Top 10+ Best Pet Food Manufacturers and Suppliers In The US
Pet food is a food product that is designed to be tasty and meet the nutritional needs of domesticated animals. Meat, peas, corn, barley, seafood, feed grain, and poultry are some of the ingredients used to make pet food.
Despite the inflation and supply chain issues, 2023 is an excellent year to own a pet. According to a recent APPA report, 70% of US households own a pet. That means that at least one furry member of the family lives in 90+ million homes across the country. And they must all eat something! There have never been a shortage of dog and cat food brands in the United States.
The primary factor bolstering the pet food industry in the United States is the increasing adoption of pets due to the high prevalence of family nuclearization. Aside from that, with rising income levels and shifting consumer preferences, demand for packaged and branded pet food has grown across the country. Furthermore, the widespread availability of natural pet food and the emergence of e-commerce platforms have fueled market growth.
Furthermore, changing perceptions of pet ownership and growing pet owner awareness of pet health have increased demand for nutrient-rich and energy-dense pet food products that are healthy and safe for consumption. As a result, many manufacturers have released organic and natural food products that are free of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, artificial coloring, and preservatives.
Founded: December 12, 2001
Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Nestlé has a presence in the pet food industry through the Purina brand, which is motivated by a desire to advance pet nutrition and conduct industry-leading pet health research. Purina manufactures a wide variety of dry and wet cat and dog food. The company is dedicated to enriching the lives of pets by providing 100% complete and balanced pet meals.
Nestlé Purina PetCare remains a strong dog food brand in the global pet care sector, competing for first place with Mars Petcare. Nestlé has long been a market leader in the United States, and with pet food plants on every continent and in 19 countries, the company is more than just one of the world’s largest producers.
READ MORE: Top 10 Most Popular Pets In The World
Headquarters: Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Spectrum Brands Holdings is a home-essentials company with a mission to improve family life. We focus on bringing innovative goods and solutions to consumers for use in and around the home through our trusted brands. We offer a variety of residential locksets, residential builders’ hardware, plumbing, shaving and grooming items, personal care products, small domestic appliances, specialty pet supplies, lawn and garden and home pest control products, and personal insect repellents.
Headquarters: Amarillo, Texas
Merrick Pet Care was one of the industry’s fastest-growing natural and organic specialty pet food manufacturers. It provides a wide range of dry and wet feeds, as well as treats, that are entirely made in the United States.
This love for pets inspires their employees to continue the tradition of producing the highest-quality and safest dog and cat food and treats. They are motivated by a desire to excel. They go to great lengths to provide the best food for their dogs, food that they deserve. As a result, they’ve expanded their family of brands to include Castor & Pollux, Zuke’s, and Whole Earth Farms, in addition to their iconic Merrick brand.
Location: Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Simmons Pet Food is a private-label and contract manufacturer, which means it creates foods for other companies to label. Simmons makes wet and dry food, as well as treats, so calling them seems like a good first step if you want to get into the (obviously lucrative) pet food game.
Simmons appears to be doing well by creating products for other companies, as it has annual revenues of $260 million.
Headquarters: Wilton, CT
Revenue: $870.0 million
Blue Buffalo, founded in 2003 in Wilton, Connecticut, is the market leader in high-quality, all-natural pet food. Strong advertising and marketing efforts, as well as a consistent supply of new items, have helped the company achieve double and triple-digit annual growth in recent years. Blue Buffalo is the only pet food company that advertises on TV while also employing over 1,500 in-store product consultants to educate pet owners on the features and benefits of their products. The company sells its products at PetSmart, Petco, and Pet Supplies Plus, as well as over 10,000 local retailers across the country.
Founded in: 1907
Headquarters: Topeka, Kansas
Company revenue: 3.3 billion US dollars
Famous brands: Prescription Diet, Science Diet
Hill’s Pet Nutrition is the undisputed champion, with $3.3 billion in annual revenue. This company specializes in premium-quality food for cats and dogs and was founded more than 100 years ago (in 1907, to be exact) in Kansas. The product line-up is quite impressive (they have over 300 products), with the Prescription Diet and Science Diet foods leading the charge.
Company revenue: 1.7 billion US dollars
Famous brands: Blue Buffalo, True Chews, Top Chews, Nudges
Founded in: 1866
Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Another pet food behemoth has emerged. General Mills, based in Minnesota, focuses on creating meat-filled foods that are healthy, nutritious, and delicious. It has been around for over 150 years and has a strong presence in the US market. True Chews, Nudges, and, of course, Blue Buffalo (acquired in 2018 for $8 billion) are among its best-selling brands.
In terms of ingredient quality, only a few dog/cat food brands can compete. The company made $1.7 billion in revenue last year, the same as it will in 2020. A quick note: General Mills is one of the largest cereal manufacturers, with a diverse portfolio of brands that includes Chex and Cheerios.
Company revenue: 1.5 billion US dollars
Famous brands: Diamond Performance, Diamond Naturals, NutraGold
Founded in: 1970
Headquarters: Meta, Missouri
Moving on, let’s take a quick look at Diamond Pet Foods, the market’s fifth-largest player with $1.5 billion in 2021. Millions of pet parents in the United States rely on DPF. So, what has it done to earn their trust? For starters, it has high-quality brands like Diamond Naturals, Performance, and NutraGold on its roster. Second, its clever pricing policy does an excellent job of attracting new customers.
Location: 6885 Elm Street McLean Virginia
Although better known as a candy company, Mars is also a pet care industry behemoth, earning more than $18 billion per year from its animal food brands. It owns a number of brands, including Pedigree, Iams, Whiskas, and Royal Canin, which are all worth more than a billion dollars each.
Mars also has a presence in the pet healthcare industry, as it owns Banfield Pet Hospitals, VCA, Blue Pearl, and AniCura. It’s clear that the company’s goal is to be a part of your pet’s life from birth to death — and to be paid for it every step of the way.
Company revenue: 1.0 billion US dollars
Famous brands: Alphia, C.J. Foods (former), American Nutrition (former)
Founded in: 2020
Headquarters: Ogden, Utah
And what can a one-billion-dollar company bring to the table? For starters, Alphia is the youngest pet food manufacturer on the list. It was formed only two years ago—in 2020—as the result of a merger between American Nutrition and C.J. Foods. Majority-owned by J.H. Whitney, it had all the necessary funds and human resources (over 800 people are employed there) to quickly rise to stardom.
Location: Tewksbury, Massachusetts
If Blue Buffalo is the boisterous newcomer in the natural pet food market, WellPet is the old guard — and it isn’t going down without a fight. WellPet was founded in 2009 by the merger of two older pet food companies, Old Mother Hubbard and Eagle Pack Pet Foods, with the goal of leading the way in natural and holistic pet products.
Wellness, Sojos, Old Mother Hubbard, and Holistic Select are among the brands owned by WellPet. These companies generate $700 million in revenue each year, so Blue Buffalo isn’t the undisputed natural food champion just yet.
Location: Bern, Kansas
In previous editions of this list, this company would have been listed several spots lower, but in February 2020, they reached an agreement to acquire American Nutrition, another company that would have appeared in the bottom half of this list. J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, a Connecticut-based private equity firm, now owns both companies, which generate upwards of $580 million in revenue each year.
C.J. Pet Foods may not own any well-known brands, but it certainly contributes to the production of a few. This manufacturing behemoth assists a wide range of companies (including Blue Buffalo) in developing natural and premium pet foods.
Location: 245 1ST Ave N Perham, MN
One of the few family-owned companies on this list, Tuffy’s Pet Foods is a subsidiary of KLN Family Brands, which also owns Kenny’s Candy & Confections (hopefully, it keeps the two product lines separate). Tuffy’s makes foods like NutriSource, PureVita, and Natural Planet, and it has recently invested in its own success by building a $70-million manufacturing plant in Perham, Minnesota.
Some of the largest US-based companies are in the business of outsourcing food manufacturing. But most pet parents in the country prefer US-made food over stuff made overseas. And that’s exactly why we created this list! These top 10+ pet food companies showed an increase in revenue from years to years.
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