General Mills buys Blue Buffalo Pet Products for US$8 billion
Acquisition is General Mills first move into the pet food business.
February 23, 2018
by Canadian Packaging staff
Minneapolis-based General Mills Corporation, which produces such brands as Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Häagen-Dazs, is joining the pet food industry with a recent acquisition of Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. for a price of approximately US$8 billion.
The deal is General Mills’ first foray into pet food, and is expected to help the brand diversify in the face of an intensifying packaged food industry.
The Wilton, Conn.-based Blue Buffalo sells a wide variety of pet food products, including veterinary diet goods made with “wholesome” ingredients—allowing it to have achieved US $1.275 billion in sales in 2017.
Founded in 2002, Blue Buffalo is the fastest-growing major pet food company making natural foods and treats for dogs and cats under the BLUE brand, which includes BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, BLUE Freedom and BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet.
BLUE is the #1 Wholesome Natural pet food brand in the U.S. with $1.275 billion in net sales, and over the past three years, Blue Buffalo has delivered compound annual net sales growth of 12 percent.
“We are competing more effectively in our existing categories by really listening to consumers and providing a variety of options that meet their needs,” says General Mills chief executive officer Jeff Harmening in a statement. “In pet food, as in human food, consumers are seeking more natural and premium products and we have tremendous respect for how attentive Blue Buffalo has been to the needs of their consumers, pet parents and pets, as they have built their brand.”
According to General Mills, the pet food market in the U.S. is at US$30-billion annually, and growing at a rate over three percent.
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