Animal and Pet Food Manufacturing M&A

At Morgan & Westfield, we understand that deciding to sell your business requires careful thought and thorough planning. It needs a tailored approach, too, because every company differs. That’s why we start by discovering more about you and your business – your goals and ambitions for the future. Then, we draw on our experience selling businesses in the animal and pet food industry to tailor our M&A advisory services for you. Our number one goal is to make your sale a success. 

Importance of Exit Planning for Animal and Pet Food Manufacturers 

For a start, if you’re thinking about selling your animal and pet food business, proper exit planning is essential to a smooth sale. Our team knows the challenges you may face along the way, and we recognize the importance of preparing well ahead of time. We guide you through the intricacies of your specific circumstances and advise on how you can get the most value from your business. 

Working With M&A Advisors for a Successful Sale

Selling an animal and pet food manufacturing business requires industry experience and an understanding of market dynamics. Our mergers and acquisitions advisory services are designed to support you at every stage of the process. From conducting market research to identifying potential buyers to negotiating favorable terms, we act as your partner, guiding you and making sure you get the best outcome for yourself, your employees, and your business. 

Understanding the Value of Animal and Pet Food Manufacturers 

Getting an accurate valuation is crucial for determining your business’s value. Our M&A advisors have in-depth knowledge of the animal and pet food industry, allowing us to assess the factors that influence the value of your business. By analyzing the industry and working with our industry contacts, we position your business competitively in the market. This maximizes its value in potential M&A transactions, and ultimately your final price. Commitment to your success, industry insights, and a strategic approach set us apart as advisors in the animal and pet food industry. 

Types of Businesses We Sell and Value

  • Animal Feed Manufacturers
  • Baked Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Branded Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Commercial Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Dental Care Treats Manufacturers
  • Dental Pet Chews Manufacturers
  • Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Freeze-Dried Treats Manufacturers
  • Frozen Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Natural Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Nutraceutical Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Organic and Holistic Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Pet Food Equipment Manufacturers
  • Pet Food Formula Manufacturers
  • Pet Food Packaging Manufacturers
  • Pet Food Seasoning and Flavor Enhancer Manufacturers
  • Premium Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Prescription and Veterinary Diet Manufacturers
  • Private Label Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Raw Materials and Pet Food Ingredients Suppliers/Manufacturers
  • Raw Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Small-Batch and Artisanal Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Specialty Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Supplement Pet Food Manufacturers
  • Treats and Snacks Manufacturers
  • Wet Pet Food Pouch Manufacturers

Overview of the Animal Pet Food Industry

Animal and pet food manufacturing is the process of producing food products designed for domesticated animals and pets. It involves creating various pet foods including treats, supplements, specialized diets, and dry and wet formulations to meet the nutritional needs of different animal species. Manufacturing typically includes sourcing and selecting ingredients, formulating recipes, processing, packaging, and distributing the products to retailers or consumers. Manufacturers in this industry adhere to regulatory standards and guidelines to ensure the safety, quality, and nutritional adequacy of the pet food they produce.

The industry continues to evolve as consumer preferences and pet care standards evolve. The focus on quality, nutrition, and the overall well-being of pets remains at the forefront, driving innovation and growth in the market.

How We Got Here – A Brief History

  • 1860 – Fibrine Dog Cake Invented: Looking for business opportunities in London, James Spratt was fascinated when he saw dogs at the docks waiting for sailors to throw them stale biscuits. He then invented the fibrine dog cake – similar to what the sailors threw out, with the addition of vegetables, beetroot, and meat.
  • 1908 – Milk-Bones Introduced: Milk-Bones dog biscuits were introduced by the F.H. Bennett Biscuit Company in New York.
  • 1918 – Dog Food Made of Horse Meat: P.M. Chappel, a horse dealer, saw the opportunity to buy inexpensive horse meat, selling the first canned dog food under the brand name Ken-L-Ration. 
  • 1941 – First Dry Dog Food Sold: During WWII, all available metal was sent for the war effort, meaning the metal for making cans for dog food was no longer available. Companies innovated to keep up with demand. They found that by using by-products from cereal manufacturers, they could produce shelf-stable dog food that could be sold in bags. This led to the first dry food for dogs. The ability to create a dry, affordable dog food with a high-profit margin began attracting larger companies to the pet food industry. By this time, more people were taking notice and were sold on the convenience.
  • 1956 – First Kibble Produced: In 1956, pet food manufacturer Purina joined the dog food market with the first kibble. The company began experimenting and developed the first dry kibble through extrusion, where wet and dry ingredients are mixed together, then fed through a machine that subjects them to extreme heat and pressure. Afterward, they are passed through a die-cutting machine to form the kibble shapes we are familiar with today. 
  • 1968 – Veterinary Diets Started: Jean Cathary, a French veterinary surgeon, pioneered the idea of veterinary diets and used his own concoctions to treat pets. He registered his food with the trademark Royal Canin. Hill’s Science Plan, a science-led, targeted nutrition plan, followed shortly after in the United States.
  • 1970-2000s – Pet Food Industry Boomed: By the 1980s and the 1990s, Hill’s diversified and created prescription diets for kidney failure, liver failure, and weight management. The pet food industry boomed, with more options driving pet food companies to cut corners to remain competitive in a flooded market; not unrelated was the rise of the vet industry. In 1940, there were only 10 vet schools in the United States. Today, over 30 universities are pushing out thousands of veterinarians sponsored by big kibble companies.
  • 1998 – First Raw Pet Food Developed: Steve Brown developed the first raw pet food on the market in the United States, and it was quickly adopted by holistic vets like Karen Becker. Brown did not use traditional marketing but focused on education to generate sales. 
  • 2000 – Labeling Regulations Introduced: The Association of American Feed Control Officials introduced regulations for pet food labeling and nutritional adequacy.
  • 2003 – Pet Food Ingredients Contaminated: The pet food industry experienced a major recall when contaminated ingredients from China led to the presence of melamine in pet food, resulting in illnesses and deaths of numerous pets.
  • 2010 – FDA Passed Food Safety Modernization Act: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) passed the Food Safety Modernization Act, which includes regulations for ensuring the safety of pet food and animal feed.
  • 2013 – Horse Meat Scandal Rose: The horse meat scandal in Europe raised concerns about the transparency and accuracy of ingredient labeling in pet food products. 
  • 2014 – Organic Pet Food Option Increased: The World Pet Association reported an increasing trend in pet owners seeking natural and organic pet food options, which led to the growth of the natural pet food segment.
  • 2019 – Plant-Based Pet Food Popularized: Plant-based and vegetarian pet food options gained popularity as more pet owners embraced alternative diets for their pets, driven by ethical and environmental concerns.
  • 2020 – Pet Food Product Surged: The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased pet adoptions, resulting in a surge in demand for pet food products.
  • 2021 – Personalized Pet Food Formulations Introduced: The pet food industry continued to innovate and diversify, introducing personalized pet food formulations and using novel ingredients that cater to specific dietary needs.

Trends That May Affect M&A Activity

The following is a list of trends that may affect future M&A activity in the animal and pet food industry:

  • Customization and Personalization: Some companies are offering customized pet food solutions tailored to individual pets’ needs. This includes considering factors like breed, age, activity level, and health conditions to create personalized diets.
  • Grain-Free and Limited Ingredient Diets: Many pet food brands have introduced grain-free and limited ingredient diets to cater to pets with allergies or sensitivities. These products often feature alternative protein sources, such as lamb, fish, or novel proteins like kangaroo or bison.
  • Healthier Pet Foods: The healthy eating movement is leading the food industry toward minimally processed foods for humans. With this in mind, it’s safe to assume a similar shift will follow in pet formulas. Many pet owners want the best for their pets, including healthier foods with nutritious ingredients. It looks like genetically modified foods may be on the way out.
  • Humanization of Pet Food: People treat their pets as family members, which is reflected in their food choices. Pet food companies are creating products that mimic human food trends, such as gourmet, artisanal, and natural recipes. Pet owners are also interested in pet food that addresses health concerns, such as joint health and weight management.
  • Online Retail and Delivery Services: The growth of e-commerce has extended to the pet food industry, with many consumers opting to buy pet food online. Subscription-based services and convenient home delivery are gaining popularity, offering convenience and saving time for pet owners. 
  • Premiumization: Pet owners expect top-quality nutritious ingredients in the food they buy for their pets, and premiumization in pet food is a long-established trend. It has expanded to include human-grade and science-based formulas and director-to-consumer sales. There is also growing interest in the fresh and frozen categories.
  • Single-Servings: Single-serving recipe cat food follows the humanization and premiumization trends. Wet cat food is set to increase as owners look to buy various flavors to meet their cats’ needs. With cats infamously known as fussy eaters, owners are often on the lookout for brands that focus on variation and palatability.
  • Sustainable and Ethical Practices: Concerns about the environmental impact of the pet food industry have led to a rise in demand for sustainable and eco-friendly pet food options. Companies are focusing on using responsibly sourced ingredients, reducing packaging waste, and implementing sustainable manufacturing processes.
  • Total Transparency: The desire for transparency isn’t entirely new in the pet food world, but it has increased in recent years. Owners want to know exactly what’s in the food they are feeding their pets, where the food was made, and how the ingredients were cultivated. To avoid losing customers, manufacturers have stepped up their game, and retailers disclose more about the products they sell. 

Summary of Animal and Pet Food Manufacturing Mergers and Acquisitions

Summary of Acquisitions
Target Industry (Industry > Niche)Target Target LocationBuyer Industry BuyerBuyer LocationDatePurchase Price
Animal Nutrition > Nutrition Solutions, Pet Food IngredientsInvivo SanpoChinaAnimal NutritionADM Animal NutritionUSAJan 2022Undisclosed
Animal Nutrition > Pet Food, Animal FeedGold Line FeedsUKPrivate Label Pet FoodUnited PetfoodBelgiumOct 2022Undisclosed
Health and Beauty Aids > Pet Care Products, Treats, Pet SupplementsMiraclecorp Pet TreatsUSAPremium Pet FoodBrightpet NutritionUSAJan 2021Undisclosed
Health and Nutrition > Premium Nutritional SupplementsDoggie DailiesUSAAnimal NutritionManna Pro ProductsUSAAug 2020Undisclosed
Health and Nutrition > Vegetarian Dental ChewsWhimzeesNetherlandsNatural Pet FoodWellPetUSAFeb 2017Undisclosed
Food and Accessories > Premium Pet Treats, Toys, AccessoriesArmitage Pet CareUKConsumer ProductsSpectrum BrandsUSAOct 2020£140 Million ($180 Million)
Premium Brands > Pet Food, SnacksAinsworth Pet NutritionUSAFood and Beverage ManufacturerJ.M. SmuckerUSAMay 2018$1.7 Billion
Private Label Brands > Dry, Canned Pet FoodCambrian Pet FoodsUKPrivate Label Pet FoodUnited Pet FoodBelgiumMar 2021Undisclosed
Private Label Brands > Dry Dog Food, Animal FeedGrove Pet FoodsUKPremium Pet FoodCranswickUKFeb 2022Undisclosed

ADM Animal Nutrition Acquired Invivo Sanpo (Pet Food Ingredients)

  • Date: January 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed 
  • Target: Invivo Sanpo – The company provides quality nutrition solutions and ingredients for pets and animals, enabling clients to avail a range of animal food products.
  • Location: Tianjin, China
  • Buyer: ADM Animal Nutrition Inc. – A leading manufacturing, nutrition, and marketing business that offers a range of leading-edge products for the animal nutrition market.
  • Purpose: The acquisition will give ADM 100% ownership of Invivo Sanpo. The Invivo Sanpo transaction will be an important building block that will support ADM in its expansion across Asia Pacific.
  • Details: ADM announced it has completed the acquisition of the remaining 40% shareholding of Invivo Sanpo, a pet nutrition company in Tianjin, China

United Petfood Acquired Gold Line Feeds (Animal Nutrition)

  • Date: October 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: Gold Line Feeds Ltd. – Manufacturer of animal feed for pet dogs and small animals.
  • Location: Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
  • Buyer: United Petfood – A 100% private label producer of high-quality dry and wet pet food, biscuits, and snacks.
  • Purpose: The takeover strengthens United Petfood’s position within the pet food manufacturing market, particularly within the United Kingdom. United Petfood Group operates out of 20 pet food facilities in eight European countries. The takeover aligns with the company’s strategy to reinforce and grow the business.
  • Details: United Petfood Group will take over Gold Line Feeds’ brands and customer base. It will house production and distribution at its current sites and move administrative functions to United Petfood UK.

Brightpet Nutrition Acquired Miraclecorp Pet Treats (Pet Care Products)

  • Date: January 2021
  • Price: Undisclosed 
  • Target: Miraclecorp Pet Treats – A provider of pet care products for animals and pet owners. The company provides health and beauty aids, grooming tools, shampoo, skin-care products, pain relievers, functional treats supplements, and ropes for pets. It sells its products through pet store chains, catalogs, and distributors.
  • Location: Ohio, United States
  • Buyer: Brightpet Nutrition Group – A premium and super-premium pet food and treats provider. 
  • Purpose: MiracleCorp’s brands will add strength to BrightPet’s pet industry position by expanding its portfolio of super-premium treats and pet food. The acquisition will enable BrightPet to add manufacturing capabilities in Dayton, Ohio, to its existing operations in Lisbon, Ohio; Sherburne, New York; and Kiel, Wisconsin.
  • Details: The transaction will bring together MiracleCorp’s portfolio of trusted brands with BrightPet’s extensive production capabilities and roster of brands.

Manna Pro Products Acquired Doggie Dailies (Premium Pet Supplements)

  • Date: August 2020
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: Doggie Dailies – A family-owned and operated online pet brand that offers wellness products and premium nutritional supplements for dogs.
  • Location: Missouri, United States
  • Buyer: Manna Pro Products – Produces high-quality animal care and nutrition products for a wide range of animals.
  • Purpose: “Doggie Dailies has built an impressive brand of premium wellness products and a loyal online community of raving fans,” said John Howe, chief executive officer of Manna Pro. “Their deep commitment to a happy, healthy life for pets and pet parents intersects perfectly with Manna Pro’s mission of Nurturing Life.”
  • Details: Manna Pro Products, a St. Louis-based pet care and nutrition manufacturer, will acquire family-owned Doggie Dailies, a pet brand that provides premium nutritional supplements and wellness products for dogs.

WellPet Acquired WHIMZEES (Dental Chew)

  • Date: July 2019 
  • Price: $1.3 Billion
  • Target: Kellogg Company (cookie and fruit snack business) – A multinational food manufacturing company based in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States.
  • Location: Michigan, United States
  • Buyer: Ferrero International S.A. – An Italian multinational confectionery and branded chocolate product maker and the second-largest chocolate and confectionery company worldwide.
  • Purpose: “This divestiture is yet another action we have taken to reshape and focus our portfolio, which will lead to reduced complexity, more targeted investment, and better growth,” said Steven A. Cahillane, Chairman and CEO of Kellogg.
  • Details: The transaction was subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and closed during the second half of the year. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and JP Morgan Securities PLC advised Ferrero.

Spectrum Brands Acquired Armitage Pet Care (Premium Pet Treats)

  • Date: October 2020
  • Price: £140 Million ($180 Million)
  • Target: Armitage Pet Care – An independent manufacturer and distributor of branded pet treats, food, and accessories in the United Kingdom.
  • Location: Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Buyer: Spectrum Brands – A manufacturer and marketer of consumer products and home essentials.
  • Purpose: Armitage chief executive Mark Andrews said, “The partnership with Spectrum Brands will allow us to accelerate our growth plan not only in the UK, but also across continental Europe and beyond.”
  • Details: Nottingham-based pet treat and toy maker Armitage Pet Care has been acquired by the U.S. consumer products firm Spectrum Brands in a £140 million ($180 million) deal. Spectrum is the owner of pet businesses IAMS and SmartBone.

J.M. Smucker Acquired Ainsworth Pet Nutrition (Premium Pet Food)

  • Date: May 2018 
  • Price: $1.7 Billion
  • Target: Ainsworth Pet Nutrition LLC – A premium pet food and snacks producer, marketer, and distributor, mainly in the United States.  
  • Location: Pennsylvania, United States
  • Buyer: The J.M. Smucker Company – Also known as Smuckers, an American food and beverage manufacturer. 
  • Purpose: “We are excited to have completed this transaction, which increases the scale and further accelerates the growth profile of our pet food and pet snacks business,” said Mark Smucker, chief executive officer. “The Ainsworth team has done a tremendous job growing this business, building Rachael Ray Nutrish into one of the most recognizable premium pet food brands in the United States. We are pleased to welcome the Ainsworth employees into the Smucker family and look forward to working with this talented team as we continue to grow our pet food business together.”
  • Details: The transaction had a value of approximately $1.7 billion after an estimated $200 million tax benefit. Previously, the company announced signing a definitive agreement to acquire Ainsworth in April 2018. Smuckers funded the acquisition with a $1.5 billion term loan and borrowing from its commercial paper program.

United Petfood Acquired Cambrian Pet Foods (Private Label Pet Food)

  • Date: February 2021
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: Cambrian Pet Foods – A wet and dry branded and private-label pet food manufacturer. The company produces dry and canned pet food, supplying the UK domestic and, increasingly, the international pet food industry.
  • Location: Llangadog, United Kingdom
  • Buyer: United Petfood – A 100% private-label producer of high-quality dry and wet pet food, biscuits, and snacks.
  • Purpose: This takeover strengthens United Petfood’s position within the pet food manufacturing market. United Petfood’s board of directors said, “The acquisition of Cambrian Pet Foods allows us to extend our product range and be a one-stop solution for our customers. Rather than being merely a production partner, we want to guide our customers and work together to achieve success in their market by sharing our knowledge and creating high-quality products.”
  • Details: Following the acquisition, United Petfood’s total production footprint will grow to 17 facilities across eight European countries. Cambrian’s three facilities in the United Kingdom are also expected to expand on United Petfood’s experience, capacity, and technology.

Cranswick Acquired Grove Pet Foods (Dry Dog Food)

  • Date: February 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: Grove Pet Foods Ltd. – A producer of dry dog food for several leading brands under private labels alongside its own brands, including all-natural Vitalin and Alpha Feeds for working dogs.
  • Location: Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • Buyer: Cranswick PLC – A leading UK food producer and supplier of premium, fresh, and added-value food products.
  • Purpose: Adam Couch, chief executive officer of Cranswick PLC, commented, “The move into pet food is an exciting one as the categories continue to grow and consumers are increasingly looking to premiumise the diet of their pets. We believe we can use the skills and expertise we have developed in creating our fantastic product range and apply that ethos to the pet food category. The move also complements our farm-to-fork integration strategy for poultry and pigs and supports the use of the full carcass, supporting our sustainability strategy to ensure there is no waste in our food systems.”
  • Details: Cranswick PLC, a leading UK food producer, announced acquiring the entire issued share capital of Grove Pet Foods Limited.

Public Companies

The following is a list of public companies that operate in the animal and pet food manufacturing industry:

Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: BUFF): A pet food company in the United States, Japan, Canada, and Mexico that operates through its subsidiary, Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. It develops, produces, markets, and distributes cat and dog food under the BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Basics, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Freedom, and BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet lines.

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT): A publicly traded company based in the United States that operates in the consumer goods industry. The company is a leading supplier of pet and garden products, offering a wide range of branded products across various categories.

Chewy, Inc.(NYSE: CHWY): A U.S. online retailer of pet food and pet-related products based in Plantation, Florida. In 2017, PetSmart acquired Chewy for $3.35 billion, the largest acquisition of an e-commerce business at the time.

Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL): Another diversified company that owns pet food brands, including Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Hill’s Pet Nutrition offers a wide range of specialized pet food products for dogs and cats, including therapeutic diets.

Freshpet, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRPT): A U.S. pet food company. It markets its cat food and dog food products as fresh and they need to be refrigerated.

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS): While not solely focused on pet food, General Mills owns several pet food brands, including Blue Buffalo. General Mills is a diversified food company that operates in various consumer food categories.

J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE: SJM): While not exclusively focused on pet food, J.M. Smucker owns several pet food brands, including Meow Mix, Milk-Bone, and Nature’s Recipe, offering a wide range of pet foods and treats.

Nestlé SA (OTC: NSRGY): A global food and beverage company that owns various pet food brands, including Purina, which provides a diverse range of pet food products for dogs and cats, including dry and wet food options.

Pet IQ logo

PetIQ, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETQ): A publicly traded company in the U.S. that operates in the pet health and wellness industry dedicated to providing affordable and accessible pet healthcare, food products, and veterinary services.

Private Equity Firms

The following is a list of private equity firms investing in the animal and pet food manufacturing industry:

  • CVC Capital Partners: Has been a part of the pet food industry by investing in Dechra Pharmaceuticals, which includes a pet food division focused on veterinary-exclusive diets. Investments it has made in the sector include:

Petco – A specialty pet food and supply retailer in North America, with over 1,500 stores across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Founded in 1965, Petco is a category-defining pet health and wellness company focusing on improving the lives of pets, pet owners, and Petco partners. The company has consistently set new standards in pet care while delivering comprehensive pet wellness products, services, and solutions and creating communities that deepen the pet-owner bond.

  • Eurazeo: A leading global investment company with a diversified portfolio that includes investments in the animal and pet food industries. Eurazeo has invested in well-known pet food brands, such as Elmubas, and supports companies in expanding their market presence. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Elmubas Pet Food Group – A producer of pet food products based in Azpeitia, Spain. The company specializes in extruded dry pet food for dogs and cats sold through major supermarket chains and specialized retailers. It offers nutritional products for different breeds and activities.

Ultra Premium Direct – Founded in 2013, Ultra Premium Direct is a pioneer and leading player in the French premium pet food market. It aims to democratize quality food for dogs and cats by distributing its product at a fair price through its own e-commerce and subscription services.

  • General Atlantic: Has been involved in the pet food sector by investing in companies like Chewy, an online pet food and supply retailer. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Open Farm – A premium pet food brand that provides high-quality pet nutrition and supports ethical and sustainable ingredient sourcing.

Village Pet Care – A pet care services platform that offers pet grooming, boarding, daycare, and training.

  • J.H. Whitney & Co.: A private equity firm that has invested in the pet food sector. For example, it acquired WellPet, a premium pet food company known for brands like Wellness and Old Mother Hubbard. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Alphia – Formerly known as CJ Foods, it provides custom manufacturing services to super-premium pet food brands.

  • L Catterton: A worldwide consumer-focused private equity firm that has invested in the pet food industry, backing companies like Blue Buffalo, a popular natural pet food brand. Other investments it has made in the pet food sector include:

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition – A leading pet food and treats manufacturer offering assorted products under various brands while catering to different pet dietary needs.

Drools Pet Food – A complete and balanced diet that delivers nutritional value to dogs. Formulated with a balanced ratio of fat and protein, it is highly palatable, which boosts a pet’s appetite and promotes a healthy digestive system.

Wellness Pet Food – A company that specializes in producing premium pet food and treats, Wellness Pet Food focuses on providing natural and nutritious options for pets.

  • Swander Pace Capital: A private equity firm that has invested in the pet food sector, including:

Eagle Pack Pet Foods – A leading producer of super-premium pet food sold in the independent, specialty pet store channel, manufacturing a broad line of dog and cat foods.

Wholesome Pet Care – A fully integrated manufacturer and marketer of private label and branded dry and wet pet foods for the United Kingdom and European export markets, including branded lines Gelert Country Choice and Gelert Holistic Choice, and private label customers such as many leading pet retailers and brands in Europe.

Venture Capital Firms

The following is a list of venture capital firms investing in the animal and pet food manufacturing industry:

  • AF Ventures – A consumer fund investing in emerging growth-stage businesses in food and beverage, health and wellness, personal and household care, beauty, and pet. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Jinx Dog Food – Provides holistic nutrition with a formulation of real ingredients like premium proteins, including organic chicken and real salmon, over 20 natural plant superfoods, and a patented probiotic.

  • Mars Petcare Ventures: Mars Petcare Ventures is the venture capital arm of Mars Petcare, a leading global pet food company. It focuses on investing in early-stage pet care startups, including pet food businesses. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Pedigree Petfoods – A subsidiary of the U.S. group Mars, Inc. that specializes in pet food with factories in the United Kingdom and offices in Virginia. Pedigree is a dry dog food with a primary source of animal protein consisting of poultry by-products or meat and bone meals.

  • AF Ventures – A consumer fund investing in emerging growth-stage businesses in food and beverage, health and wellness, personal and household care, beauty, and pet. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Jinx Dog Food – Provides holistic nutrition with a formulation of real ingredients like premium proteins, including organic chicken and real salmon, over 20 natural plant superfoods, and a patented probiotic.

Royal Canin – A subsidiary of Mars, Inc. and a French manufacturer of dog and cat food that researches the formulation and testing of breed and symptom-specific nutritional requirements of dogs and cats.

Whiskas – A cat food brand sold internationally as small, meaty pieces in sauce, gravy, or jelly packaged in tins, foil trays, or pouches, or in small biscuit form in cartons or pouches, and milk in small bottles.

  • Stray Dog Capital: A venture capital firm that specializes in investing in innovative, sustainable, and plant-based companies in the pet food industry including:

Bond Pet Foods – Develops alternative protein pet foods for animal nutrition so pets, people, farm animals, and the planet all win.

Wild Earth – A pet food brand offering plant-based proteins as an alternative to meat-based products founded in 2017 by Ryan Bethencourt, a biotech entrepreneur who wanted to create a sustainable and healthy food option for pets.


The following is a list of professionals who serve or invest in the animal and pet food manufacturing industry:

Angel Partners

  • Craig Goos: As an experienced financial services executive and manager of high-growth businesses, Craig knows that rapid growth flows from a company that seamlessly integrates operations with sales, marketing, and technology. Investments he has made in the industry include:

Bond Pet Foods – Develops alternative protein pet foods for animal nutrition so pets, people, farm animals, and the planet all win.

Vence – A livestock technology and data management company that enables scaling the sustainable production of nutritious pasture-raised and grass-fed livestock.

  • Ryan Grant Little: The founder of ClimateTech as well as an advisor, angel investor, and podcast host who has invested in the pet food industry, including:

BioCraft – A leader in safe, sustainable, and cruelty-free cultured meat to replace conventionally farmed meat for pet food.


  • Clarkston Consulting: Offers consulting services tailored to the pet food industry with a pet products and pet food consulting team prepared to help companies face some of today’s toughest challenges. 
  • FSC Group: A management consulting firm that offers strategic guidance, market analysis, and operational support to pet food companies seeking to optimize their business performance.
  • The Pet Food Consultant: A consulting firm founded by an industry expert with extensive experience in the pet food sector that offers product development, ingredient sourcing, quality control, and regulatory compliance services.

Law Firms/Attorneys 

  • Husch Blackwell: Headquartered in the heart of the Animal Health Corridor, which is home to 56% of the total worldwide animal health, diagnostics, and pet food sales, this was the first law firm of its size to create an animal health law team dedicated to livestock and companion animal health.
  • Keller & Heckman: This comprehensive global Food and Drug firm extends to animal feed and veterinary matters. Through collaboration with their attorneys and in-house scientists, they advise food and feed ingredient suppliers, finished food and feed manufacturers, retail food stores, and trade associations on a diverse range of issues relating to animal feed and veterinary regulations.
  • Williams & Connolly: With extensive experience with challenges in the food, beverage, and pet industries, this firm represents a broad range of industry-leading companies that produce, distribute, and sell pet products and services, as well as food and beverages.

Animal and Pet Food Manufacturing Associations

The following is a list of associations for the animal and pet food manufacturing industry:

  • American Feed Industry Association (AFIA): A trade association that represents the feed and pet food industries in the United States, it provides resources, advocacy, and education to promote the safe production and distribution of pet food and animal feed.
  • Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI): Represents the Canadian animal health industry, including the pet food sector and advocates for the safe, effective use of animal health products, including pet food.
  • European Pet Food Federation (FEDIAF): The European trade federation representing the European pet food industry that works to ensure the safety and nutritional quality of pet food products and promote responsible pet ownership.
  • National Animal Supplement Council (NASC): An industry association that promotes the quality and safety of animal supplements, including those used in pet food by providing guidance, standards, and a third-party quality seal program.
  • Pet Food Institute (PFI): A trade association that represents the manufacturers of pet food and treats in the United States and promotes pet nutrition, safety, and responsible pet ownership.
  • World Pet Association (WPA): An international organization that serves and advocates for the growth and well-being of the global pet industry by organizing trade shows and events, and providing education and resources.
  • Pet Food Association of Canada (PFAC): An association representing the Canadian pet food industry, it promotes pet nutrition, safety, and the responsible production and distribution of pet food.

Animal and Pet Food Manufacturing Publications

The following is a list of publications in the animal and pet food manufacturing and processing industry:

  • Pet Age Magazine: A monthly trade publication that covers a diverse range of topics in the pet industry, including pet food and nutrition, industry trends, product launches, business strategies, and pet health.
  • Pet Business Magazine: Covers a variety of topics in the pet industry, including pet food and nutrition, market trends, industry news, product launches, and retail strategies.
  • Pet Gazette: A UK-based magazine that covers various aspects of the pet industry, including pet food and nutrition, industry news, product reviews, pet health, and behavior.
  • Pet Product News International: Covers all segments of the pet industry, including pet food and treats, industry trends, new product launches, market analysis, and retail strategies.
  • Petfood Forum: A publication and an annual conference focused on the pet food industry. The publication covers nutrition, ingredient sourcing, marketing, product development, and much more.
  • Petfood Industry: A leading trade publication focused on the global pet food manufacturing industry, covering subjects such as industry trends, ingredient sourcing, product development, and market analysis.
  • Pet Food Industry News: An online publication that provides up-to-date news and analysis on the pet food industry, including market trends, industry events, and regulatory developments.
  • Pet Food Processing: Dedicated to the science and technology behind pet food manufacturing, it offers articles, news, and expert insights on processing techniques, equipment, and ingredient formulation.

Resources (Books, Podcasts, etc.)

The following is a list of resources focused on the confectionery industry:


  • A valuable resource for industry professionals, researchers, and pet owners to stay informed about the latest developments, trends, and insights in the pet food sector. It also is a platform for experts to share their knowledge and contribute to the ongoing discussion in the industry.
  • Pet Food Recalls: Stay updated with Feedly’s list of U.S. and international cat and dog food, pet treats, and companion animal feed recalls. According to the Food and Drug Administration, manufacturers can recall pet food to remove products from the market by FDA request or FDA order under statutory authority. 
  • Truth About Pet Food: Authored by Susan Thixton, an advocate for pet food safety and transparency, this blog is a popular and influential resource for pet owners and advocates interested in learning more about the pet food industry. 


  • Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat by Marion Nestle and Malden C. Nesheim – Examines the pet food industry, discusses the nutritional needs of dogs and cats, and provides advice on selecting and preparing healthy pet food.
  • Not Fit for a Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Cat and Dog Food by Dr. Michael W. Fox – Explores the pet food industry and questions the quality and safety of many commercially available pet foods. Dr. Fox also offers insights into alternative feeding options and highlights the importance of proper nutrition for pets.
  • Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food by Ann N. Martin – Investigates the pet food industry and raises awareness about the potential dangers of certain ingredients and manufacturing practices. It also provides information on how to make more informed choices when feeding your pets.


  • Feed Your Dog Facts: Helps dog owners be smart, responsible guardians for their pets. In each episode, hosts Dan Schulof and Jen Wolanik discuss evidence-based information about nutritional science, the veterinary community, and the pet food industry, making these challenging topics so simple, even a dog can understand them.
  • Life Well Loved: This podcast by Bella & Duke, a cat and dog wellness brand, is by humans who love their dogs. It features easy ways to radically improve your dog’s health and help it lead a longer, happier and healthier life, such as raw dog food made easy. It also includes expert interviews, mythbusters, behavior chats, Ask the Vet, and Q&As. 
  • Paws and Listen Podcast: A podcast series by Big Dog Pet Foods, the leading pet nutrition provider in Australia, with interviews and deep dives into pet nutrition and care, training, and regular “Ask a Vet” segments.
  • The Raw Dog Food Truth: This podcast takes your questions and gives you the raw truth as they investigate the benefits, myths, and misconceptions about feeding raw dog food. Tune in to discover the real truth about how raw dog food diets are changing the lives of people and pets in miraculous ways every day. 

Industry Information

NAICS Code(s)

  • 31111 – Animal Food Manufacturing
  • 311111 – Dog and Cat Food Manufacturing
  • 311119 – Other Animal Food Manufacturing

SIC Code(s)

  • 2047 – Dog and Cat Food
  • 204799 – Dog and Cat Food, NEC (not elsewhere classified) 
  • 20479901 – Cat food
  • 20479902 – Dog food
  • 2048 – Prepared Feed and Feed Ingredients for Animals and Fowls, Except Dogs and Cats

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