Blue Buffalo will expand the distribution of a subset of their BLUE Life Protection Formula (LPF) product line to certain mass and grocery retailers. Shipments to Target, Kroger, Meijer and Publix have begun and the company expect the products to appear in store in August.
Blue Buffalo has five distinct product lines (LPF, Wilderness, Basics, Freedom, and Earth’s Essentials). Blue Buffalo officials decided that broadening the distribution of LPF, which they consider their entry-level natural pet food line, is the natural evolution of their go-to-market strategy, according to a press release from Modestino Mele, Blue Buffalo’s senior vice president of North America sales.
Mele stated that the introduction of Blue Buffalo to the mass market will be as incremental to pet specialty businesses as possible. In the mass and grocery channel, Blue Buffalo will focus on smaller bag sizes, more mainstream formulas and wet foods and treats from their LPF product line.
Wilderness, Basics, Freedom and Earth’s Essentials lines will continue to be sold exclusively through the pet specialty channel. As such, pet specialty retailers will have the broadest BLUE assortment variety and the largest bag sizes.
Blue Buffalo will also be increasing their advertising spend starting this fall 2017 for LPF and their specialty-exclusive product lines. As part of this increased spend, they will be adding “tags” at the end of each of our Pet Specialty exclusive line commercials communicating that Wilderness, Basics, Freedom and Earth’s Essentials are “available at your favorite Pet Specialty store.”
In 2016, Blue Buffalo reached roughly US$1.15 billion in annual revenue, according to the Petfood Industry Top Companies database. Although that is less than one-fifteenth of Mars’ revenues, Blue Buffalo showed the strongest growth by far between 2010 and 2016 (see Figure 1). Blue Buffalo’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was 18.4 percent during that period, compared to the second highest CAGR of 2.3 percent by Mars.
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