Nestlé is serious about being the world's leading food company: it even wants to be #1 in pet food. Now operating in 70 countries, the group's Purina Petcare business has been built from multiple acquisitions around the globe, but three in particular formed the overall framework. Nestlé entered the pet food sector for the first time in 1985 when it acquired the Friskies brand as part of its $3bn purchase of Carnation Group. British company Spillers, acquired in 1998, added Felix and other brands, but the crowning glory was the deal in 2000 for Ralston Purina, at the time America's foremost pet food business. Once a mammoth conglomerate with interests ranging from pet food and grocery products to batteries and ice hockey, Ralston Purina had undergone a gradual dismantling since the late 1980s. Merged with Nestlé's existing business to form Nestlé Purina, it now sits just behind Mars in global cat and dog food (with 21% share to its rival's 24%), but is the clear leader in the US. It is also now a major force within Nestlé, the second biggest dvision globally after beverages & coffee, generating around 17% of group sales and more than a fifth of trading profits. In the Americas region, it is Nestle's single biggest business by far, accounting for more than a quarter of sales. Nestlé Purina manages an extensive collection of different brands. In the US its products for dogs include Alpo, Beggin treats, Dog Chow, Merrick and premium gourmet brand Chef Michael's. Cat brands include Friskies, Fancy Feast, Deli-Cat and Kit 'n Kaboodle. The premium-priced Purina portfolio houses a collection of products for both animals led by Purina ONE and Proplan. Friskies and the main Purina brands are also sold globally. Other important regional brands include Felix and Gourmet, both widely available across Europe. There's a large collection of local brands in different countries, including Go Cat, Baker's Complete and Winalot in the UK, Fido and Excellent in France; Doko and Matzinger in Germany; Pussi and Tonus in Scandinavia, Dogui and Gati in Argentina, Gatsy and Bonzo in Brazil. In 2018, the company acquired DTC bespoke petfood service Tails.com. The group is also active in the hygiene with the Tidy Cats and Yesterday's News litter brands for cats, and SecondNature for dogs. Nestlé Petcare generated total revenues of approx $14.9bn (SFr 14.0bn) in 2020, and trading profit of $3.5bn. The US alone accounts for sales of around $8bn. Friskies, Purina ONE, Fancy Feast, Dog Chow, Felix, Gourmet and ProPlan, all generated sales in excess of $1bn a year worldwide. Company lifer Nina Leigh Krueger - who joined Purina as an intern in 1993 and has spent her whole working career there - succeeded longtime leader Joe Sivewright as CEO Purina Americas in 2020. Elsewhere, petcare mostly operates as a division of the local Nestlé structure.
Capsule checked 12th April 2021
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Adbrands Daily Update 1st Apr 2020: Even in lockdown there are still deals to be done. Nestlé announced the acquisition of UK-based natural pet food manufacturer Lily's Kitchen for an undisclosed sum. The company was launched in 2008 by Henrietta Morrison from her kitchen in London (and named after her dog Lily). It makes a range of premium wet and dry natural foods for dogs and cats, now with distribution in 30 countries, and annual retail sales of £85m. It will continue to be run as a standalone business based in London.
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