For sales worldwide, who are top money makers in pet food? Hint: the top six world pet food brands are U.S. companies. Are they top money makers because FDA allows them to violate law?
The PetFoodIndustry.com publication provides a list of “the world’s top” pet food companies (I prefer to call them the world’s wealthiest). In reverse order, the top six wealthiest pet food companies in the world are…
#6 World Pet Food Sales: Blue Buffalo Pet Food
Annual revenue 2015: $1,027,447,000.00
Blue Buffalo settled a consumer lawsuit in 2015 (false advertising) for $32 million – the largest pet food consumer lawsuit payout to date. The company is still involved in a lawsuit with Purina; Purina suing for false advertising. Blue Buffalo corporate headquarters is located in Wilton, CT and the company owns a manufacturing facility in Joplin, MO. Blue Buffalo is a publicly traded company. Pet food brands include Blue and Blue Buffalo. The brand is sold in North America, and Asia Pacific.
#5 World Pet Food Sales: Diamond Pet Food
Annual revenue 2015: $1,150,000,000.00
Diamond Pet Food has multiple brands of their own, but the company is also known as being a co-packer (manufacturer) of other brands. Diamond pet food states they are ‘family owned’. Diamond settled a consumer lawsuit in 2014 (related to 2012 recalls). Company headquarters is in Meta, MO with additional manufacturing facilities in South Carolina, and two in California. Diamond pet foods are sold in Eastern Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Western Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific.
#4 World Pet Food Sales: Hill’s Pet Food
Annual revenue 2015: $2,212,000,000.00
Hill’s pet food is a division of Colgate-Palmolive Company. Hill’s operates manufacturing and warehousing facilities in Bowling Green, KY, Topeka, KS, Emporia, KS, and Richmond, IN. Hill’s also runs manufacturing and warehousing facilities in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Brands include Hill’s (mostly prescription pet food) and Science Diet. Hill’s/Science Diet pet foods are sold in Asia Pacific, Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East, North America, Latin America, and Western Europe.
#3 World Pet Food Sales: Big Heart Pet Food
Annual revenue 2015: $2,280,300,000.00
Formerly part of DelMonte Foods, Big Heart pet food is now a division of Smuckers. In North America Big Heart is stated to be the top seller of dog snacks (Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Milo’s Kitchen) and second in dry cat food (Meow Mix and 9 Lives). Another brand is Natural Balance. Corporate headquarters is located in San Francisco, CA. Big Heart has manufacturing plants in Decatur, AL, Lawrence, KS, Buffalo, NY, Topeka, KS and Bloomsburg, PA. Sales only in North America.
#2 World Pet Food Sales: Nestle Purina
Annual revenue 2015: $11,917,000,000.00
The PetFoodIndustry.com website terms Purina as “a juggernaut in the global pet care industry”. Interestingly Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘juggernaut’ as “a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path.” (I would guess Blue Buffalo – being sued by Purina – would agree with the term juggernaut.)
“Nestlé Purina also operates pet food factories in 19 countries and on every habitable continent.” Purina has 46 manufacturing plants worldwide, 20 manufacturing plants in the US. North America corporate headquarters is in St. Louis, MO, EU corporate headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Brands include Cat Chow, Dog Chow, Alpo, Purina ONE and ProPlan. Purina brands sell in Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East, North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe.
#1 World Pet Food Sales: Mars Petcare
Annual revenue 2015: $17,224,400,000.00
Mars Inc. is “the seventh-largest private company in the U.S., with annual sales exceeding $33 billion” – the pet food division providing more than half of annual sales to Mars. A US company, the Mars Petcare website states corporate headquarters (Mars Petcare) is in Brussels, Belgium.
Inquiring minds want to know…Belgium offers a “unique type of tax evasion to get foreign companies to invest their money here. This allows big international players to avoid paying taxes on most of their profits. The system is called ‘excess profit ruling’. It means that a Belgian branch of a multinational only has to pay taxes on the profit it would make as a single company, without the benefits of its international network.”
Mars Petcare has 41 different brands with five that earn over $1 billion a year; Pedigree, Iams, Whiskas, Royal Canin and Banfield veterinary clinics. Mars Petcare brands sell in Asia Pacific, Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East, North America, Latin America, and Western Europe.
Now here’s the interesting part…
Of these six world’s wealthiest pet food brands…all six of them use ingredients that can be a violation of U.S. federal food safety law.
The pet food ingredients – Chicken/Poultry by-products, Chicken/Poultry by-product meal, Meat Meal (such as beef meal, lamb meal), Meat and Bone Meal, Animal by-product meal, Animal Fat and Animal Digest – are allowed to (per their legal definition) be sourced from dead/diseased non-slaughtered animals. Pet food ingredients sourced from dead/diseased non-slaughtered animals are a direct violation of federal law. FDA openly ignores enforcement of this law.
#6 Blue Buffalo uses Lamb Meal – legal definition allows ingredient to be sourced from dead/diseased non-slaughtered animals.
#5 Diamond uses Chicken by-product meal, Meat meal – legal definitions allow ingredients to be sourced from dead/diseased non-slaughtered animals.
#4 Hill’s uses Lamb Meal – legal definition allows ingredient to be sourced from dead/diseased non-slaughtered animals.
#3 Big Heart uses Meat and bone meal, Animal fat, Animal digest, Lamb meal, Poultry by-product meal – legal definitions allow ingredients to be sourced from dead/diseased non-slaughtered animals.
#2 Purina uses Meat and bone meal, Chicken/Poultry by-product meal, Animal fat, Animal digest – legal definitions allow ingredients to be sourced from dead/diseased non-slaughtered animals.
#1 Mars uses Chicken/Poultry by-product meal, Meat and bone meal, Animal fat, Animal digest, Lamb meal – legal definitions allow ingredients to be sourced from dead/diseased non-slaughtered animals.
Do you think the annual revenue of these companies would be the same if FDA enforced law?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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