General Mills snaps up premium Belgian pet food brand

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Chalabala
© GettyImages/Chalabala

Related tags Edgard & Cooper General Mills

General Mills has acquired Edgard & Cooper, a prominent independent premium European pet food brand.

While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, the US company confirmed that it would finance the acquisition using its available cash reserves.

Headquartered in Kortrijk, Belgium, Edgard & Cooper will continue to operate as a separate entity under the leadership of its three founders: Koen Bostoen, Louis Chalabi, and Jürgen Degrande. Its financial performance will be integrated into General Mills' international segment.

Founded in 2016, Edgard & Cooper has rapidly grown into a leading high-end pet food company; the brand supplies high-end pet food for dogs and cats throughout Europe, with estimated retail sales surpassing €100m. Its products are distributed in 13 countries and sold in over 15,000 shops and online. The Belgian firm has been prioritizing sustainability efforts to minimize its environmental footprint, modifying recipes, looking into product formulations and new suppliers to reduce its Scope 3 emissions.

Strategic investments 

This acquisition represents General Mills' latest strategic maneuver to reinforce its presence in the flourishing pet market.With fiscal 2023 net sales reaching US$20.1 billion, the Minnesota-based company has been actively expanding its pet portfolio.

Notable acquisitions in this space include the landmark $8 billion purchase of Blue Buffalo in 2018 and the acquisition of Tyson Foods Inc.'s pet treats business for $1.2 billion in 2021. Moreover, its venture unit has made investments in innovative companies such as the subscription-based cat food brand Smalls and the dog location and delivery startup Pet Plate.

In line with its commitment to strategic growth, General Mills also acquired Fera Pets Inc, a specialist in pet supplements founded by veterinarians, last autumn. Fera Pets has since been integrated into General Mills' growth equity fund, which seeks to acquire, develop, and nurture businesses that align with the company's core portfolio for future integration.

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