An Anchorage producer of canine salmon treats which utilize fish byproducts from other seafood producers has opened facilities in Phoenix, Arizona, to better serve a growing demand in the continental United States.
Arctic Paws, the producer of Yummy Chummies, is now warehousing and packaging product in the new Arizona location, and in all likelihood, production facilities will be going in there too, said Brett Gibson, the owner of the firm.
The company will continue to maintain its facilities in Anchorage, but the new facility will likely produce as much, if not more than the Alaska location, Gibson said.
The decision to open facilities in Phoenix was likely an important move in securing Arctic Paws’ latest major contract, to supply Sam’s Clubs nationwide with an order of 180,000 bags of the original Yummy Chummies snacks, he said. The original snack, which contains wheat, is also sold online and in other stores nationwide.
Costco stores offer Yummy Chummies Gold, a grain free product, with a hint of rosemary extract.
The company also produces Yummy Chummies salmon with cranberries and blueberries, salmon with sweet potato, and salmon with carrots, kelp and spinach.
The high cost of shipping ingredients and packaging materials to Alaska and then shipping finished product south to consumers in the Lower 48, particularly for rush orders, has been a major cost consideration for Alaska manufacturers for years.
As the cost of shipping rises, Alaska manufacturers have often felt compelled to make arrangements for warehousing nearer to their customer base.
Gibson is particularly pleased with the fact that Yummy Chummies offer a nutritious pet product that fully utilizes the heads, bellies, trim, tails, collars and skin left after the salmon are filleted or roe stripped. It was his concern over the waste of fish byproducts that prompted him to start the business several years back.
“Fish byproduct in this state has become a big deal,” he said. What Arctic Paws offers is not a complete solution, but it has resulted in agreements with several Alaska seafood processors who deliver these scraps “nice and iced,” Gibson said. For these processors, it’s a very good way to dispose of this product, he said.