Blue Buffalo pet food grows fastest for General Mills

Pet food has become General Mills’ fastest-growing segment globally, since General Mills acquired Blue Buffalo for approximately US$8 billion in March 2018.

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Pet food has become General Mills’ fastest-growing segment globally, since General Mills acquired Blue Buffalo in March 2018. Jeff Harmening, CEO of General Mills, presented information on Blue Buffalo’s performance and plans at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York (CAGNY) conference on Feb. 21 in Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

In 2021, General Mills purchased Tyson Foods' pet treats business for approximately US$1.2 billion. The company’s pet food distribution in the U.S. grew by four times and more than doubled its household penetration since 2018.

“Since our acquisition of Blue Buffalo nearly five years ago, we have driven strong growth on our pet food business,” Harmening said. “We've increased our distribution in the US by four times. And we more than doubled our household penetration helping contributed to compound annual net sales growth of 15%.”

Blue Buffalo plans for fiscal year 2023

In the second half of fiscal year 2023, Blue Buffalo plans renovation and innovation of its Wilderness dry dog food line, a test of a new Fresh line of refrigerated Blue Buffalo dog food, innovation and brand-building for its natural pet treats portfolio, and expansion of its fully renovated Tastefuls natural cat feeding line. The company also plans to expand its Blue Buffalo offerings in China and begin testing the brand in other international markets in fiscal 2024.

“More than 95% of General Mills pet food business today in the US market, which has grown at four and a half percent compound rate over the past five years,” Harmening said.

“Within the broader category, we see an opportunity for an additional $2 billion in Blue Buffalo retail sales over time.”

General Mills' pet segment’s annual revenue reached US$1,732,000 in 2021, according to Petfood Industry’s Top Companies Current Data.

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