Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PetSmart lays off workers at Phoenix headquarters

PetSmart plans to lay off 15% of its employees at its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, according to reports.
The company was bought by a private equity consortium led by BC Partners Ltd. for US$8.7 billion in March 2015. Along with the sale, PetSmart’s CEO David K. Lenhardt was replaced by Michael J. Massey.
“We are focusing our efforts right now on PetSmart’s future growth,” a company spokeswoman said in a report. “We identified priority areas of the business where we need to invest additional resources. And as part of this, we also identified areas where we need to gain efficiency.”
“This is an important step to ensure that we are staying true to our commitment to become a highly efficient retailer and to further invest in the future growth of the company,” the spokeswoman said.
PetSmart employs 53,000 people at more than 1,400 stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. About 1,700 people work at the headquarters. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Petco launches on-demand delivery service

Petco has launched PetcoNow, the first on-demand delivery service in the pet specialty retail category. Powered by Instacart in a first-of-its-kind partnership, the service gives pet parents the ability to access all of the Petco quality pet products they need, delivered directly to their door in as little as one hour.
"In today's on-demand retail economy, customers expect to have the world at their fingertips," said Brad Weston, Petco executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. "PetcoNow represents an evolution in the way we're able to provide quality products and customer service to pet parents. Combining our 50-year heritage, expertise and retail footprint with strategic partnerships ensures we stay at the forefront of innovation in today's changing marketplace."
Available now in select markets, the service provides customers with a selection of approximately 13,000 Petco products – including all food (dry kibble, wet, fresh, frozen, freeze-dried), treats, toys and supplies for pets ranging from dogs and cats to fish and birds. Accessible through both an easy-to-use web portal and mobile app, PetcoNow serves US pet parents in Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Boulder, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, D.C.
Additionally, Petco and Instacart are excited to announce expanded delivery zones in Miami and Chicago beginning June 23 and 30 respectively.
"In January, we introduced Petco as Instacart's first non-grocery retail partner, and we have continued to see growth," said Apoorva Mehta, founder and CEO of Instacart. "Through our partnership, Petco is able to offer customers the ease and convenience of on-demand delivery without the need to handle the logistics themselves. We're excited to expand this offering to pet owners and will be introducing additional markets later this year." 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Coveris acquires Latin American plastics company

Coveris Holdings S.A., a global packaging and coatings solutions company, has acquiredOlefinas, an agricultural plastics company with operations in Guatemala and Mexico. 
Entering Latin America supports Coveris’ initiative to providing a full range of packaging solutions for agricultural products. This is the second new geographic market Coveris has entered in the past six weeks, after the recently announced acquisition of Elldex, a full-service flexible packaging company in New Zealand.
Olefinas manufactures packaging solutions for a full range of agricultural products, including tree bags, labels, twine and aging ribbons for the banana industry, as well as mulch and fumigation films, insect traps, modified atmospheric packaging and shrink films. Since 1959, Olefinas has been the pioneer of banana plastics and produces more than 300 million pounds of high-value-added products annually dedicated to enhancing crop yield.
“We consistently look for opportunities to better serve our growing customer base and expanding our market reach,” said Gary Masse, Coveris CEO.
Olefinas has more than 600 employees across its two locations in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and San Luis Potosi, Mexico.  Capitalizing on Coveris’ global strengths and Olefinas’ agricultural market expertise, this Latin America-based operation will be rebranded as COVERIS-Olefinas.
“Olefinas is thrilled to become part of this growing, global packaging company,” said Clayton McNeel of Olefinas. “Olefinas has enjoyed tremendous success in our markets, and we are excited to continue our journey with Coveris.” 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Growing pet ownership seeks excitement in pets’ diets

Pet ownership in the US has hit an all-time high, with 78 million dogs and 86 million cats in 65% of households, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
APPA says 80 million households in the US have a pet, including 8 million that are new pet owners. Thirty-three percent of minority households now have a dog or cat, also an all-time high.
The high rate of pet ownership means pet food sales will keep rising. Packaged Facts estimates that domestic pet food sales will rise 16% from 2015 to 2018 to reach $33 billion. Packaged Facts says frozen/refrigerated cat and dog food and cat treats led volume gains in 2014. The global pet care products market was $90 billion in 2014, according to Euromonitor.
In the US in 2014, 95% of dog owners bought dry food, 37% bought wet food, 34% bought both, and 78% bought biscuits/treats. Ninety-five percent of cat owners bought dry food, 51% bought wet food, 47% bought both, and 44% bought treats. Premium products made up for 42% of pet food sales.
Fifty-two percent of pet owners say they are looking for no byproducts in the pet food products they purchase, 50% are looking for all natural, and 47% are looking for real meat as the No. 1 ingredient.
Trends show pet owners are looking for exciting flavors and textures for their pets, such as gravies, juices, cheese and bacon. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dick Van Patten, founder of Natural Balance, dies at 86

Actor Dick Van Patten, founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods, died June 23, 2015, at age 86.
Van Patten had been ill for a long time, according to his agent. He died in a Santa Monica, California, USA, hospital.
The actor was likely best known for his role as the father on the 1970s television series “Eight Is Enough.” According to Internet Movie Database, he was credited in 153 movies and TV shows, the most recent being an episode of “Hot In Cleveland” in 2011.
As an animal enthusiast, he co-founded Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods, a subsidiary of Big Heart Pet Brands, in 1989. He also founded National Guide Dog Month, which began in 2008 to raise awareness and money for nonprofit guide dog schools in the US accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation.
Reports say Natural Balance was started when Van Patten was a guest on John Davidson’s show. After having lunch with the show’s band’s drummer, who also was an animal lover, the two came up with an idea to make a health food for dogs. Another friend of Van Patten’s told him the best quality pet food should have no fillers, wheat, corn, soy or byproducts.
"My partner and I started Natural Balance Pet Foods in 1989 with the intention of developing the finest, healthiest pet food on the market,” Van Patten is quoted as saying. “We wanted a pet food based on sound scientific principles and truth, not marketing hype. We did it! Not only for dogs and cats, but for large carnivores, such as lions, tigers, polar bears, and wolves in zoos and animal reserves worldwide!"
 The Natural Balance brand includes a line of zoological products formulated specifically for carnivores in zoos and wild animal parks and not sold to the general public.

Animal groups pressure FDA on pet food labeling

Animal advocacy groups are asking the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue tougher standards for pet food, according to a report.
FDA is set to issue regulations by September that will fulfill a mandate from 2007 legislation requiring updated nutritional and ingredient information on pet food labels.
At issue are recalls, labeling requirements, and standards for ingredients.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says it wants FDA to set standards that force manufacturers to issue recalls if their products have been linked to an illness or death in a certain number of animals. Currently, pet food manufacturers can issue voluntary recalls, or the FDA can request or order one. Advocates say they want triggers that require companies to initiate a recall after a certain number of animals become ill or die after ingesting a product.
However, Cathleen Enright, president and CEO of the Pet Food Institute, says FDA already has that authority.
"Are all those who are mandating a recall wishing to put that food safety authority into the hands of industry?” she said.
Pet food labels
Animal advocates say food coloring in pet food should be banned because animals are not swayed by the color of their food. Enright disagrees, saying food coloring is an issue of personal preference.
"We need to ensure that all ingredients are acceptable for pet food," she said. "If it's not a safety issue or health issue or nutrition issue, it's approved."
Standards for ingredients
Animal advocacy groups want a higher standard for ingredients that go into pet food.
“Pet food should be prohibited from having ingredients taken from 4D bins,” said Kathy Guillermo, a senior vice president at PETA. “This is the term that refers to where they place the bodies of animals that are dead, dying and diseased.”
Guillermo said 4D bins contain parts of animals that have been rejected for human consumption, and that they are commonly used in pet food products.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

DIANA Pet Food opens first plant in Russia

DIANA Pet Food, member of the Symrise Group, officially opened its first Russian plant on May 27, 2015.
Russia is the sixth site in Europe and the 17th worldwide for the company.
“Serving regional markets with local production sites is a long-standing strategy at DIANA Pet Food. The benefits of shorter distances are quite obvious combining a closer proximity to the markets, the customers and the raw materials,” said Rémi Cristoforetti, DIANA Pet Food president.
“The Russian pet food market represents 9% of the European market and is one of the fastest growing in the world. With this new production site in Shebekino, we are developing a closer relationship with our customers in Eastern Europe,” said Andrey Buynevich, who was named the general manager of the Russian plant at the beginning of this year.
DIANA Pet Food’s decision to set up a facility producing palatability enhancers for dogs and cat food in Russia was made in 2010. As the center of pig and poultry farming, the Belgorod region, 700 kilometers south of Moscow, was the ideal location for the Russian subsidiary. From due diligence of the land plot, design of the plant and construction, the setting up took four years before the first tons of palatants were shipped on November 2014.
High quality has always been one of DIANA Pet Food’s recipes for success. Just like at the other sites, the aim is to establish a Program of Excellence in Palatant Safety at the Russian plant. Andrey Buynevich, with his team of 15, will be responsible for ensuring that pet food manufacturers throughout Russia have better and faster access to DIANA Pet Food products and services. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Petfood Forum Europe 2015 announces record attendance

Petfood Forum Europe, held June 10, 2015, in Cologne, Germany, enjoyed record attendance. More than 200 pet food professionals from throughout Europe and the world participated in the exclusive conference, a 25% increase over the previous edition of Petfood Forum Europe, held in 2011.
Held in conjunction with Victam International 2015, Petfood Forum Europe featured expert presentations on pet food packaging, safety, processing, emotional palatability and novel ingredients, such as microalgae as a source of omega-3s for dogs, specific medium chain triglycerides as potential weight loss agents for cats and insects as protein sources for dog and cat diets. During his presentation, Tarique Arsiwalla, co-founder of Protix in the Netherlands, announced that the first commercial pet food featuring insect protein, a therapeutic, hypoallergenic diet for dogs, will be launched by TroVet in September.
Petfood Forum Europe also offered several networking opportunities for participants, including with sponsors from leading industry suppliers.
The conference will take place again in Cologne in 2017 or 2019. Watchwww.petfoodforumevents.com for announcements.

Friday, June 19, 2015

US agencies warn about safety of raw pet food

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has assigned field staff to collect samples of raw pet food to be analyzed for SalmonellaListeria monocytogenes and E. coli.
According to FDA’s assignment, positive findings “may result in a Class I recall, press release, and Reportable Food Registry (RFR) submission.”
FDA says it is concerned about the growing number of dog and cat owners who have begun feeding raw diets to their pets.
“Feeding raw foods to household pets such as dogs or cats carries a risk to human and animal health,” FDA said.
However, FDA says it acknowledges that there is consumer demand for raw pet food and therefore is looking to educate consumers about the safe handling of the food.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a blog, offered consumers ways to protect pets and people from illness due to Salmonella and Listeria. The American Veterinary Medical Association has said it “discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.” 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

FDA seeks to minimize Salmonella illness in pets

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking into ways to minimize the incidence of foodborne illness associated with pet food and treats.
“Ultimately, we’re hoping to learn ways FDA can help minimize the incidence of foodborne illness associated with pet foods and treats,” says Renate Reimschuessel, veterinarian, research biologist and head of the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network.
Over the past two years, 11 labs with which the FDA partners have focused on Salmonellainfections in dogs and cats. Each lab collected stool samples from dogs and cats with signs of salmonellosis and compared the samples with a control group. The study also asked pet owners questions about their pets.
Of 3,000 pets tested, less than 100 tested positive for Salmonella.
“Pet owners should know, though, that almost half of the dogs that tested positive for Salmonellashowed no symptoms,” Reimschuessel said.
FDA is offering ways pet owners can minimize the spread of illness in the event that pet food and treats may be contaminated:
  • Avoid buying pet food in dented cans or with damaged packaging.
  • Feed your pets in a location that can be easily cleaned and sanitized.
  • Wash countertops, tables, or any surfaces compromised when pet foods have come into contact with them.
  • Earmark some utensils for use only with pet foods.
  • Wash hands carefully after handling pet foods.
  • Keep dry pet foods in a cool, dry place and sealed in a container to prevent spoilage.
  • No matter how you store your pet food, keep the original packaging which contains data such as the manufacturer’s contact information, lot code, and UPC number. These facts can be useful if a pet food is a suspected source of illness and an investigation is under way.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Study looks at global pet food spending

A new study by the Nielsen Co. shows that North America and Europe account for more than half of the world’s pet food sales, but growth potential in these regions is more limited than in others. Meanwhile, sales in Latin America and Eastern Europe are growing at a double-digit pace.
The study looked at where consumers are shopping for pet food:
  • Grocery retailers 52%
  • Specialty channels 46%
  • E-commerce 2%
Seventy percent of global pet food sales are in eight countries:
  • United States 29.7%
  • Brazil 9.8%
  • Japan 6.6%
  • United Kingdom 6.6%
  • France 5.9%
  • Germany 5%
  • Russia 4.3%
  • Italy 3.7%
  • All other countries 28.4%
Specialty pet food sales have soared in Germany, with 86% of sales made by the top four specialty pet retailers.
That’s compared with:
  • 67% in the United States
  • 57% each in the United Kingdom and Canada
  • 57% in the Netherlands
  • 32% in France
  • 24% in Italy
  • 11% in Brazil
  • 7% in Spain
  • 5% in Russia 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

InVivo looks to grow in Indonesian pet food market

InVivo NSA is looking to become a bigger player in the Indonesian pet food market, according to a report.
The pet food market in Indonesia, which has a volume of 15,000-20,000 tons per year, is dominated by two brands that control about half of the market share. But Alain Symoens, country manager Indonesia of InVivo, said the company is looking to take a bigger piece of that market share with its subsidiary PT Guyovital.
“If in the next 10 years the market doubles to 40,000 tonnes, we will have a 10-20% market share,” he said in the report.
PT Guyovital sells premium dog and cat food imported from Brazil and Mexico, but plans to import more from InVivo’s production facility in Vietnam.
“We recently added a new pet food line at our facility in Vietnam which will supply to Southeast Asia and also China and India,” Symoens said.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Blue Buffalo files for initial public offering

Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the proposed initial public offering of its common stock.
The total number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined, but reports say the company could raise up to $500 million. Blue Buffalo has applied to list its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol BUFF.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Barclays Capital Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and LOYAL3 Securities Inc. are acting as co-managers for the proposed offering.
The shares of common stock to be sold in the offering will be sold by existing stockholders of Blue Buffalo. A portion of such shares will be reserved for sale, through a platform administered by LOYAL3, to individual investors so that they can have a chance to buy shares of Blue Buffalo at the same price and at the same time as institutional investors in the offering. The offering will also include shares to be issued by Blue Buffalo to approximately 1,600 non-management employees at no cost to them, which will also be offered through the LOYAL3 platform.
A registration statement on Form S-1 relating to the proposed offering has been filed with the Commission but has not yet become effective. The shares to be registered may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fibertech expanding Indiana location

Fibertech Inc. is expanding its location in Elberfeld, Indiana, USA. The addition of 45,000 square feet to Fibertech’s existing building will result in 125,000 square feet of space.
This addition will allow the company to meet its customers’ persistent growth and new market demand, the company said in a press release.
“We are always investing in our customers and our employees. This expansion will add jobs and meet our goals of continuous improvement to our loyal customer base,” said Bill Scott, owner of Fibertech Inc.
The new facilities will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology, equipment and warehousing. This investment offers Fibertech’s customers more ability with custom molding projects and offers shortened lead times in production.
Fibertech has been involved in the plastics industry for 26 years and is known for its durable, FDA-approved containers.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

WikiVet, Mars Petcare offer new pet nutrition materials

WikiVet and Mars Petcare have launched new veterinary educational materials focused on cat and dog nutrition and its role in health and well-being. Through an exciting collaboration, WikiVet and Mars Petcare continue to improve the quality and reach of reference materials available to veterinary students, practicing veterinarians and vet nurses.
“Nutrition plays a crucial role in the health and well-being of pets,” said Dr. Richard Butterwick, principal nutrition scientist, WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Mars Petcare. “We are excited to combine our expertise in pet nutrition with WikiVet’s dynamic site, driving greater awareness of the important link between nutrition and health.”
Based on extensive research and scientific knowledge, subject matter will include differing nutritional requirements of cats and dogs; essential nutrients, their role and biological function; and consequences of deficiency and signs of toxicity. The materials will feature resources written by world leading experts in pet nutrition including Dr. Dan Chan, senior lecturer at Royal Veterinary College, University of London, and Dr. Lisa Weeth, veterinary clinical nutritionist.
 “We are very pleased to continue working with Mars Petcare and believe these materials will help the veterinary profession strengthen their understanding of cat and dog nutrition and the importance of the right nutrition for a healthy life,” said Nick Short, head of the eMedia Unit, Royal Veterinary College.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Iams, Eukanuba acquired by Spectrum Brands

Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc., a global and diversified consumer products company with market-leading brands, has completed the acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s European pet food business, consisting of the complementary Iams and Eukanuba premium brands for dogs and cats. Financial terms of the accretive transaction were not disclosed. A definitive agreement was announced on September 23.
“The addition of these leading brands in an adjacent category better balances the product portfolio of our global pet business while significantly expanding its product offerings and geographic footprint,” said Dave Lumley, CEO of Spectrum Brands Holdings.
“We see major cross-selling opportunities given the strength of our existing aquatics and companion animal supplies business in continental Europe and the particularly strong position of these dry pet food brands in the UK,” Lumley said. “Over the next few years, we also expect important synergies in overhead, SG&A, and manufacturing and distribution.”
The Iams and Eukanuba European pet food business has annual sales of approximately $200 million. The total European dog and cat food market is estimated to be $21 billion annually and growing at 3 to 5 percent per year.
“I view the Iams and Eukanuba brands as iconic in the specialty pet food category,” said David Maura, chairman of the board of Spectrum Brands Holdings. “With this acquisition, we are strategically strengthening our companion animal product portfolio and investing behind our global pet supplies business. We expect this deal to be accretive in year one, but more meaningfully so in the second year, once fully integrated. We welcome the P&G employees to the Spectrum Brands family and look forward to driving this business to an even higher performance level and providing outstanding service to our customers.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

70 pets find homes during Woof Gang Bakery adopt-a-thon

Nearly 70 deserving pets were adopted during Woof Gang Bakery’s second adopt-a-thon event held on May 9, 2015. Another 26 pet adoption applications are in progress. The event, held in collaboration with more than 70 local animal rescue groups, was hosted at 42 Woof Gang Bakery stores across six states.
Local animal rescue organizations also received donations from customers and Woof Gang Bakery. Donations included nearly 2,600 pounds of pet food, $9,800 in goods and veterinary services, and $500 in grooming services, including baths and grooms for newly adopted dogs.
Adoptions resulting from the event included a lovable 150-pound English Mastiff and a Labrador Retriever who had been in foster care and in need of a permanent home for more than a year. At Woof Gang Bakery Jacksonville, Florida, USA, funds were raised to provide surgery for a Staffordshire terrier who suffered BB gun injuries. That dog also was adopted that day.
 Throughout the entire year, Woof Gang Bakery strives to help raise awareness for the more than 7 million adoptable dogs and cats across the country. Working with local pet rescue organizations, Woof Gang Bakery aims to assist shelter animals and help them find forever homes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

RECALL: Ainsworth recalls Rachael Ray Nutrish cat food

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition of Meadville, Pennsylvania, USA, is voluntarily recalling five varieties of Rachael Ray Nutrish wet cat food, including Ocean Fish-a-licious, Lip Smackin’ Sardine & Mackerel, Ocean Fish & Chicken Catch-iatore, Tuna Purrfection, and certain lot codes of Paw Lickin’ Chicken & Liver due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D.
Symptoms of excessive vitamin D consumption usually develop within 12-36 hours after ingestion and may include vomiting or diarrhea, increased thirst and urination, and muscle tremors or seizures. Any cat experiencing these symptoms should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.
Two variety packs that contain some of these recalled products (the Chicken Lovers Variety Pack, and the Ocean Lovers Variety Pack) will also be recalled. The recalled products are distributed nationwide. No other Rachael Ray Nutrish products are affected by this recall.
The affected products are:
Single Pack
  • Paw Lickin Chicken and Liver (2.8 oz), Unit UPC Code 071190007032, Best By Dates Thru Aug 17 2015
  • Ocean Fish And Chicken Catch-iatorie (2.8 oz), Unit UPC Code 071190007049, Best By Dates Thru Dec 1 2016
  • Ocean Fish A Licious (2.8 oz), Unit UPC Code 071190007056, Best By Dates Thru Dec 1 2016
  • Tuna Purrfection (2.8 oz), Unit UPC Code 071190007063, Best By Dates Thru Dec 1 2016
  • Lip Smackin Sardine And Mackerel (2.8 oz), Unit UPC Code 071190007070, Best By Dates Thru Dec 1 2016
Multi Packs - 12 Count
  • Chicken Lovers Variety Pack (12 count pack of 2.8 oz cups), Unit UPC Code 071190007773, Best By Dates Thru Dec 1 2016
  • Ocean Lovers Variety Pack (12 count pack of 2.8 oz cups), Unit UPC Code 071190007780, Best By Dates Thru Dec 1 2016  
The UPC code can be found on the bottom of the cup. The Best By code can be found on the side of the cup.
To date, there have been 11 reports of illness associated with these products.
After conducting a number of product tests, Ainsworth confirmed that the affected products have elevated levels of vitamin D. The high levels result from the natural levels of vitamin D that are found in some of the fish ingredients that were used in these specific formulas.
"At Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and Rachael Ray Nutrish, the safety and quality of our products is our top priority," says Jeff Watters, CEO. "For the time being, we recommend disposing of any of the affected wet cat varieties. Rest assured we have implemented additional operating procedures to prevent an issue like this from occurring in the future. We sincerely apologize to our loyal consumers everywhere."
Ainsworth is working to ensure the removal of all affected products from store shelves. Retailers with affected products are asked to contact +1.888.943.4218 for additional information.
Consumers with questions about the recall are encouraged to contact Ainsworth’s Consumer Care Team at +1.877.650.3486 or visit www.nutrishforpets.com/news.
Representatives will be available from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.
Vitamin D is important in regulating calcium and phosphorus in a cat’s body. But when ingested at very high levels, it can lead to serious health issues.
Production of the affected varieties has been suspended and will resume after reformulation.

Vital Essentials to introduce 3 new treat flavors

Vital Essentials has asked retailers, distributors and pet owners to vote for the next three treats to be added to the company’s lineup of freeze-dried treats, which currently includes six flavors.
Voters can choose from:
  • Chicken hearts
  • Beef tendons
  • Wild Alaskan salmon rings
  • Beef liver
  • Duck nibs
  • Wild Alaskan cod
  • Bully sticks
“It’s essential that we seek input and advice from pet parents, retailers and distributors as we look to enhance the line,” said Nick Hetcher, director of marketing. “Due to the overwhelming success of the Vital Treats line, launched in early 2014, we have received an outpouring of customer requests asking for more. We plan to answer the call by introducing the new additions in June 2015.”
 Voting is closed and the results will be announced soon on the company’s website.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Purina offers tips to keep pets at healthy weight

Ninety-five percent of pet owners think their overweight or obese dog was a normal body condition, according to Purina. With summer barbecues on the horizon, “people food” may tempt your dog and he could eat more than just his daily kibble.
Here are some stats about pet obesity:
  • In 2014, 43.8 million dogs were overweight
  • 42 percent of owners said they didn’t know what a “healthy weight” was for their pet
  • Dog owners can end up feeding about 37-80% more food than their dog needs
 Just Right by Purina has created an infographic that shares some fun ideas for how pet owners can prevent pet obesity and keep their pets healthy and happy this summer.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Quadrant Private Equity to acquire V.I.P. Petfoods

Quadrant Private Equity has entered into an agreement to acquire V.I.P. Petfoods for AUD410 million (US$317.8 million).
Quadrant will partner with the founders of V.I.P. to back the existing management team, including Rex Devantier and Kent Quinn, to grow the business domestically and internationally. Tony and Christina Quinn will remain significant shareholders and continue to provide ongoing support to the business.
V.I.P. was founded in 1994 by Tony and Christina Quinn and over this time V.I.P. has grown to be Australia’s leading independent pet food company and the largest producer of fresh chilled pet food in the world, distributing pet food products locally and into overseas markets. V.I.P. operates 6 manufacturing sites, employs over 600 staff and produces over 150,000 tons of pet food annually.
“Over the past two decades, V.I.P. has grown to become a leading Australian manufacturer of pet food and one of the largest manufacturers of pet food in the world,” said Tony Quinn. “Christina and I are proud of what we and our team have achieved in building V.I.P. into a world class pet food manufacturing business and we believe Quadrant is the right partner to assist the team over the next phase of growth, which we look forward to being a part of.”
“V.I.P. has built up an impressive position in the Australian pet food industry and has established a truly leading manufacturing capability,” said Chris Hadley, managing director of Quadrant. “We believe there are opportunities to further implement growth and strategic initiatives to enhance the brand and product in Australia and throughout the world. This is another great example of Quadrant partnering with Australian entrepreneurs to provide capital and strategic expertise to execute on growth.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Altor, Goldman Sachs to acquire Hamlet Protein majority

Altor Fund IV and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division have partnered to acquire the majority of Hamlet Protein from Polaris Private Equity and the founder of the company, Ole. K. Hansen.
Hamlet Protein is a global provider of soy-based protein solutions used in high value-add animal feed for young animals. The company services more than 50 countries from its two production facilities in Horsens, Denmark, and Findlay, Ohio, USA.
“This is another important milestone for Hamlet Protein and we are very excited about our new partnership with Altor and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division,” said Søren Munch, CEO of Hamlet Protein. “With the strong support of Altor and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division we are uniquely positioned to accelerate the development and growth of Hamlet Protein and better service our customers and partners globally.”
“We believe that Hamlet Protein is ideally positioned to become the global champion within high-value-add young animal feed,” said Søren Johansen, partner at Altor Equity Partners.
“We see significant growth potential globally and are excited about partnering with Altor and the management team to support the company’s impressive growth trajectory both organically and through acquisitions,” said Michael Specht Bruun, managing director in the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs.
Closing of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory requirements and approvals.
 William Blair acted as exclusive financial adviser to the selling shareholders. Nordea has provided debt financing for the transaction.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Coveris Holdings acquires Elldex Packaging Solutions

Coveris Holdings S.A., a leading packaging and coatings solutions company, announced the acquisition of Elldex Packaging Solutions, a New Zealand-based full-service flexible packaging company. The acquisition, effective immediately, will enable Coveris to expand globally into Australasia.
Elldex is a manufacturer and importer of HDPE and LDPE flexible plastic packaging. With more than 125 employees, Elldex provides products that serve the meat, dairy, seafood, horticulture, and agricultural sectors.
“We are very pleased to add Elldex Packaging Solutions to Coveris,” said Gary Masse, Coveris CEO. “As the global demand for our products continues to increase, Elldex will allow us to serve our customers in this important region of the world.”
“Elldex is a terrific strategic fit for Coveris. We are pleased to be part of this growing packaging company,” said Murray Hine, Elldex general manager.
Elldex was previously owned by Hellaby Holdings Ltd.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Wenger Technical Center marks 50th anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary for the Wenger Technical Center, and a recent accreditation from the International Accreditation Service (IAS) for Testing Laboratories brings even more to the celebration.
According to accreditation documents, the Wenger Tech Center has met the requirements for several American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) standards, including accredited tests for moisture measurement, starch gelatinization analysis, phase transition analysis, and rapid viscosity analysis.
“This is just further verification of our ability to test and analyze anything from breakfast cereal and pet food to aquatic feed and textured vegetable protein products,” says Rhonni Mitchell, Tech Center laboratory technician. “We have a wide range of testing equipment to aid us in analyzing raw materials and finished products, as well as nearly two dozen test procedures we can run within the lab.”
Founded in 1965 as a research plant in which Wenger could demonstrate its equipment and develop new processes, the Wenger Technical Center has grown into a world-class facility for research and development. In 1985, the Wenger Technical Center was acclaimed as the most complete and largest extrusion research lab in the food and grain processing industries. Equipped with the latest in research and production scale extrusion and drying equipment, the center can assist with a wide range of services, including demonstrations, product planning and development, process evaluation and testing and lab analysis.
“Through the Technical Center, we’ve been able to share what we’ve learned as a company over the last 80 years and to help our customers develop new products and processes,” says Lafe Bailey, co-CEO and president of sales and business development at Wenger. “However, it’s not just about hardware and test facilities. We’re able to help customers weave their way through the process much faster than they could do it alone. Plus, our technicians assist with the interpretation of results, help track product quality and even help set up the process, transferring technology to the customer’s facility.
“So I, for one, can say we’re proud of the recent IAS accreditation, and even more proud of the Tech Center’s 50-year history and the chance to celebrate another anniversary.”