Blue Buffalo refrigerated, fresh pet food test in 200 US stores

Humans get their food from the refrigerator, so as pet food humanizes, pet owners increasingly want their pets’ food to be as fresh as their own, if not more.

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Refrigerated pet food sections require a bit of maintenance but are overall easy to manage with the right knowledge. | Andrea Gantz | WATT Global Media
Refrigerated pet food sections require a bit of maintenance but are overall easy to manage with the right knowledge. | Andrea Gantz | WATT Global Media

General Mill’s Blue Buffalo brand will soon release a fresh dog food in the United States, Jeff Harmening, CEO of General Mills, said at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York (CAGNY) conference on Feb. 21 in Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

“These fridge-to-bowl products deliver a remarkable experience with great-tasting homestyle chicken and beef stew recipes packaged in convenient deli-style resealable tubs,” Harmening said. “With this 200-store test in the food drug and mass channel, we're hoping to learn more about how pet parents respond to the product packaging convenience and value of this differentiated fresh offering the leading Natural Pet brand in the category.”

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General Mills acquired Blue Buffalo for approximately US$8 billion in March 2018. In 2021, General Mills purchased Tyson Foods pet treats business for approximately US$1.2 billion. General Mills pet segment’s annual revenue reached US$1,732,000 in 2021, according to Petfood Industry’s Top Companies Current Data.

Refrigerated pet food sales growing

Humans get their food from the refrigerator, so as pet food humanizes, pet owners increasingly want their pets’ food to be as fresh as their own, if not more. Many fresh pet foods require refrigeration, which can pose a problem for retailers who never needed cooler space in the pet food aisle before. However, as pet owner demands have changed, so too have pet food retailers. First pet specialty stores, then big boxes and even FDM outlets began installing refrigerated cases filled with fresh dog and cat food.

Pet food marketers often present refrigerated fresh dog, cat and other pet foods as healthier and more natural than conventional dry or canned products. Refrigerated fresh pet food typically contains high quality ingredients, such as whole meats and vegetables, and fewer preservatives.

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