J.M. Smucker Buys Rachel Ray’s Nutrish
The J.M. Smucker Co. has announced they are buying Ainsworth Pet Nutrition for $1.9 billion dollars. Ainsworth Pet Nutrition is the maker of the Rachel Ray brand dog Nutrish, and the addition of this company will add Nutrish to Smucker’s other dog foods like Kibbles n’ Bits, Gravy Train, Skippy and Ol’ Roy brands.
The company’s acquisition comes at a time when Smucker has been in the news several times as of late, as recalls for some of their canned Gravy Train, Skippy, Ol’ Roy and Kibbles ‘N Bit due to trace amounts of the euthanasia drug pentobarbital have been found.
In 2015, the company bought Big Heart Pet Brands for $5.8 million dollars, veering off the path its most known for with its namesake jams and jellies. They are also producers of Folgers Coffe and Jif peanut butter. They are considering selling some of the human food product line, including Pillsbury baked goods, and looking to cash in on the 33% industry-wide increase the premium pet food market has enjoyed.
High-end pet food now is responsible for more than 50% of the market share, and the purchase of the Nutrish line will now make pet foods the largest source of sales for the company. It is estimated that bringing Ainsworth into the Smucker family will make pet food sales the company’s biggest business facet, bringing in about $3 billion in sales.
Smucker joins General Mills in the jump to the premium pet food market, as in February, GM agreed to an $8 billion purchase of popular Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc.
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