C.J. Foods (CJF), manufacturer of private label, specialty dry pet food for U.S. superpremium brands, will acquire American Nutrition (ANI), a supplier of superpremium dry, canned and baked pet food and treats products. This transaction creates the largest independent manufacturer of superpremium pet food in the country, producing a total of one billion pounds of pet food annually, according to a press release from the C.J. Foods. The transaction is expected to close by April.

 The acquisition of ANI will enable CJF to offer a full portfolio of pet food and treats with national and international distribution. David McLain, CEO, C.J. Foods, will join the board of directors. Tod Morgan remains chairman of the board and Bill Behnken, current president and CEO of ANI, will serve as board member. 

C.J. Foods has a 35-year history in superpremium pet food manufacturing with a range of international capabilities serving superpremium brand owners and retailers.  

ANI is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of superpremium dry, canned and baked pet food and treat products. ANI operates five SQF-certified manufacturing facilities throughout the United States.

C.J. Foods is a portfolio company of J. H. Whitney Capital Partners, a Connecticut based private equity firm, that has owned C.J. Foods since 2014 and acquired Lortscher’s Animal Nutrition (LANI) in 2018.

Data on C.J. Foods and American Nutrition

According to Petfood Industry’s Top Pet Food Companies Current Data, C.J. Foods’ annual revenue reached US$200 million in 2018. C.J. Foods specializes in natural and organic products for dogs and also produces for birds, reptiles, fish and other zoological dietary needs. The company, based in Bern, Kansas, USA, offers services from design to development, including pilot batch testing, packaging design and full-scale production. The company's operations are certified by USDA APHIS to handle products intended for international distribution.

American Nutrition had an annual revenue of US$380 million in 2018, according to the data. The pet food company was founded in 1972. It produces extruded, baked and canned pet foods and treats for domestic and international distribution from its SQF Level III certified facilities in Utah, Washington and Pennsylvania, USA. In addition to its own established brands, ANI also provides custom contract manufacturing services. These include formulation development; AAFCO label compliance; ingredient sourcing, real meat inclusion of extruded and baked products; canned products; quality and palatability testing; package design; and supply chain and logistics.