TOKYO >> A food company in Daisen, Akita prefecture, has developed furikake — a seasoning usually sprinkled over steamed rice — for cats and dogs to improve their intestinal health.
Since February, Takalabo Produce has been selling Ato-nose Natto Furikake, freeze-dried domestic hikiwari (crushed fermented soybeans), for dogs and cats. The product is rich in dietary fiber and free from preservatives and coloring agents. The seasoning can be sprinkled on pet food.
Takalabo began developing healthy food for pets in 2021, taking a cue from the pandemic trend of pet adoptions. The company uses the fermented soybeans, a specialty of the prefecture, to help improve pet health.
In November, following a survey, it designed packages that it can be dropped into a mailbox. The product comes in a trial size of 25 grams (almost 1 ounce) for about $3.80; a 50-gram bag, about $6.25; and a 100-gram bag, about $11.15.
The company currently sells the product exclusively online but hopes it will someday be available on drugstore shelves nationwide.
“Owners these days are more conscious of their pets’ health,” said Kenichi Suzuki, Takalabo president. “We want to deliver products from Akita that will delight both owners and pets across the country.”