Aaron Merrell




Plato Pet Treats

Petfood Essentials presentation description:

Commercialization challenge: How to get a pet treat concept to market – Merrell explores keys to success in launching a pet treat to market, including pros and cons and pitfalls of self-manufacturing, private label, white label or contract manufacturing. He highlights critical factors like product development, branding and distribution across different manufacturing models, and discusses how to navigate challenges and mitigate risks. From his perspective as both an owned-brand and contract manufacturer, Merrell offers practical insights and actionable strategies for successfully introducing a pet treat product to the competitive market.


Beginning his career in the pet food industry in 1996 at a meat processing facility and working from the “floor” up, Aaron Merrell steadily ascended through various roles, accumulating invaluable experience. His journey and personal inspiration with a family pet led him to co-found Plato Pet Treats in 2006, where he has since been instrumental in steering the company’s growth and diversification, as an owned-brand manufacturer, as well as in contract manufacturing, private label and ingredient manufacturing — all from their strategically located Fresno facility in the epicenter of California’s rich agricultural heartland.