IQI, a global supplier of pet food ingredients, has acquired Smit & zoon Functional Oils. IQI is set to continue on its successful path. Founded in 1821, Smit & zoon has a long history in trading animal oils and proteins. The company decided to focus on its Wet-End and Finishing business and divest its Functional Oils activities. As IQI builds its business with the support of investor Egeria, the Smit Family has become a minority shareholder in IQI.
The Functional Oils division of Smit & zoon Functional Oils has been IQI’s preferred supplier of processed Omega-3 fish oils for several years. While the Functional Oils activities are no longer a focus segment for Smit & zoon, combining the activities with IQI will enable the business to grow.
To fund the acquisition and enable future growth plans, IQI has improved its financial position by attracting Dutch investment company Egeria. IQI’s plans include expanding its position in Europe and the US and identifying new product segments for the pet food industry.
In the final months of 2017, IQI and Smit & zoon will work together to integrate the businesses and envisage to complete the transaction per January 2018. IQI’s founder Sven Gravendeel will remain the CEO of IQI and will lead the combined business.
While the heightened overall focus on pet health and wellness drives pet supplement sales, more specific factors also are significant. One such factor is competition against the full-court functional press by marketers of functional pet foods and treats, which can draw sales away from pet supplements as pet owners seek out multifunctional and pet-pampering formats. Another factor is increased awareness of age- and obesity-related health factors for pets.
Especially over the past decade, the pet market has been following in the footsteps of the human market in its focus on overall wellness. This has many pet owners paying close attention to their pets’ nutrition, scrutinizing ingredients and seeking out premium-quality products to help ensure that their pets stay healthy and happy. The wellness trend has of course been a boon for marketers of premium pet foods and of functional treats, which have been outpacing the sales growth of conventional pet foods by a wide margin.
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
Constraints and crises, like those experienced in 2020, help drive innovation and sustainability offers context.