Cheerios cereal maker, General Mills inc is set to buy Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc for almost $8billion, the company announced today.
Blue Buffalo is the top pet food company in the US with 6.1 percent of the market and is the seventh globally with 2.4 percent of the market, according to Euromonitor.
The deal marks Minneapolis-based General Mills’ entry into the pet food sector.
The USA represents the largest pet food market in the world at 30.6 billion in 2017 (up from 25.6 in 2012)
According to Euromonitor International’s head of pet care research, Paula Flores, the natural trend is driving growth for niche companies.
Flores commented in a recent analysis: “Blue Buffalo saw one of the highest growth rates in recent years, due to its presence in the US market, and it has been bucking the natural trend. Speaking to pet parents and highlighting the freshness, naturalness and quality of its ingredients, the player currently ranks sixth at global level.
“The concept of health has changed over the years, and it now entails a more holistic and global approach, also including wellbeing, and taking a preventative approach. A change in human eating habits and patterns has been driven by the need to take greater control over what is eaten, its quality and its quantity.
“More educated humans are also more educated pet owners, who transpose such concerns and knowledge whilst shopping for their pets. This has given rise to the development of many pet food strategies. Natural, which was once a sign of premium, has now become mainstream, and diets have evolved to accompany human trends.”