General Mills is getting deeper into pet food with the acquisition of the pet-treat business of Tyson Foods.
General Mills announced May 14 that it has made a deal to buy Tyson’s meat pet-treat business, which includes the Nudges, Top Chews and True Chews brands. The deal includes a manufacturing facility in Independence, Iowa. The price is $1.2 billion in cash, but the deal includes a $225 million tax break, bringing the effective price down to $975 million. Tyson’s pet treat business had $240 million in sales in the 12 months ending April 3.
General Mills entered the pet food market in 2018 when it bought Blue Buffalo Pet Products, which was then the fifth-largest pet food company in the U.S., and the biggest pure-play one. Blue Buffalo worked out well for General Mills, with sales up 16% in 2019 – the last year before the pandemic boosted demand for pet food.
“Pet food is a high-growth category, fueled by the humanization of pets, a trend that has only increased during the pandemic,” Bethany Quam, General Mills’ group president for the pet segment, said in a statement. “By adding these trusted pet treat products to our portfolio, we are strengthening our position in this attractive category.”