Manna Pro Products, a St. Louis-based manufacturer and marketer of pet care and nutrition products, has acquired Oxbow Animal Health, a 30-year-old small animal pet brand that offers premium whole foods, supplements, treats and supplies for rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas and more.
This is Manna Pro’s largest acquisition to date. Manna Pro is owned by funds managed by global investment firm Carlyle.
The companion pet category, including small animal, continues a path of strong growth as pet ownership and engagement maintains momentum after its acceleration during the pandemic, according to the company. Manna Pro has benefitted from this trend, growing its market share across several pet categories.
“Oxbow Animal Health started with one farmer’s passion and grew into a category-leading brand with a global commitment to small animal health,” said John Howe, CEO, Manna Pro. “It complements our diverse pet portfolio of wholesome products for animals small to large and shares our commitment to quality, innovation and overall advancement of pet health.”
‘Other’ pets get a boost as trends from dog/cat catch up
From previous reporting in Petfood Industry:
According to the 2021–2022 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, 70% of U.S. households — 90.5 million homes — now own a pet. And while dogs and cats continue to reign supreme, the growth of the “other” pet space can’t be denied: 9.9 million homes own a bird, 6.2 million homes have a small pet (usually small mammals) and 5.7 million homes own a reptile. Multi-pet households are increasing which means dog and cat customers may also be parrot or lizard customers.
2020 saw a significant uptick in pet acquisition, and the trend wasn’t limited to dogs and cats. According to Packaged Facts’ “Fish, small mammal, herptile and bird products: U.S. pet market trends and opportunities, 3rd edition,” released in August 2021, sales of herptile (reptile and amphibian), small mammal and bird products spiked as pet owners purchased supplies for their new pets. In fact, new pet acquisitions of these types raised ownership levels of animals other than dogs and cats to the highest in 10 years for three of the four main “other pet” types (pet birds were the exception). Now, 12.2% of U.S. households own one or more type of pet other than dogs or cats, according to Packaged Facts, up from 10.8% five years ago.