Hi-Tek Rations Inc.

High-end, nutritional pet foods made in Georgia from quality ingredients
Written by: 
Jeanee Dudley
Produced by: 
Elizabeth Towne

Hi-Tek Rations is a premium pet nutrition manufacturer serving retailers and wholesalers throughout the United States. Based in Dublin, Georgia, the family-owned business has been producing high-quality pet foods since 1988.

Leonard Powell, owner and CEO of Hi-Tek Rations, established the company more than 25 years ago after a successful career in animal nutrition. Previous experience includes significant tenure with major brand businesses such as Purina and Moorman’s. His expertise in the nutritional needs of animals carried over easily into the new business, which began producing foods for dogs and cats as well as horses and ruminant animals. As the operation has grown over the years, Leonard has refined the scope of formulation, production and distribution to include exclusively pet foods.

Today, he works with a team of 80 associates, including his wife, Sue Powell, the company’s office manager, whom he calls, “The glue that holds the operation together.” The couple’s daughters are also involved in day-to-day operations. Connie Powell serves as director of marketing and office assistance and Carron Powell oversees marketing and provides support for the office.

The company is known for highly palatable, natural foods that stand among the best in the industry for food safety and product quality. Hi-Tek Rations utilizes extrusion, steam cooking and baking to prepare its formulations. The brand offers dry kibble, baked treats, and canned diets to discerning customers.

Quality control through owner involvement

Throughout the company’s history, there have been no major changes in its values and goals. The Hi-Tek Rations team strives to produce superior nutritional products with food safety and quality as principal concerns.

Leonard and his colleagues employ a hands-on approach to food safety and quality. From the single 78-acre manufacturing campus, the family supervises and manages a slew of processes. All four members of the Powell family take ownership in the facility, involved with daily processes and ensuring quality in formulation and production. Leonard maintains that many of Hi-Tek Rations’ competitors do not own or operate their own manufacturing plants, relying instead on outside “toll mill” operations over which they have little control.

Leonard is a bit of a wiz when it comes to manufacturing technology. He has established in-house, proprietary processes in order to maximize flavor and food safety without compromising nutrition. Along the process line is a 12-foot steam-fired barrel extruder. “We put all of the ingredients in to cook and it does not destroy the vitamins,” Leonard says. “When it comes out in moist chunks, a high-speed blower sucks the food into a dryer.”

Superior nutrition for pets

Through this proven process, Hi-Tek Rations produces high-quality dog and cat foods, distributed primarily to small independent pet stores. While the company’s largest market is in the United States, Leonard and his family also distribute to retailers in 28 foreign countries.

The business works with several dedicated distributors to service and expand target markets. These distributors excel at strategic marketing and sales, building up demand for these products and spreading the word about Hi-Tek Rations.

As demand grows for the Powell family’s quality, nutritional pet foods, Leonard and his team are constantly working to improve efficiencies and product offerings. “We manage all formulation, product development and manufacturing of our products,” he notes. “Our team maintains a continual effort in the development of new products, line extensions and improvements of existing products.”

The Hi-Tek Rations line of quality products includes Leonard Powell Signature Series Dog Foods in three families: exotic, classics and baked. These flagship pet foods feature a variety of protein sources including bison, pork, chicken and salmon. Other products in the company’s premium line are Hi-Tek Naturals Dog Food and Hi-Tek Naturals Grain-Free Dog and Cat Foods, LIFE4K9 Dog Food, Perfectly Natural Dog Food and Premium Blend Dog Food.

Staying ahead of the competition

Competition is harsh in the premium pet food business. As dog and cat owners prioritize healthier diets for their pets, many processors and manufacturers are edging into the market. As a small, family-owned business, Hi-Tek Rations cannot afford the major marketing schemes put on by larger producers. Instead, Leonard and his family aim to win over the market with quality, variety and integrity.

Over the coming years, Hi-Tek Rations will continue to run with the big dogs. Unlike larger producers, the business is able to respond quickly to changes in the market and customer concerns. Leonard, Sue and the rest of the Hi-Tek Rations team strive for satisfaction from pet owners and continue to work to provide tasty, nutritious food options for cats and dogs, and the people who care for them.

As new opportunities emerge in the market, Hi-Tek Rations Inc. remains a reliable source for quality pet nutrition.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Pacific Bag
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP