Alphia blending legacies in merger during pandemic

The combination of C.J. Foods and American Nutrition into Alphia earlier this month also included LANI and Veracity Logistics.

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Custom superpremium pet food and treat producer Alphia formed from companies with decades-long histories in the dog, cat and other pet food industries. The combination of C.J. Foods and American Nutrition into Alphia earlier this month also included LANI and Veracity Logistics. With the advantages of pooling those companies’ resources came the risk of losing the instant recognition of their reputations along with their individual names.

“Alphia was founded on the legacies for which C.J. Foods and ANI are known,” David McLain, CEO of Alphia, said. “As we looked to unite these businesses under one name, we thoughtfully incorporated their heritage as well. As both companies unite under one name and mission, we are busy understanding the best practices on both sides of the organization. These best practices will be Alphia’s go-forward approach, which will embrace the legacy of both companies but also position Alphia to be best in class when it comes to food safety, product quality, supply chain expertise and customer-facing practices.”

Alphia employs approximately 800 people. The company has a national footprint of 10 locations across six states. The company manufactures more than one billion pounds of dry, canned and baked pet food and treats annually. Alphia is a portfolio company of J. H. Whitney Capital Partners, a Connecticut based private equity firm that has owned C.J. Foods since 2014. The firm acquired Lortscher's Animal Nutrition (now LANI) in 2018. Earlier this year, C.J. Foods purchased American Nutrition (including Veracity Logistics). 

“LANI will continue operating as a stand-alone entity -- as a ‘sister’ company to the Alphia organization,” he said. “While LANI and Alphia are under the same ownership structure, LANI retains its business model, operating with an independent operations team and as a customer-facing organization.”

Alphia superpremium pet food business during COVID-19 pandemic

In the early stages of the pandemic, pet owners stockpiled food for their animals, just as they did for themselves. The surge in demand resulted in a demand spike for dog, cat and other pet food ingredient suppliers as well. Alphia too felt this increase, all while trying to merge multiple operations.

“I am very proud of how our team quickly reacted to manage our response to the pandemic,” McClain said. “With a newly formed organization, we worked swiftly to meet the needs of our customers, while ensuring a safe workplace for our employees. COVID-19 has created a significant amount of pantry-filling demand from our existing customer base that was beyond our expectations. Our strong procurement team was able to quickly plan for the needs of the pandemic with restricted supply chains to ensure our plants continued to run. Additionally, our management team quickly assembled a COVID-19 task force to ensure the health and safety of our employees while we continued to meet the significant demands.”

Related pet food industry mergers and acquisitions

C.J. Foods, American Nutrition now named Alphia

June 9, 2020 - Alphia also includes milling solutions partner LANI and Veracity Logistics. The combined company employs approximately 800 people.


How C.J. Foods’ buy of American Nutrition boosts brands

February 28, 2020 - C.J. Foods, superpremium pet food manufacturer, will benefit from a wide geographic footprint and massive production volume, once C.J. completes the acquisition of American Nutrition.


C.J. Foods acquires Lortscher Animal Nutrition

April 11, 2018 - Lortscher is based in Bern, Kansas, USA with additional locations in Seneca, Kansas and Brownwood, Texas.


C.J. Foods acquires Day Six Pet Nutrition

February 16, 2016 - C.J. Foods Inc., a provider of specialty dry pet food manufacturing services for super premium pet food brands in the US, has acquired Day Six Pet Nutrition, which also specializes in manufacturing specialty dry pet food brands.

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