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, generating around 12% of group sales and 15% of profits. 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 almost $13.0bn in 2018, with operating profit over $2.5bn. A margin of over 20% makes it the second most lucrative division in the group, and it is Nestlé's biggest by revenues across the Americas region. The US alone accounts for sales of around $7bn. Friskies, Purina ONE, Fancy Feast, Dog Chow, Felix, Gourmet and ProPlan, all generated sales in excess of $1bn a year worldwide. Joe Sivewright is CEO Purina Americas, with Nina Leigh Krueger as president, North America pet food. Bernard Meunier leads Nestle Purina EMEA.
Capsule checked 13th June 2019
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