Is Mars Getting Out of the Pet Food Business?
Thanks to a tip from a friend, it appears Mars Petcare has sold the Iams/Eukanuba Pet Food brands they purchased just a little over 2 years ago. Is Mars getting out of the pet food business?
Update: Mars Petcare emailed me at 8 PM ET this evening stating: “There is no truth to the statement that Mars Petcare has sold Iams and Eukanuba pet food brands.” and “We just shared with retailers that beginning in early 2017 the Iams Veterinary Formula products will be discontinued in the U.S. and Canada.”
My response to Mars: How very unfortunate Mars is not getting out of the pet food business entirely. Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for Mars to make a public announcement? Fair to the consumers using this food? It is very unfortunate that so many manufacturers think of the people that keep them in business last.
And I agreed to post the two sentences above.
I heard from another trusted source this evening, also stating that Mars is selling Iams and Eukanuba. I was also told that the company is considering getting rid of Pedigree dog food line too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the near future.
Posted on the counter in a southern California veterinarian’s office was a sign stating…
Iams/Eukanuba diets will no longer exist after December 31, 2016.
The companies were acquired by Spectrum Brands Holdings.
I was told the vet clinic “cannot order anymore Iams Eukanuba diets. They’ve been told that the brand will be discontinued as of December 31st.”
Mars Petcare purchased the North America Iams/Eukanuba Pet Food brands along with the Natura Pet Food brands from Procter & Gamble in April of 2014 for $2.9 billion. (Around the same time, P&G sold the European market Iams/Eukanuba Pet Food brands to Spectrum Brands – undisclosed price). The expensive purchase didn’t appear to work well for Mars with the high end pet food brands from Natura;, the formerly popular brand Innova Pet Food from Natura was discontinued about a year later. The Iams and Eukanba brands appeared to remain popular after the Mars purchase; Statista.com states Iams Proactive Health being the 5th most popular dog food in the US (5% of US total dog food sales).
So why did Mars sell Iams and Eukanuba?
The Federal Trade Commission recently told Mars Petcare Eukanuba the company’s advertising claims “constitute unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and the making of false advertisements”. The penalty set forth by the FTC against Mars (bold added) “prohibits the company from making misleading or unsubstantiated claims regarding the health benefits of any pet food, and requires the company to have competent and reliable scientific evidence to back up any such claims.”
Did the FTC ruling – prohibiting Mars from making misleading or unsubstantiated claims regarding any of it’s pet food brands – play a role in the company selling Iams and Eukanuba?
Mars Petcare is currently involved in a personal injury lawsuit (set to go to trial January 2, 2017); employees have claimed the company was ‘negligent and careless’ in preventing employee exposure to pesticides and other toxins used on pet food ingredients or in the pet food product. The pet food plant in question was located in Joplin, MO; the plant closed in 2013 allegedly before the Centers for Disease Control National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) could perform medical surveys on employees.
Does this lawsuit – claiming Mars was negligent and careless with pet food manufacturing employee health – play a role in the company selling Iams and Eukanuba?
Mars Petcare sales for 2015 (all pet food brands) was: $17,224,400,000.
Has Mars decided that recycled, diseased/non-slaughtered animal, illegal ingredients (meat and bone meal, animal fat, animal digest, poultry by-product meal, poultry by-products, meat meal) are indeed not proper nutrition for pets? Have they decided that pet health is more important that profits?
Has Mars become like the ‘Grinch who stole Christmas’…did their ‘heart grow three times’ one day? Or is this just another business deal?
It is unknown if Spectrum Brands will manufacture the pet food in North America under the same Iams/Eukanuba brand name or if the brand will be discontinued. It is unknown if the various Iams/Eukanuba manufacturing plants in the U.S. will be closed or will continue under the Spectrum brand.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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