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Updates from our new KatKin kitchen

Updates from our new KatKin kitchen
by KatKin Team

Read time: 8 min

Hi everyone,

It’s Brett and Nikki here, and we want to share an update with you. On behalf of us and everyone at KatKin, we'd first like to thank you for taking the time to read this.

As you likely know, we recently made some changes to our packaging and cooking processes. We unfortunately also made some mistakes.

We'd like to personally apologise to all those who have been affected by these issues. We'd also like to thank everyone who has been sharing feedback with us, and we want to let you know what we're doing to make things right.

If your cat is struggling with the new trays, and you read any part of this update, please read this: 

We hear you. And we are sorry. From 9 May, we will bring back three recipes cooked in pouch-style packaging and make these available alongside the new trays. We will do this for at least the next six months while continuing to improve the new tray recipes until everyone is happy with these.

We’d also like to share the following reflections, updates and further improvements we are working on:

Why we built a new kitchen

Our mission will always be to change as many cats’ lives as possible. By giving them the fresh, human-quality meat they need to thrive.

That’s why we built our new kitchen: to secure the future of KatKin and to be able to continue to serve you and your cats fresh food for years to come. In making this move, we continue to use exactly the same suppliers and human-quality meats and have made no compromises to the nutritional quality of the recipes.

Building the kitchen and setting up the new cooking process has been hard. There have  been some very significant challenges we’ve had to overcome as a small and independent team. And because fresh is completely new and different to wet and dry foods, we need to work out a lot of things for the very first time. We are grateful to many of you for all the support you have given us on this mission so far.

We’re very sorry for the upset we have caused

While we were setting up the new kitchen, we failed to give you and your cats the best possible product and service. We have left many of you and your cats in the lurch during this time.

Not all of the new trays or food have been up to the high standard our customers and we expect. This has meant that, for some customers, the texture, smell, tray seals and heating-up experience have been extremely disappointing. And we completely understand. In your shoes, we would be upset too.

We also failed to let you know in advance about this change, and we also didn’t give you and your cats the time to prepare for a transition to the new tray recipes. Although we continue to gently cook the food, we underestimated the change in texture occurring from the updated cooking process.

We then had fulfilment challenges that caused some of you weeks of severe delivery disruption and delays, and we also ran out of some popular recipes and sizes during the move between kitchens.

We are very sorry to have let you and your cats down. We understand that this has been a very stressful time due to the role KatKin plays in your cats’ health and happiness. We have made some mistakes and would definitely do some things differently if we had the opportunity again.

Your survey feedback and improvements we are making

There’s promising feedback, but we have also let many of you down

The initial results of the survey tell us that most of you like the new trays and food. In recent weeks, 79% of your cats have been eating the new food, and 64% of you prefer the new trays to the old packaging. We are seeing increasingly positive feedback every week since early March. This reflects continuous improvements we have been making.

But we know many of you are very disappointed. 28% of you have been struggling to transition your cats to the new tray recipes, and currently 23% of you say the food does not meet your expectation of fresh. And we hear you. Our mission has always been to give every cat access to fresh, high-quality food they’ll love. So we know we now have to do better for you and your cat.

Improvements we have made

We know that some of you received trays from our initial batches with open or damaged seals. This has now been improved through changes to our packing process, and we continue to monitor it. To address early feedback on the food texture being too fine or watery, we have worked to improve this by increasing the sizes of our grinding plates. A number of you also reported an eggy smell in the air upon opening the trays. We have investigated and fixed this, and we determined it was not related to the safety of the food.

Improvements we are still looking for solutions on

We are still working on two main things. The first is to further improve the texture of recipes in the new trays. The second is to find a solution for those of you who prefer to warm up or defrost KatKin using your microwave or hot water. We’re making fast progress on both of these and will keep you updated.

You’ll have a choice between new tray recipes or pouch-style recipes

We will continue to serve Cluck, Gobble, Quack, Mooo and Splash in the new tray packaging. We will bring back Baaa and Oink in the new tray packaging from 29 May – or earlier if we can. We will need to suspend Bubble + Quack to make room for the next update below.

We will also bring back three recipes cooked in a pouch-style packaging to help cats who are struggling with the new texture. We do not have the capacity to bring back more than three. You can help us decide which recipes to bring back by telling us your top three choices (voting now closed).

From 1 May, you will be able to see the pouch-style recipes in your account portal. You will be able to add them to any orders going out from 9 May onwards. By default, any upcoming order will only include recipes in the new trays, unless you manually update this in your account portal.

Making pouch-style recipes available again will let customers who are unhappy with the new trays continue to feed their cats fresh. This will also give us time to improve the recipes in the new trays further. We want these to meet everyone's expectations.

If you choose to order the pouch-style recipes, we hope you continue to try the new trays, too. You'll be able to see the improvements we're making every day.

We will continue like this for a minimum of six months, before we determine, with your feedback, if we should continue with the new trays or go back to the pouch-style recipes.

Other updates to share

We know we have let some of you down. And we understand that we have a lot to do to regain your trust. With this in mind, we have two other updates to share.

In May, we will post a virtual tour of the new KatKin Kitchen on our website and social channels. This will give you an insight into how we make fresh food for your cats. You will see the high-quality ingredients we use and meet the team who make your fresh food and pack your orders.

At KatKin, we take food safety very seriously. We do not compromise on this, and we work with independent labs to test each batch daily. This is in excess of both industry standards and regulatory requirements, which can be as little as monthly. We will also make available the results of these tests for all batches, and you will be able to find this information in your account portals. This will go live at the end of May and include all batches produced in the new kitchen to date.

We are very sorry if you’ve been impacted in the last weeks

We started KatKin when we couldn’t find the fresh food our own cats, Molly, Kiki and Columbus, needed as obligate carnivores. And we believe that every cat parent deserves a brand you can trust to be as uncompromising as you are when it comes to your cats’ wellbeing. 

But we’ve let some of you down on this. And we are very sorry. 

We'd also like to thank you again for your honest, helpful feedback. Your opinions matter to us, and we appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. If you would still like to let us know how you feel about the new trays but haven’t yet, you can fill in this short survey. Thousands have already responded, and we’re taking every single comment on board. 

We have also added an FAQ section to our website to help you quickly find answers to some commonly asked questions and concerns. If your query isn’t answered there, please do get in touch and let us know.

There would be no KatKin without our community of hardcore cat parents. Thank you for joining us on this journey – and your continued support for the mission to improve cats' lives. 

Love Hard

Brett + Nikki and the KatKin Team

And Molly, Kiki, Columbus + many more

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