Spratt's company was established in Holborn, London in 1861 and Spratt's “Meat Fibrine Dog Cake” was patented the same year. It was made from a concoction of blended wheat meals, vegetables, beetroot, and meat. Spratt was to remain secretive about the meat source for his product for the rest of his life. The “dog cakes” were initially sold to English country gentlemen for their sporting dogs.
In the 1870s the company expanded, producing other items for dogs such as portable kennels, collars, chains, and clothing. Foods were also manufactured for poultry, game and other livestock. Spratt's had a factory in Aintree for biscuit production, a factory in Wisbech for canning and a dog food factory in Poplar, London. In the 1900s Spratt's dog biscuits were sold throughout Europe and the United States. Spratt's became one of the most heavily marketed brands in the early 20th century, with product recognition developed through logo display, lifestyle advertising, and support through devices such as cigarette cards.
In 1961 Spratt's Patent Limited was acquired by Spillers for £3.94 million. The acquisition enabled Spillers to increase its range of dog foods and gain a foothold in the canned section of the pet foods market.
by Mark Matlach