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Hill's Pet Nutrition to launch new petfood to fight pet obesity

Colgate-Palmolive, whose subsidiary Hill’s Pet Nutrition sells many petfoods to help pet owners manage clinical conditions like obesity, allergies, intestinal problems and more, is launching a new strategy, with new petfood lines, to save pets from the rising problem of obesity.

As part of this strategy with health-focused foods and higher prices, the company is launching a petfood label made from natural ingredients, Science Diet Dry, at the end of 2012. Hill’s Pet Nutrition will also launch a new low-fat, fat-burning petfood under the “Prescription Diet Metabolic” name in 2013. The company is also focusing on petfood packaging and labeling improvements to better emphasize its latest product enhancements.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition contributes about 13 percent to both Colgate-Palmolive’s overall revenues and operating profit. Although the segment’s growth has stagnated since 2008, according to Trefis, the petfood brand’s focus on health-based innovation has allowed it to keep prices strong, even raising prices 4 percent in the third quarter of 2012. Although the price increase resulted in a decline in net volume of 2.5 percent, the higher pricing emphasizes that the company sees Hill’s as a specialty brand, rather than a generic petfood brand.

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