Pro-Pet to be Aquired by Cargill

Group of cats and dogs

Cargill has reached an agreement to acquire Pro-Pet, an Ohio-based manufacturer of private label and co-manufactured pet foods, including premium dog food brand Black Gold.  The acquisition makes Cargill the only national supplier of both animal feed and pet food offerings in the agricultural retail space.

The transaction is expected to close within 30 days, subject to customary approvals. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Pro-Pet’s commitment to high-quality, safe pet food and passion for the pet food business is the perfect fit for our Cargill Animal Nutrition business, and allows us to better serve our customers seeking a focused supplier for both animal feed and pet food options,” said Pilar Cruz, president, Cargill Feed and Nutrition.

Pro-Pet has more than 150 employees and three pet food manufacturing facilities in Owatonna, Minn.; St. Marys, Ohio; and Kansas City, Kan. Pro-Pet provides Cargill with increased production capacity and proximity to existing agricultural retail customers to better meet their growth needs within pet food.

“Cargill’s vast resources and competency in sourcing of commodities, along with their reputation in the agricultural retail business sector, makes Cargill the natural and best partner for Pro-Pet,” said Jim Wiegmann, president and CEO of Pro-Pet. “There is no organization that can leverage the strengths and capabilities of Pro-Pet better than Cargill, which will enhance our ability to serve retail partners and pet food brand owners.”

Pet food is a top-growing category among agriculture retailers with an estimated eight percent distribution share, in a space that continues to evolve with changing consumer preferences.

“The pet food category continues to change, as indicated by the increased focus on premium offerings,” said Mark Lueking, U.S. managing director, Cargill Feed and Nutrition.  “Pro-Pet has the capability to satisfy this market need, and our mutual passion for serving customers make us a strong cultural fit.  We look forward to growing the business together by delivering a range of options to meet customer demand.”

Currently, Cargill operates 50 animal feed production and distribution facilities across the U.S., offering branded and private label pet food to agriculture retailer customers.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.