Mars Inc. plans to develop a hand-me-down pet food facility in eastern North Carolina with a US$20 million investment, reported Triangle Business Journal. Mars acquired the plant in its purchase of Proctor & Gamble’s North American pet food business in 2014.
In 2014 and 2015, Mars solidified its place as the world’s leading pet food company after it purchased 90 percent of Proctor & Gamble’s pet food business. The US$2.9 billion deal was initiated in April 2014 with North America, Latin America and other countries; it was substantially completed by the end of June 2015 with the purchase of several additional operations.
Mergers and acquisitions have reshaped the pet food landscape for several years; consider the top three largest pet food companies. As with many other aspects of our industry, these acquisitions have also mirrored patterns and trends in human food.
Historically, the rationale for one pet food company buying another was to take a brand that already resonated with a small consumer segment and leverage the distribution framework available to a larger company.
Subsequent to the recession, however, the focus has narrowed as companies take a closer look at which segments of the pet food industry have the most potential. The overall growth rate of the industry has moderated, and within that growth there is a disproportionate focus on super-premium customers and pet food sales through independent channels.
Global consumer brand parent Mars Inc. plans to invest more than $20 million into an eastern North Carolina plant it inherited through its buy of Procter & Gamble’s pet food business. Mars is already a major employer in Vance County. An invitation-only ribbon-cutting event will be held Sept. 8 at the Henderson facility.
By Lindsay Beaton
This country is straddling the line between developing and developed as more of its citizens see the value in pet ownership.
By Lindsay Beaton