Recently, leading companies in the human food market have been taking part in mergers and acquisitions with companies in the pet food market. It’s no wonder really, since the pet food industry in the United States alone last year raked in roughly $30 billion.
The pet food market is already mature, yet it’s potential to thrive is steadily increasing as well. With more and more homes adopting pets, and in many cases multiple pets, there is no denying that the pet food market’s numbers will continue to climb. Obviously, it would be worth any food company’s time to look at dipping their toes in the pet food pool.
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Premium priced pet foods, organic dog foods, and natural dog foods have also been in higher demand in recent years, which is driving up the gross sales of the market. Experts believe the pet food market will grow anywhere between 3-5% over the next three years due to the increased focus of pet owners on the health and nutrition of their furry family members.
J.M. Smucker’s, most commonly known for their jams and jellies, made a $5.8 billion purchase of Big Heart Pet Brands recently. The company is the maker of pet food brands like Meow Mix, Pup-Peroni, Milk-Bone, and Kibbles ‘n Bits. That acquisition alone makes Smucker’s now one of the top three players in the pet food market.
Last year, candy giant Mars bought Iams and Eukanuba from Procter & Gamble for a cool $2.9 billion. The candy company already had quite an impressive pet brand portfolio before the sale that included Pedigree and Whiskas.
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According to the Packaged Facts report Pet Food in the U.S., 11th Edition, the pet food market in the U.S. is very top-heavy, with the companies in the first, second, and third slots making up more than 69% of the total retail sales in mass as well as pet specialty channels last year.
Nestle Purina is in the top spot with a massive 35% share in the market and Mars moved up to second place with its newly acquired brands from Proctor & Gamble giving the company a 21% share. The only other company to have a double digit share of the market is Big Heart Pet Brands with 13%.
With the continued growth in the pet food market and many pet owners increasing the amount they spend on their dogs and cats, it’s no wonder so many major human food companies are trying to get in on the action.