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The Healthy Mummy founder Rhian Allen launches pet nutrition business

Last year, Sydney entrepreneur Rhian Allen sold The Healthy Mummy business that she founded in her kitchen back in 2010 for $17 million. Now, she is on a mission to help pet owners rethink pet nutrition for dogs and cats.

Allen’s new business venture Healthy Active Pet offers appropriate meal plans, raw dog and cat food, and recipes to help pets live long and healthy lives.

Healthy Active Pet customers can access programs, recipe books, shopping lists and step-by-step cooking guides for a monthly subscription fee of $6.95. Everything is Australian-sourced and Australian-made, including the packaging.

Close to 50 per cent of dogs and 35 per cent of cats are considered overweight in Australia, according to Healthy Active Pet, the premise of which is that to be healthy and live a long life, pets need the correct nutrition. The number one way to deliver the best nutrition for your animal, according to the company, is feeding them a species-appropriate diet, not kibble.

For dogs, this means a fresh food diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

Healthy Active Pet on a mission to make a difference

Allen, who helped more than 1.5 million mums get healthy and learn about nutrition through The Healthy Mummy, says she is passionate about the health of pets. Her mission is to help educate and inform pet owners about the best health and nutrition choices for their pets.

“I’ve got two dogs and two cats. I’m very passionate about the healthcare space. I think that whether it applies to animals or humans, I think the health and nutrition of our pets and ourselves as humans is so important,” she told SmartCompany.

“Just over 12 months ago I got two puppies and found out they were allergic to chicken. It was a completely new thing for me because I’ve had dogs and cats all my life and never had a problem with chicken.”

Allen said the discovery was eye-opening and inspired her to look into the pet care and pet health industry with food and nutrition. 

“Coming from my background with The Healthy Mummy, I’ve always been so focused on the health of humans, but it never occurred to me about what I was feeding my pets,” she said.

Allen says she wants to make a difference in the pet health and nutrition space.

“The response has been amazing,” she says. “I went into this to do something that I was passionate about and I loved and obviously you always hope that it’s gonna resonate with the consumer. That’s what your hope is and it’s been amazing. 

“It’s only four months in and it already has so much interest, so many customers are purchasing and repeat purchasing as well.

“I’ve got my kids involved in it and getting them to understand how to create a business and teaching them about how to launch and set up and build a business and a brand.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that there is such an appetite for this. But people need to be educated on it because people don’t know, just like I didn’t know, that what we feed our pets via the big pet food industry isn’t necessarily the best thing to feed our pets.”

Research is key

When asked by SmartCompany what she is doing differently this time with her second business, Allen says she’s chosen a different e-commerce platform, which enables business owners like herself to do so much more in a more cost-efficient way. 

“The great thing for me is that I’ve got a lot of experience in the e-commerce and customer space,” she says.

“So, I do feel that from a starting a business perspective there’s a lot of benefits of having someone like myself who’s got a lot of experience because you don’t make a lot of those mistakes that you’ve probably made the first time round. 

Allen says it is important for any business owner to do their research before embarking on their business journey, even if it’s not their first venture.

“I think that it’s always really worth doing your research before you launch your business because you want to make sure that what you’re going into is something that is going to be sustainable for you,” she says.

“I think a lot of people jump into a business and discover the pitfalls later. So I think it’s really important to research. Also, make sure you get your trademarks done and invest in your trademarks.

“When you’re doing your business, you have to understand that it’s gonna take time to make a profit. You have to invest, you have to invest in your idea, you have to invest in the customer and the reality is it takes businesses a long time. 

“Do your research, know what you’re doing is the right thing, building your customer base, building your brand and really getting behind marketing.”

This story was originally published on Smart Company.

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