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Organic freeze dry lamb liver pet treat

Project start date: 04 November 2019
Project end date: 03 February 2020
Publication date: 10 December 2020
Livestock species: Lamb
Relevant regions: National
Download Report (0.9 MB)


The pet treat market in Australian is worth AUD$180 - 200 million. With pet owners buying three times as many beef treats as lamb treats, there is an overwhelming opportunity to increase the pet parent preference for buying lamb treats and to grow the market segment for red meat treats. 

This report presents the opportunity to develop more demand for Australian organic freeze dry raw lamb treats.


The main objectives of this project were to:

  • provide a brief overview of the Pet Treat market and enabling technology platform for freeze drying
  • complete trials and develop proof of concept for organic lamb liver pet treats
  • obtain market feedback with pet owners on concept and value proposition(s)
  • establish minimum viable product prototype brief, key findings, cost benefit analysis and lessons learned on approach taken and next steps.

Key findings

  • With the pet treat segment in Australia worth $180 -200 million and the Freeze Dry Segment today worth 10%, there appears room for an Australian organic freeze dry lamb treat. 
  • To be successful, the price and value proposition has to be compelling to store owners and pet parents along with a viable supply chain to harvest the raw lamb liver materials.
  • Consumers have to believe organic ingredients mean more than natural and are in fact superior. As such, any new product needs to be supported with a strong marketing and advertising campaign to create the compelling reason to buy organic.
  • To optimise the value proposition for Australian red meat producers and processors to supply or partner with pet food manufacturers, there will likely require a change in business model designs than the current paradigm of commodity trading into the pet food sector.

Benefits to industry

This project has been able to demonstrate that lamb liver is able to be milled and freeze dried into pet food treats. Preliminary feedback from key stakeholders seemed to welcome the presented  health benefits of Australian Freeze Dry Organic Lamb Liver Treats, free of GMO's and chemicals, offering a value multiplier of twenty times when compared to the price of raw lamb offal.

The next steps are to win the support from retailers and secure raw meat supply to then commercialise and scale production to guarantee industry and supply chain benefits are realised.

MLA action

This final report highlights the opportunity for processors and brand owners of lamb liver, as well as pet food manufacturers to consider the opportunity to enter into commercially viable manufacture and supply of freeze dried lamb liver pet food treats to the pet retail market.

Based on the prototype developed with MDC research partner, their COGS is estimated at $50 per Kg with revenue being $80 per kg. Their first year forecast annual sales for Organic Freeze Dry Lamb Liver Treats is estimated to be $60,000 per annum (12,000 bags x $5 per bag incl GST), subject to winning a contract with a specialist pet supplier.

Future research

The recommendation from the development of  the Freeze Dry Organic Lamb Treats is to work with the supply chain partners to improve the value proposition of organic meat treats to get into specialist pet store chains. The way to win is to have better treats with better ingredients (including meat inputs), that both pets and parents like.

More information

Contact email:
Primary researcher: Leonard Grout - Next Generation Whole Foods