CARGILL TO ACQUIRE PRIVATE LABEL
PET FOOD MANUFACTURER
Cargill has reached an agreement to acquire Pro-Pet, a
St. Marys, 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, according to officials
for the Minneapolis-based company.
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 of Cargill Feed and Nutrition.
Pro-Pet has more than 150 employees and three petfood manufacturing facilities in Owatonna, Minn.; St.
Marys, Ohio; and Kansas City, Kan.
The acquisition provides Cargill with increased production capacity and proximity to existing agricultural
retail customers to better meet their growth needs within
pet food, officials added.
“Cargill’s vast resources and competency in sourcing
of commodities, along with their reputation in the agricul-
tural 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 8 percent distribution share, in
a space that continues to evolve with changing consumer
Currently, Cargill operates 50 animal feed production and distribution facilities across the U.S., offering
branded and private label pet food to agriculture retailer
AUBURN LEATHERCRAFTERS BUYS A TAIL WE COULD WAG
Auburn Leathercrafters in Auburn, N. Y., recently acquired
Eagle, Idaho-based A Tail We Could Wag, which makes
high-quality collars, leashes, harnesses and matching belts for
the human counterpart. The fabric for A Tail We Could Wag’s
unique woven designs—many inspired by the traditional patterns of the highlands of Guatemala—are vibrant, artistic, and
rich in texture and hand woven by artisans practicing the tradition of their Mayan heritage, company officials said.
Retailers are now able to purchase the entire A Tail We
Could Wag line from Auburn Leathercrafters, manufactured in Auburn’s facility in the Finger Lakes region of New
A Tail We Could Wag’s handcrafted collars, leashes, harnesses and matching belts, as well as the rest of Auburn Leathercrafters’ line, will be manufactured at and shipped directly
from Auburn Leathercrafters with Auburn’s continued commitment to quality craftsmanship, personal customer service
and manufacturing products in the USA, officials added.
TARGET TO ACQUIRE
which recently formed a
partnership with Bark—the
parent company of subscription-based BarkBox—
is launching a same-day
delivery service in 2018, following its purchase of Shipt
for $550 million in cash.
Target will leverage its network of stores and Shipt’s proprietary technology plat-
form and community of shoppers to quickly and efficiently bring same-day delivery to
shoppers across the country. The acquisition significantly accelerates Target’s digital
fulfillment efforts, bringing same-day delivery services to guests at approximately half
of Target stores by early 2018. The service will be offered from the majority of Target
stores, and in all major markets, before the 2018 holiday season.
At launch, Target will offer same-day delivery of groceries, essentials, home items,
electronics and other products, while expanding the products offered over time. By the
end of 2019, same-day delivery will include all major product categories at Target.
Founded in 2014 and located in Birmingham, Ala., Shipt is a rapidly growing mem-bership-based grocery marketplace and same-day delivery platform. The service leverages an extensive network of more than 20,000 personal shoppers to fulfill orders from
various retailers and deliver within hours in more than 72 markets.
Shipt will be a wholly owned Target subsidiary and will continue to run its business
independently. It also plans to expand partnerships with other retailers seeking same-day, last-mile capabilities. All current Shipt employees will continue to be employed by
Shipt and will work from their current offices in Birmingham and San Francisco. Bill
Smith, Shipt’s founder and CEO, will remain in his current role and will report to Target’s COO, John Mulligan. In addition to same-day delivery capabilities, Target will also
leverage Shipt’s expertise as the company enhances and strengthens its supply chain,
including integration with the recently acquired transportation technology company,
ECO SHELL TAKES OWNERSHIP OF NATURALLY
FRESH CAT LITTER FROM BLUE BUFFALO
Eco Shell has completed an agreement with Blue Buffalo Co. to assume the rights to market Naturally Fresh
Eco Shell first developed the patented formula and
manufacturing process for Naturally Fresh Cat Litter
in 2010. Since 2012, the company has manufactured
Naturally Fresh Cat Litter while Blue Buffalo Co. has
marketed the premium all-natural litter.
“We are excited to take over the Naturally Fresh
brand,” said Helen Cantrell, director of marketing and
sales at Eco Shell in Corning, Calif. “Blue Buffalo has
been a great partner in building a consumer following.
We look forward to continuing our focus on growing
the brand in the pet specialty market while maintain-
ing a high level of quality and customer service.”
In a communication to retail partners and distrib-
utors, Blue Buffalo stated ,“this was not an easy deci-
sion. Naturally Fresh is an outstanding product, and
one that addresses the growing trend of naturally
based pet products. In the end, Blue Buffalo remains
laser focused on being the leading brand in pet food,
and we must continue to dedicate our resources to
meet this goal.”
KUNG FU KITTY INKS DISTRIBUTION
DEAL WITH ELLO PET SUPPLY
Ello Pet Supply is now distributing WAP
Products’ USA-made cat toy line, Kung Fu
Los Angeles-based WAP Products focuses
on creating premium pet toys at a mid-level
price. Its flagship brand, Kung Fu Kitty, is a
USA-made cat teaser line that features bold
colors and patterns matched by art motifs
based on old ’70s kung fu films. Each toy
is outfitted with the Kung Fu Clip!, a pat-ent-pending plastic chamber that allows the user to change the toy’s end without
any metal connectors, creating a longer-lasting, safer cat toy, said company officials.
Ello Pet Supply is a wholesale pet product distributor located in Wheat Ridge,
Colo., that focuses on USA-made products.
FETCH FOR PETS BECOMES EXCLUSIVE
DISTRIBUTOR OF DURKHA DOG CHEWS
Fetch for Pets has signed on as the exclusive
distributor of Durkha Canine Chews worldwide and will be launching the line at Global
Pet Expo, which will be held in Orlando, Fla.,
Based on an ancient Himalayan recipe,
yak’s milk is dried and hardens to form a
cheese snack for dogs. Durkha Canine Chews
are 100 percent natural, and grain and gluten free. They are odorless and nonstaining,
so no mess will be left behind. A healthful and safe alternative to rawhide, Durkha
Chews are easily digestible, high in protein and low in fat content, according to company officials.
Durkha Dog Chews are available across all retail channels and are sold individually bagged in sizes small, medium, large and X-large and as puffs. They retail from
$7.49 to $16.99. Bulk chews are also sold in PDQ displays and shipper displays designed for pet specialty retailers.