Previously known as Big Heart Pet Brands, JM Smucker's petcare division is the world's #3 petfoods manufacturer by revenues, though it operates primarily in the US. The company is especially strong in dog snacks and cat food. Brands include Meow Mix, Milk-Bone, Natural Balance, Nature's Recipe and 9Lives. Big Heart was formed in early 2014 from the break-up of what was previously Del Monte Foods (which had itself moved into petcare for the first time with the acquisition of those brands from Heinz in 2002). Del Monte's fruit and vegetable operations were acquired by international rival Del Monte Pacific, leaving behind a collection of leading petfoods, including Meow Mix, Milk-Bone and Natural Balance. (The latter was eventually sold in 2020 to private equity investors). The old Del Monte Foods Inc adopted its new name in Feb 2014. Almost exactly a year later, the business was acquired by spreads and coffee company Smucker for $3.2bn. The group expanded its range in 2018 with the purchase of Rachael Ray Nutrish and other brands owned by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition. Pet food sales were $2.9bn in the year to Apr 2020, making it Smucker's single biggest business. Dog food accounted for over 40% of that sum, cat food for 30% and pet snacks for the rest.
Capsule checked 23rd October 2020
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Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Nov 2018: JM Smucker - owners of Smuckers spreads, Folgers coffee and America's third largest petfoods business - consolidated all marketing duties with Publicis Groupe. The assignment covers creative, media, digital and technology. Publicis already handled digital via SapientRazorfish, and is assembling a new cross-group team to handle the consolidated business moving forward. Reportedly, Publicis didn't tell Smucker which agencies its pitching team came from in order to emphasise the group approach. The assignment represents significant losses for WPP's Grey and IPG's FCB, who had handled creative; and for Dentsu-owned media agency Carat. Combined billings are around $170m.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Apr 2018: JM Smucker, the US food company best known for its preserves, peanut butter and Folger's coffee, is joining the general consolidation drive in US petfoods. It has agreed to spend $1.7bn to acquire Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, which makes the premium-priced Nutrish natural dog and cat food endorsed by celebrity cook and lifestyle guru Rachael Ray. Smucker became the #3 in US petfoods in 2015 with the purchase of Big Heart Pet Brands, makers of Meow Mix among other products. This latest acquisition follows General Mills' move into petfoods with a deal for Blue Buffalo earlier this year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Feb 2015: In a significant expansion of its existing business, spreads and coffee company JM Smucker has agreed to acquire America's third-biggest pet food marketer Big Heart Pet Brands for $3.2bn (or $5.8bn including Big Heart's debt). The target company was known as Del Monte Foods until it sold its fruit and veg operations last year. Brands include Meow Mix, Milk-Bone and Natural Balance. "With approximately two-thirds of US households having at least one family pet, we will now be able to serve the mealtime and snacking needs of the whole family," said Smucker CEO Richard Smucker. It is the second transformational acquisition for what was once a small family-owned jam-maker. In 2008 it added Procter & Gamble's mammoth Folgers coffee business.
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