen, Dr. Dickey, Amy (our Leipsic guide – she was the BEST worker in that place! She’s on the video, and forgive me please if that’s not your name), and all the folks at IAMS and P & G. I do apologize if I’ve left anyone out. Also, thank you to Chad Darwin, a whiz from the PR company that reps IAMS who caters to every whim I have when needed, even at BlogPaws:)
I am now better educated about not only pet nutrition, but also pet foods and how the science behind IAMS pet food really makes sense. These foods REALLY do what they say on the bag – REALLY. I SAW it. I learned it. I know it.
I have become a total IAMS ambassador. 100% all the way. I will be forever loyal to this brand for all they do to care for, feed, love and adopt out animals.