Smucker’s Tales of Pet Portfolio Strategy at CAGNY 2021

ORRVILLE, OHIO – The JM Smucker Company highlighted the accomplishments and strategies of its pet care portfolio at the 2021 Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference. Pet care has grown to be the company’s largest product segment.

In the company’s 2020 fiscal year, net sales of its pet food and snack products totaled $ 2.6 billion between its commodity, consumer and premium brands.

Mark Smucker, President and CEO, shared a “three-pronged approach” to the company’s pet portfolio, which includes momentum in the pet treats category, food brands for cats and premium dog food. All three categories will be supported by increased marketing investments, he said.

“Our snack portfolio has generated net year-over-year sales growth in 13 of the past 14 quarters,” said Smucker. “To further accelerate the pace of growth, we are accelerating innovation and taking measures to capitalize on the trend towards premiumization. “

Innovations in this category include the addition of premium products to the Milk-Bone brand and the expansion of premium treat products for Rachael Ray Nutrish.

In the cat food category, Smucker reflected on 14 consecutive quarters of year-over-year sales growth, led by Meow Mix, “which has the highest household penetration and volume share in the industry. category, ”he said.

“We are confident to build on this momentum with a pipeline of unique innovations, leveraging digital tools, advanced marketing and promotional programs, and an improved on-shelf assortment,” added Smucker.

The company hopes to strengthen its dog food category by adjusting its portfolio to better match consumer demands, which include more grain ingredients and wet dog food options. The company’s wet dog food sales have grown at a rate greater than 20% across all retail channels for the past two consecutive quarters, outpacing the growth rate of its overall category of dog food.

The company recently completed the sale of Natural Balance, a premium brand of dry and wet dog food that has lagged sales for several consecutive quarters, to Nexus Capital Management for approximately $ 50 million.

The brand generated net sales of $ 220 million for Smucker’s fiscal year ended April 30, 2020. The company chose to divest the brand in order to focus on its most profitable core brands, including Rachael Ray Nutrish, Milk-Bone and Meow Mix.

“The divestiture reflects our strategy to direct investments and resources to the areas of the business that will generate the greatest growth and profitability,” Smucker said of the sale of Natural Balance.

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Don F. Davis

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