Piper, a United Kingdom-based consumer brands investment firm, increased its presence in the natural foods market by investing £5 million (US$6.24 million) into Pet Food UK, the company behind the Barking Heads, Meowing Heads and AATU brands.
“We had a number of opportunities for investment, but selected Piper because of its deep knowledge and understanding of the sector and ability to help us accelerate and manage our growth successfully,” said Paul Hunter, managing director of Pet Food UK, in a press release.
Piper’s investment into Pet Food UK is the second into the natural pet food sector, following the 2015 investment into Forthglade.
“Both investments demonstrate our commitment to finding market leading brands in sectors we believe have significant growth potential,” Libby Gibson of Piper said in a press release. “The two businesses will continue to be run independently.”
Pet Food UK was founded in 2009 by Paul Hunter, Dave O’Regan and Jim Moloney.
Barking Heads for dogs and Meowing Heads for cats are predominantly dry premium natural pet food ranges, formulated with ingredients sourced from the UK. The pet foods feature quirky names such as ‘Fat Dog Slim’ and ‘Purr-Nickety’ and distinctive packaging.
Today the Pet Food UK brands are sold in more than 1,500 locations in the UK including Pets At Home, Jollyes, Tesco and a large number of independent pet food specialists. The company has annual revenue exceeding £10 million (US$12.4 million).
Sales across Scandinavia, Ireland, Russia and the Czech Republic currently represent nearly 30 percent of the business. The company employs 20 staff from its office in Hemel Hempstead, UK.
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.