Our story

A word from our

The purpose in my life since 1998 has been to change dogs' lives for the better.

So I am both humbled and very pleased to welcome you here. It seems like only yesterday I packed and shipped our very first bags of ESSENTIALS, and yet, we now have the whole-hearted honor of cooking our foods and delights for more than a quarter million customers, or as I like to say, our members of the ESSENTIALS tribe. You are our family. The trust you have shown by choosing ESSENTIALS, is not only appreciated. It is the foundation of my eternal three promises:
Never to make any unfavorable changes in our quality in pursuit of making more profit.

Always and ever to keep our original mission: To improve and prolong the lives of dogs (and nowadays we proudly may add cats). To stay true to my vision of only creating beautiful products, making ESSENTIALS the luxury lifestyle brand you desire and deserve.

Having these promises obviously means I hold animal life immensely dear at heart. Hence one of the greatest pleasures is being able to manifest this love through our ESSENTIALS CHARITY Program, supporting dogs/cats, wildlife and nature matching ~1% of our global sales.In the sincere hope that I may be in the service of your loved ones and you for many, many years to come.


The prologue

A year before we opened, our founder decided to spend the whole of 2012 fine-tuning everything involved with the start-up of ESSENTIALS. It was quite surreal starting with nothing but the vision of creating a luxury lifestyle brand with the focused mission: To improve and prolong the life of dogs. The first task was to

compile a list of the hundreds of jobs, large and small, that had to be done and to set deadlines for them, so that everything could be achieved before the big day.
The whole of January was spent on that, and it was probably the best possible investment of our time, as we got it all done and were able to open right on schedule.


The launch!

On Wednesday 2 January, we opened the doors to ESSENTIAL FOODS. And thankfully our founder was not alone. Christian Degner-Elsner’s trusty sales manager from a previous adventure had agreed to be a part of the ESSENTIALS journey from the outset. So, Kasper Holm and Christian went aboard together.

That first month they took exactly 159,072 DKK. ESSENTIALS was launched, both in Denmark and the UK. Shaky, the Australian Shepherd, was charged with keeping everyone’s spirits up at the office and enjoyed being the company’s first model, not to mention primary product tester!


Going global

The seeds of two of our most important markets were planted in 2014. Both the Czech Republic (with Slovakia and Hungary following suit the following year) and Bulgaria were put on the ESSENTIAL FOODS map. Or rather it was the other way around: Milla, Jakub and Lucie put ESSENTIAL FOODS on the map.

Over the years, they have all become family, and they have all, each in their own way, had a huge impact on where ESSENTIALS is today. At ESSENTIAL FOODS, we’re eternally grateful to them and look forward to working together on our future endeavours for many years to come.


A busy year

Kasper slogged away in Denmark, travelling around the entire country, and we welcomed many breeders in 2015. Some were faces we knew from before, while others were new customers who met us at one of the many exhibitions we spent the weekends at. Breeders have always had a very special place in our heart and have thus shaped much of the ESSENTIALS DNA since 2013.

No breeders, no ESSENTIALS! We owe them more than words can say.Sweden and Poland opened up as ESSENTIALS countries, and both are today two of our absolute key markets. Thank you all for choosing us!The JAGUAR was launched, and we had ourselves a meal for cats that soon proved to be of a very special calibre indeed.


Sports cars

We participated for the second time at the world’s largest trade fair, INTERZOO, with our own stand. This time we’d thrown all humility overboard and had placed a vintage Morgan sports car in the middle of the stand. Things were happening! The rumours about the JAGUAR, our meal for cats, had reached Japan, and it was with great pride that we opened the doors to yet another ESSENTIALS country. Thank you for your trust in us, friends. We welcomed Manolis as a distributor in Greece, bringing us lots of new customers in this

beautiful country over the years. Welcome to our ESSENTIALS family in Serbia. Against all the odds, our distributor managed to build ESSENTIALS into a leading brand. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who has supported our mission in Serbia. The year ended with us pinning the Finnish flag onto the ESSENTIALS map. Aku & Emmi are the best ambassadors we could wish for. The year rounded off with a huge hole in the accounts. Expansion costs it would seem!



With things more than tripling in the space of just a few years, in 2017, we were able to send 500,000 DKK / 65,000 EUR to the cases that are so close to our hearts: dogs in need, nature and wildlife conservation.We had become a factor to be reckoned with and we enjoyed recognition by prioritising this. The year also saw the range of 3 kg bags with a kibble adapted to smaller dogs

getting off the ground with the “Do not mistake size for personality” campaign.
Being able to welcome France as an ESSENTIALS country was also a landmark event for the year. All our lovely customers there, and not least our distributor family with Stéphane at the helm, have made France a great ESSENTIALS country. Merci!


A new luxury

We started the year with the launch of the long-awaited measuring cup, ESSENTIAL the CUP. Sorry for the wait!

Not long after that, we were ready with a range of treats in a whole new category, ESSENTIAL FINEST. Handmade and air-dried from our small speciality

kitchen in Yorkshire, England, we set a new standard for what luxury treats could be. They quickly gained a high level of recognition, and we have successfully expanded the range of FINEST variants to six since then. In 2018, we also welcomed Korea to the list of countries where ESSENTIALS can be purchased.


The Highlands

We reached a size that allowed us to establish our own Creative Studio in close collaboration with the entire team at Abel. And it would be fair to say that we haven’t looked back since.

Immediately afterwards, for the first time in a handful of years, we launched two new meals. The deluxe meal, HIGHLAND LIVING, which soon became a firm favourite of many customers.

And the BALANCE meal, which is not only in a lower price bracket, but which is also formulated for those dogs that don’t thrive on too much protein and/or several protein sources.

TINY FISH DELIGHTS was this year’s new product on the treat front.


DK&UK took off

The first task of the year was to fire up the new team at our largest distribution unit, ESSENTIALS Northern. Our founder could now dedicate himself to spreading ESSENTIALS all over the world and developing our next generation of products and services because Jens Damgaard had entered the arena. Revenue exceeded all expectations, helped along enormously by the

exceptional success on the Danish and British markets. Well done Natasha, Kasper & Jens! We launched our first non-edible lifestyle product, the DOG DIARY - a diary for puppy owners. It will certainly not be the last of its kind that we embark on in the future. The doors to essentialfoods.de opened, allowing our German friends to have ESSENTIALS delivered to their door.


Brexit troubles

The challenges that had hung over us since the BREXIT referendum blazed up in early January. The first three months caused countless sleepless nights and drew on every last resource we had. But the efforts of our many colleagues in the UK and the entire family in the EU were not in vain, and we managed to stabilise the ESSENTIALS deliveries. The fact that we were able to deliver meals prepared in the UK really worked in our favour at a time when many others had had to give up completely. The LYNX, our first custom-made treat for

cats, was hitting the streets with a bang. We’d had 18,000 servings made by mistake instead of the planned 6,000! Fortunately for us, word got round that the LYNX is also an unbelievably good training treat for puppies and adult dogs alike, so it was a sell-out by the end of November.We also managed to launch rhondaschoice.com, an online magazine for anyone wishing to travel in style with the WHOLE family.As the year drew to a close, we’d crossed a major milestone and passed 100M in sales across the globe.


To come...

Making ETERNAL history as we write.

In 2022, we’re launching our most important product ever for dogs, for mankind and for the planet.

To Be Continued…

To improve and prolong
the lives of dogs

Our purpose in life is to be at the service of dogs. To create ideas, concepts and beautiful products to help our customers enjoy healthier and better lives. To improve and prolong the lives of dogs.

More than 250,000 dogs enjoy ESSENTIALS across the globe, and we’re forever grateful for each and every one that has made an ESSENTIAL choice and shares our mission, serving by serving, bag by bag.