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General Mills to Invest $8.5M in Pet Food Facility

The project will create 50+ jobs.

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General Mills plans to invest $8.5 million in a facility in McDonough, GA, to distribute Blue Buffalo products throughout the Southeast.

“Blue Buffalo is the #1 Wholesome Natural pet food brand in the U.S and we are pleased to be expanding with the addition of the facility in McDonough,” said Billy Bishop, president of General Mills Pet Segment. “This facility will enable us to better serve consumers, pet parents and pets in the southeast with the BLUE brand of products.”

The project will create more than 50 jobs, according to a press release from the Henry County Development Authority.

General Mills, headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, serves the world by making food people love. Following the company’s acquisition of Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. earlier this year, they are also a leading manufacturer and marketer in the wholesome natural pet food category.

The distribution facility will be a 408,000-square-foot facility.

General Mills (NYSE: GIS) completed its $8 billion acquisition of Blue Buffalo in April.

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Blue Buffalo has touted itself as the fastest-growing major pet food company making natural foods and treats for dogs and cats.

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Pet Franchise to Open 50 Stores in 2019

It has over 200 units under development.

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PHOENIX — Dogtopia, a dog daycare, boarding and spa franchise, sold 100 units and opened 25 locations in 2018.

The Phoenix-based company now has over 200 units under development, according to a press release. It plans to open at least 50 stores in 2019.

So far, the brand has sold over 30 new stores in January, according to the release.

“Dogtopia is outpacing every pet franchise in North America and we were delighted about delivering another record year,” said Alex Samios, vice president of franchise development for Dogtopia. “Our unparalleled service, support and systems, combined with exceptional franchisees, has positioned us as the leading pet services brand.”

Dogtopia currently has more than 90 locations.

The brand also grew in 2018 in terms of its charitable initiatives with the Dogtopia Foundation, raising more than $150,000 to sponsor training for service dogs for veterans.

The company was recently named to Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list. Dogtopia ranked at No. 204 “as a result of its outstanding performance in areas of unit growth and financial performance with strong franchisee support,” according to the release.

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Petco to Carry Champion Products

Their partnership begins March 4.

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SAN DIEGO, CA — Petco and Champion Petfoods announced a partnership that will bring Champion’s Acana and Orijen dog and cat foods to Petco stores and petco.com beginning March 4.

“Champion is an extremely mission-driven company that’s built a well-deserved reputation for serving up award-winning foods for dogs and cats, and their ACANA and ORIJEN brands align perfectly with the bold nutrition standards we announced late last year,” said Petco CEO Ron Coughlin. “As a leader in providing pets and pet parents with everything they need to live healthy, happy lives together, we’re thrilled to add industry-leading brands for anyone who wants to feed their pets the healthiest foods available.”

Petco recently announced that it will not sell food or treats containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives for dogs and cats by May 2019.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Petco, a company with such a strong reputation and commitment to ensuring the well-being of pets and peace of mind to pet lovers,” said Champion President and CEO Frank Burdzy. “This new relationship is an important step toward our goal of building trust and making our Biologically Appropriate foods available to more pet lovers everywhere.”

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Petco Chief Merchant Nick Konat said, “Consumer and industry response to Petco raising the bar on our nutrition standards has been phenomenal, and the addition of ACANA and ORIJEN to our portfolio are significant proof points in our ongoing journey to be pet parents’ trusted partner of choice.”

Petco operates more than 1,500 retail locations and employs 26,000 people across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico.

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Dog-Food Startup Raises $39M

It delivers to customers’ homes.

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A startup company focused on craft dog food has completed a $39 million financing round.

The Farmer’s Dog launched in 2015 “to disrupt an industry that mostly relies on food-shelf stable, preservative-heavy dry food,” Fast Company reports. It delivers pet food to customers’ homes.

The Farmer’s Dog’s total funding is now at $49 million.

Leading the new funding round was Insight Venture Partners. Other contributors included Forerunner Ventures and Shasta Ventures.

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The Farmer’s Dog Co-Founder and CEO Jonathan Regev told Fast Company: “When you look at pet food, this processed food is being fed to them every single day, every single meal, for their entire life.”

His company seeks to change that. Its food “includes whole chunks of fresh ingredients like carrots, turkey, parsnips, chickpeas, broccoli, and spinach,” according to Fast Company.

Read more at Fast Company

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