General Mills is expanding further into pet care with the acquisition of pet supplements brand Fera Pets.
Fera Pets joins a pet portfolio into which General Mills has invested billions. The Minneapolis-based company established its Pet segment with the acquisition of natural pet foods and treats brand Blue Buffalo for approximately $8 billion back in 2018, and acquired Tyson’s pet treats business – which includes brands Nudges, Top Chews and True Chews – for $1.2 billion in 2021.
The acquisition marks General Mills' first entry into the pet supplements category. It is also General Mills’ first acquisition through its growth equity fund, which the company described in a statement as being “designed to own, scale and incubate strategically aligned businesses for future integration into the company’s core portfolio.”
"The pet wellbeing category is on the rise, as more families look to take care of their pets the same way they take care of their own health,” General Mills Vice President Disruptive Growth John Parrish said in a statement, adding that the company planned to work with Fera Pets to scale the brand to reach a wider set of consumers.
It is unclear if Fera Pets “Chief Tasting Officers” Pippa, Gunther, and Hank will retain their (canine) roles.
Founded in 2017 as a veterinarian-formulated line of pet supplements, Fera Pets positions itself as providing “science-backed supplements to support pet wellness with high-quality ingredients, accurate dosages and a combination of Eastern and Western medicine.”
“Fera Pets, Inc. was created after recognizing a lack of transparency in the pet supplement category and a gap in the market for a holistic approach to our pets’ wellbeing,” Fera Pets co-founder and veterinarian Dr. Michelle Dulak said in a statement. “With the support of General Mills’ scaling capabilities, we are looking forward to furthering our mission to create better lives for pets and their families.”
Companies like General Mills have viewed the pet-care category as an important avenue for growth while cereal struggles. Competitors like Post Holdings have also invested heavily in pet care. General Mills’ Fera Pets acquisition follows Post Holdings’s acquisition of Perfection Pet Foods on the heels of a $1.2 billion deal to acquire a series of pet food brands, including Rachael Ray Nutrish and Nature’s Recipe, from the J.M. Smucker Co. earlier this year.