C.J. Foods, superpremium pet food manufacturer, will benefit from a wide geographic footprint and massive production volume, once it completes the acquisition of American Nutrition, expected in April.

“We believe that our value is beyond just scale, but in the value creation these combined companies offer,” David McLain, CEO, C.J. Foods, told Petfood Industry in an email. “The combination of these two companies positions us to become better partners with our customers through a national geographic footprint, which allows our customers to get closer to their consumers. This reach gives our customers the ability to focus their dollars on marketing programs that grow their business.”

With an estimated production of one billion pounds of dry dog and cat food, C.J. Foods, will become one of the world’s largest premium pet food producers. On February 17, C.J. Foods announced the planned acquisition of American Nutrition, a superpremium dry, canned and baked pet food and treats supplier.

“The combination of these two companies will create a value powerhouse for our customers, directly benefiting the pet parent,” he said. “Not only will the combined entity be able to continue delivering on best-in-class food safety and quality, but we also have the benefit of leveraging the innovation capabilities of both companies to deliver new on-trend products that will delight the pet parent, driving loyalty to our customers.”

In the short term, C.J. Foods plans to focus on integrating American Nutrition. Once the pieces have been fit together, the combined company may explore additional platforms for growth, McLain said.

C.J. Foods to acquire American Nutrition pet food company

On February 17, C.J. Foods, manufacturer of private label, specialty dry pet food for U.S. superpremium brands, announced that it will acquire American Nutrition, a supplier of superpremium dry, canned and baked pet food and treats products. The transaction is expected to close by April. McLain 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. C.J. Foods acquired Lortscher’s Animal Nutrition (LANI) in 2018 and Day Six Pet Nutrition in 2016.