In a recent Petfood Industry article, “Q1 pet food industry acquisitions: a microcosm of trends,” the publication’s Managing Editor Lindsay Beaton highlighted the correlation between recent pet M&A transactions and developing pet industry trends. She cited SDR’s quarterly pet report, “The Deal Hound,” as a source for recent M&A data and trend analysis.
Beaton calls out two key trends: (1) companies are expanding business capabilities (often through M&A) in order to increase their reach and (2) considerable consolidation is taking place within hot pet industry segments, such as natural pet food, pet dental and online pet retail.
Food processing company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)’s January 2017 purchase of pet food manufacturer Crosswind Industries and KKR’s February 2017 investment in China-based Gambol Pet Group will give each pet company more capabilities to increase their reach.
When examining hot pet industry segments, in Q1 2017, Parker’s Pet Provisions acquired Complete Natural Nutrition and VisioCap acquired Nature’s Logic, putting credence to the ever-growing importance of natural pet food and products. As we’ve called out in several editions of The Deal Hound, natural and human-grade ingredients for pets have been trending up for many years.
Beaton highlighted WellPet’s February 2017 acquisition of natural dental-chew creator WHIMZEES as an effort for WellPet to capitalize on the fast-growing pet dental product category.
Finally, pet food and supply distributor Phillips Pet Food & Supplies’ March 2017 purchase of online retailer PetFlow will help bridge the gap between independent specialty retailers and online retail. Of course, in April 2017, PetSmart’s $3.35 billion acquisition of Chewy.com put an exclamation mark on this trend and the massive importance of e-commerce within the pet industry.