About the Company
John and Ann Rademaker founded Natura in 1992 with Peter Atkins in Santa Clara, California. Evo was one of the first companies to focus on an ancestral diet for dogs and cats, as carnivores. That's why they produce their pet products without grains, gluten or potatoes. Mars markets the Evo line as an easy alternative or supplement to a raw or homemade diet.
In 2010, Evo pet food was one of the Natura Pet companies bought by Procter & Gamble, along with Innova, California Natural, Healthwise, Mother Nature Natural Dog Biscuits and Karma. Eventually, those companies became part of Mars Petcare, in 2014.
EVO Turkey & Chicken is the line’s most highly rated dry dog food on Amazon, but only 51 percent of 39 reviewers gave it 5 stars, and 26 percent gave it no more than 1 star. Consumers have similarly split opinions about EVO Red Meat Dog Food. While 72 percent of 29 reviews gave it five stars, 14 percent gave it only one star.
The line’s highest rated canned dog food is EVO 95% Beef, with 84 percent giving it a rating of 5 stars, out of 30 customer reviews on amazon. But another 10 percent only gave it 1 star. Again, reviews seem somewhat mixed.
Evo Dog Food Reviews
Innova Evo dog food reviews are mixed, as an increasing number of consumers and pet-lovers move away for giant, multinational companies. Natura Pet Products did, however, get the 2010 Editor's Choice Award from Cat Fancy magazine for EVO’s Weight Management Adult Cat Food and EVO Wild Cravings Weight Management Cat Treats. It is obvious. There are still fans of Evo pet products out there.
Sweet Success For Mars In The Pet Food Industry
That’s right: the candy bar company! Under its massive corporate umbrella, Mars has 41 pet product brands. They include familiar four billion-dollar names like PEDIGREE®, IAMS®, WHISKAS®, ROYAL CANIN® and BANFIELD®.
It may surprise you, but Mars is actually the largest pet food company in America. At the Global Pet Expo in 2016, Mars Petcare relaunched Evo and California Natural. They moved the brands to independent, pet specialty retailers. Such sales exclusivity were inconsistent while they were still in Procter & Gamble’s control.
Since the line features a diet similar to a dog’s ancestral diet, Evo dog food ingredients don’t include grains, gluten or potatoes. There are no artificial preservatives, colors or chemical additives of any kind, including preservatives, in any of the products.
Protein levels are high too, from poultry, red meat and fish. Meat or fish is always the first and main ingredient. There are no animal by-products either.
The low-carb, high-protein diet is intended to support lean muscles and maintain a healthy weight in our dogs. The company website says the high quality meat, fats and oils, as well as the digestible high levels of vitamins and other nutrients, will give our dogs a glossy, healthy coat too. Because of the food's concentrated nutrition, our dogs need less and smaller servings as well.
The company website also says EVO tests their pet products with, “well over 100 defined quality control checks throughout the manufacturing process.” They test the raw ingredients and several times throughout the manufacturing process. The company also emphasizes their commitment to innovation, pet health and longevity.
Many criticize Mars and other big pet food companies for where and how they get their fish. Even Allyson Park, a Mars spokeswoman, admits there are currently problems tracing the fish because Mars doesn’t purchase it right after it’s caught.
That makes it hard to ensure the people involved have decent working conditions. For example, more than 90,000 cat and dog food cartons were sent to Mars Company from the cannery supplied by fishing boats where a captive named Lang Long was held and forced into slave labour.
The company replaced some of the fishmeal in it’s pet food already, and it commits to continue doing so. But, I’d like to see them move a lot faster on the issue. Mars has stated that by 2020 they will use only non-threatened fish caught legally or raised on farms. They plan to have that certified by third-party auditors to end all their links to forced labor in the fishing industry.
There was also a troubling CDC report about dangerous working conditions at the Mars Petcare manufacturing facility in Joplin, Missouri. Although the plant closed before the CDC could follow-up on the initial report, apparently for unrelated reasons, according to Mars. That sounds almost as fishy the company's difficulty dealing with slave labor issues!
The CDC investigated based on the National Institute for Occupational Health's (NIOSH) findings of excessive airborne mold and a possible release of diacetyl and 2, 3-pentanedione. Workers complained of severe respiratory illness, gastrointestinal problems and allergy symptoms. Eight of former employees also filed a lawsuit in August 2013 over the bad working conditions, including exposure to phosphine gas, damaging their eyes, lungs, respiratory systems and internal organs.
There hasn’t been an Evo dog food recall while it’s been part of Mars Petcare, but Evo and California Natural were both were involved in a a number of recalls in 2013, while under Procter & Gamble.
Evo also recalled several lots of Grain Free Turkey and Chicken Formula Cat & Kitten dry cat food and EVO® Grain Free Ferret Food in November, 2014, for insufficient vitamin levels.
Evo Dog Food Reviews — My Final Thoughts
When buying any product, there’s more to think about than just the quality and price. Sometimes, there are hidden human costs that we would never agree to if we were aware of them as consumers.
Mars Petcare currently has slave labor problems with the fish in its food. Not only that, but the company has a history of not treating its American workforce very well. I can’t trust a company with these kinds of issues, and if consumers continue to turn a blind eye and continue to buy their products, there is no push for the multinationals to change.