Dogs’ Dinner: Pets at Home experts judge new dog food concepts on BBC One’s The Apprentice

An expert team from pet care specialist, Pets at Home, put candidates on the BBC’s The Apprentice through their paces in the tenth episode of season 17. 

The task, which aired last night (Thursday 9th March), saw the final six candidates – split into two groups – challenged to develop a new wet dog food brand that would appeal to loving pet owners. 

After finessing their dog food recipe and designing the branding, the candidates headed to the Pets at Home Hendon store to pitch to a panel of three Pets at Home experts. 

Both groups were vying to be top dog, showcasing their products to the panel comprised of commercial director Chris Corbin, head of food trading Alastair Islip and head of own brand and innovation Jill Mason. 

They were looking for high-quality nutritional recipes, an engaging and informative packaging design, value for money, and a unique selling point, with the candidates’ efforts evaluated as any new supplier would be. 

With high expectations when it comes to the quality of dog food, the panellists were critical of both the positioning and ingredients of the two concepts, named Pro Paw and Chef Barking. 

And, when the candidates found themselves back in the boardroom, they learned that the Pets at Home experts felt they’d both made a real dog’s dinner of the task, deciding not to place orders for either product. 

On their experience on the show, Chris Corbin said: “There’s a lot that goes into understanding the nutritional needs of a pet, so it certainly wasn’t an easy task for the candidates. 

“We’re passionate about getting the right products for the nation’s pets and are 100 per cent focused on putting their health and happiness first. It was great to watch the show back, and brilliant to share a little insight on how pet food products are evaluated at Pets at Home, and the things we consider before allowing any dogs, cats or small animals to tuck into them.                

“We judged Team Apex and Affinity as we would any new supplier pitching a product to us and shared some honest feedback with them on how they would need to improve their products to be considered as an option we could stock in our stores.  

“Overall, we appreciated their efforts, but to have a chance of being stocked, the candidates would have had to consider if the product was right for dogs of all breeds, sizes and life stages, as well as whether it offers a complete meal. 

“It was great to meet and hear from them though, and we wish the final two the best of luck!”  

Suppliers who would like to pitch a new product suggestion to Pets at Home can share their products with the pet care specialist through the global supplier platform Range Me. Find out more and submit here. 

If you missed last night’s episode of The Apprentice, catch up now on BBC iPlayer: 

For more information about Pets at Home, visit: 


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About Pets at Home    

Pets at Home is the UK’s leading pet care business that provides everything a pet owner needs to look after their pets, from food and accessories to veterinary care with Vets4Pets and grooming services at The Groom Room. 

There are more than 450 Pets at Home stores across the UK. Log onto to find your nearest store and for further information.