The History of Diamond Pet Foods
With a dream and some bootstraps, 2 brothers by marriage started a small animal feed production that is now a billion-dollar business.
Diamond Pet Foods had its humble beginnings in Missouri, close to the homes of Gary Schell and Richard Kampeter. The brothers-in-law bought a mill in Meta, Missouri — population 220. They began operating in April 1970 under the name Meta Feed and Grain.
Until then, the mill “had been one of those hand-to-mouth local enterprises that dotted outstate Missouri, converting a farmer’s grain to flour, bran, corn meal and hog slops,” according to a feature in the Kansas City Star.
When Schell and Kampeter took over, the mill “produced mostly hog and cattle feed. But it also had a line of dog chow, cooked in 3 big iron kettles large enough to make 4 tons of the stuff in 10 hours.”ADVERTISEMENT
By the early 1990s, business was booming, thanks to the specialty pet food. “Meta Feed and Grain got out of livestock feed [and] went exclusively to dog and cat chow,” according to the newspaper article.
Also, there was an important name change. According to folklore, Meta Feed and Grain came to be called Diamond Pet Foods when a hunter exclaimed that eating the dog food made his dog’s coat shine like a diamond.
The business continued to grow under the direction of Schell and Kampeter — though it wasn’t always easy.
“We went broke 5 times,” Schell told the Kansas City Star. “We actually ran out of money. Once we went over to the bank, threw the keys to the place on the counter and said, ‘You take it. ‘They said, ‘No, we’ll work something out.”
By 1992, Diamond was racking up $40 million in sales worldwide.
And today? As of 2020, Diamond Pet Foods was the No. 5 pet food company in the world, with $1.5 billion in annual revenue, according to data provided by Pet Food Industry.
Beginning in 1985, the second generation of Kampeters took an avid interest in their father’s business.
Michael, Tommy and John Kampeter started working full time at their father’s company. All 3 of them had worked in the Meta plant while they were still teens completing their education. Their youngest brother, Andy, would eventually become vice president of transportation and packaging.
When Michael Kampeter joined the company, he began taking distribution of Diamond pet products nationally. He attended trade shows and expanded Diamond’s client base. He would eventually become president of the company.
Now, Michael Kampeter has brought his son, Trey, into the business with him. Trey has become the third generation of Kampeters to work in the company.
In 1999, the company outgrew its Meta plant, and another plant was opened in Lathrop, California.
Then, in 2003, the company expanded again, this time opening a plant in Gaston, South Carolina.
In 2013, the town of Ripon, California, rejoiced when Diamond opened yet another plant in that community, bringing 75 additional jobs. Rather than build a brand-new plant from the ground up, Diamond purchased a defunct paper mill for $9 million and repurposed it.
That plant is located only 15 miles from the Lathrop, California, plant. With the Ripon plant, Diamond made an important investment in renewable energy, adding solar panels and LED lights, which burn the least energy of all light bulbs.ADVERTISEMENT
Over the years, Diamond Pet Foods has diversified its line of products, including Diamond Naturals (which debuted in 2006), Diamond CARE (debuted in 2016) and Diamond Pro89 (debuted in 2019).
Other brands owned by Diamond Pet Foods include:
Diamond’s most recognizable pet food brand — and its big money maker — is Taste of the Wild.
In the next section below, we discuss the Diamond pet food recall history.
Dog Food Recall 2020 — Full List
All 2020 dog food recalls are listed in the table below.
Click the links in the table below to see the specific, important details about each recall.
Does Costco have a recall on dog food?
Kirkland-based Costco has announced the recall of one of its pet foods after the manufacturer announced that it contained rice protein that may be contaminated.
What dog food is on recall right now 2022?
Is Kirkland dog food recalled?
Is Kirkland dog food safe for dogs?
What dog food has been recalled 2019?