The J.M. Smucker Company (better known as Smucker’s), the maker of jams and jellies that are a staple of grocery stores across North America, is set to acquire Big Heart Pet Brands for $5.8 million including debt, according to The New York Times.
The deal is Smucker’s biggest ever, and will add brands like Milk-Bone, Meow Mix, Natural Balance, and others to the company’s portfolio. The company’s other brands include Folger’s coffee, Crisco, Pillsbury, Hungry Jack, and Jif peanut butter.
Richard K. Smucker, the company’s chief executive and a great-grandson of founder J.M. Smucker, described the acquisition as one of the most transformative deals in company history. “It’s not uncommon at all for leaders in the industry to be in human food and pet food,” Mr. Smucker told The New York Times. “Pet food is one of the fastest-growing areas in the center of the store.”
The pet food industry has an estimated worth of $21 billion, and continues to grow. Mr. Smucker also indicated that the company may continue to expand in the pet food category and beyond. “We’ll never say ‘never’ to other acquisitions,” said Mr. Smucker.