Dog treats boom helps Emma Gibbons break into the global market with her sustainable range

Dog treats boom helps Emma Gibbons break into the global market with her sustainable range

With her all-woman workforce and biscuits that look good enough for humans to eat, Emma Gibbons is breaking into a multi-billion-dollar global market of animal lovers splurging on spoiling their pets.

The concept of Huds and Toke came to life around a kitchen table in 2012, named after the two imaginary dragons dreamed up by Emma and Russell Gibbons’ sons.

Now, the family’s sustainable pet treats, baked in a purpose-built factory in an industrial park on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, are shipped around Australia and worldwide.

Emma Gibbons won Queensland’s AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award in 2023.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

“They’re brought out at birthday parties for dogs and coffee dates with dogs, so we sell to a lot of cafes,” Ms Gibbons said.

“It’s just bringing a little bit of joy into people’s lives by sharing a happy moment with their dogs.”

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts annually commissions the company to make Doggie Doughnuts to sell in the USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand for International Dog Day on August 26.

Ms Gibbons said Australia’s pet food market was worth over $4.3 billion annually, with the pet treats component valued at more than $302.9 million.

Doughnut shaped cookies on trays in an oven.

Baked “Doggie Doughnuts” ready for healthy pet-safe “icing”.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

“And then the US market is just greatly magnified. We’re looking at more than $US50 billion ($78 billion) for pet food alone, so we only need a little bit of that to keep us going.”

Ms Gibbons has been named the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Queensland winner.

Women packing dog treats.

Huds and Toke now has a purpose-built factory at Coolum.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

She is a national finalist in the awards that celebrate the inclusive and courageous leadership of women involved in Australia’s rural and emerging industries, businesses and communities.

“I hope I can inspire lots more women to be entrepreneurial in the agricultural landscape and take those little risks here and there and go with their crazy ideas,” Ms Gibbons said.

Treats in the shape of carrots and triangles.

The range includes treats for horses.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

The treat line has been expanded to horses and rabbits, and the ingredients adapted to include Australian-farmed insect protein and surplus vegetables, including pumpkins, carrots and beetroot.

The protein meal is made from soldier fly larvae, which are used to recycle food and livestock waste.

Three mounds of colourful powder with treats scattered around them.

Sustainable treat ingredients including pumpkin, insect, and beetroot powder.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

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