Feeding Fido Got More Expensive

About the Episode

The business of pet food is big business and is taking note of how consumers today treat their pets as members of the family. Eric Lewandowski returns to Food & Beverage Talk to discuss the humanization of pets and how this resonates throughout the pet food industry. From the premiumization of food to brand loyalty and consumer buying habits to the influence of social media, entertainment options for pets, and the rate of rising inflation, Eric provides insights into trends occurring across the sector.

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“A price increase could lead consumers to cut back on treats. Pet Food is a harder one to get around because you need to feed your pet. Consumers may not realize the degree of expense they will have if they have a new pet, given that pet food and pet treats have gone up so significantly over the short term. So it’s an open question: will pet ownership slow down given these price increases because it has grown so rapidly over the past few years coming out of COVID? Or will they weigh that against much SharePoint shakeup? Do you know the relationship they develop with a pet and the bond they develop? They say, Okay, I’ll absorb that price increase for both food treats and other kinds of products.”

Eric Lewandowski 

In this Episode

1:20 What’s driving the inflation of pet food prices?
4:48 What is the difference between humanization and premiumization of pet food?
6:39 What are the implications of humanization and premiumization for the pet food industry?
7:37 What are the primary factors that drive value for a target company when considering an acquisition?
9:38 How can customer loyalty to a specific brand be measured?
14:16 How can a pet food company that is not profitable be valued? What are some of the major deal killers that will cause a potential buyer to talk away from a deal?
20:11 How important are the distribution channels for pet food?
21:34 What are the most common niches in the pet food industry?
24:45 How has inflation affected the industry? What is driving the increase in prices?
31:54 Are consumers cutting back on treats or moving to less expensive products?
33:05 What are some of the trends occurring across distribution channels, private-label foods, pet services, and in global markets?
39:55 What major changes will unfold in the future in the pet food industry?

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Meet Our Guest

Eric Lewandowski

Eric Lewandowski

Managing Director in the KPMG Strategy Consulting Group

Eric Lewandowski is a Managing Director in the KPMG Strategy consulting group. While very few management consulting firms have significant experience advising in what has become one of the hottest industries in which private equity funds have invested – veterinary platforms – Eric leads veterinary strategy consulting for KPMG, counseling large private equity funds on some of the most impactful M&A deals in the industry. Eric’s experience is sought after by bulge bracket funds and veterinary platform management teams for his industry-leading work, which includes sell-side, buy-side, operational improvement, and other consulting services.

Prior to serving as a Director at KPMG Strategy, Eric was the turnaround Chief Operating Officer for a private equity-owned manufacturing company. As a result of the company’s successful turnaround, Eric received the 2021 Corporate Turnaround of the Year Award by the Global M&A Network and the 2021 Restructuring Community Impact Award by The M&A Advisor. Additionally, Eric’s work has received critical acclaim from media outlets such as Forbes, Mergermarket, The Dayton Business Journal, and others.

Location Location: Detroit, Michigan

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