Smucker plans for dog treat, cat food growth

Smucker’s CEO expects accelerated growth for pet snacks driven by Milk-Bone, along with continued momentum of the cat food business led by Meow Mix.

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(zaretsky.andrey | BigStock.com)
(zaretsky.andrey | BigStock.com)

Pet food is J.M. Smucker’s largest segment in U.S. retail pet foods, with US$2.8 billion in net sales last fiscal year, Mark Smucker, president and CEO of the J.M. Smucker Co., said at the 2022 Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Conference late last month. He projected Smucker pet food and treat sales to grow 4% annually over the next five years.

“Our strategy in pet is focused on prioritizing and accelerating growth in dog snacks, along with driving momentum in cat food, while improving dog food performance,” Smucker said. “We will continue to allocate our resources consistent with this strategic approach.

“Pet snacks have the highest strategic importance for our pet business, as we are the market leader with a 22% dollar share,” he said. “It has historically been the fastest growing segment in the pet category, and delivers significantly higher margins than pet food. We expect growth for pet snacks to outpace pet food by up to 2 times over the long-term. Our snacks portfolio has delivered year-over-year net sales growth in 12 of the last 14 quarters. Growth will continue to be led by the Milk-Bone brand, with premium innovation driving incremental growth and higher dollars per occasion.”

Smucker anticipates the company’s total dog snacks portfolio to grow to US$1 billion in annual net sales over the next 3 years, reflecting US$100 million of growth.

Smucker cat food sales growth

“In cat food, we have significant momentum demonstrated by year-over-year net sales growth for 16 of the last 17 quarters, led by the Meow Mix brand,” he said. “The journey for this brand has been incredible over the last few years as it became the leader in household penetration and volume share in the dry cat food category. I’m pleased to add that the Meow Mix brand has also taken over as the #1 brand in terms of dollar share in the dry cat food category, and has grown over 2 times the category growth average in the past year.”

In dog food, Smucker has focused on refining its dry dog food assortment consistent with consumer preferences and expanding wet food offerings, he said.

“We will be launching our new Nutrish dog food advertising next fiscal year based on new positioning grounded in recent insights about the consumer, category, and competitive efforts. For the Nutrish brand, we have successfully expanded into faster growing segments such as wet dog food and dog snacks.

“We expect accelerated growth for our pet snacks driven by Milk-Bone, along with continued momentum of the cat food business led by Meow Mix.”

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