Holistic pet health brand will join the company’s new growth equity fund to accelerate disruptive innovation in the food ecosystem
General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) today announced the acquisition of Fera Pets, Inc., a vet-founded pet supplement company, bringing new health-focused offerings to General Mills’ pet portfolio. This represents General Mills’ first step into the pet supplement category and first acquisition by its newly launched growth equity fund.
As the pet food trend toward humanization continues, pet parents are increasingly demanding healthful products they can trust. Fera Pets, Inc. is reimagining pet supplement products by providing vet-created, science-backed supplements to support pet wellness with high-quality ingredients, accurate dosages and a combination of Eastern and Western medicine.
"The pet wellbeing category is on the rise, as more families look to take care of their pets the same way they take care of their own health," said John Parrish, vice president, Disruptive Growth, General Mills. "We're excited to welcome Fera Pets, Inc. to its new home and look forward to partnering to scale the brand and bring more high-quality pet supplement products to more pets."
Fera Pets, Inc. will become part of General Mills’ new growth equity fund, designed to own, scale and incubate strategically aligned businesses for future integration into the company’s core portfolio. This growth fund is the third pillar of Gold Medal Ventures, General Mills’ disruptive innovation ecosystem, joining G-Works, its internal venture studio, and 301 INC, its corporate venture capital arm.
“We are thrilled to join the General Mills family and embark on a new chapter of growth for our business,” said Dr. Michelle Dulake, veterinarian and co-founder of Fera Pets, Inc. “Fera Pets, Inc. was created after recognizing a lack of transparency in the pet supplement category and a gap in the market for a holistic approach to our pets’ wellbeing. With the support of General Mills’ scaling capabilities, we are looking forward to furthering our mission to create better lives for pets and their families.”
General Mills’ scale will unlock new opportunities for its growth fund portfolio companies by leveraging the company’s brand building excellence, omnichannel expertise and advantaged capabilities. These brands will remain founder-led and independently operated while being provided access to talent and expertise designed to fuel their growth.
"In the venture capital arm, we are constantly scouting for passionate, relentless founders where General Mills has a distinct ability to accelerate their growth," said Johnny Tran, managing director, 301 INC, which sources opportunities for the growth equity fund. "Cofounders Michelle and Emily put their hearts and souls into Fera Pets, Inc., and their passion makes them a perfect first partner for the growth fund.”
Gold Medal Ventures is focused on macro-opportunity areas in the food value chain that are ripe for disruption. 301 INC's recent investments include precision pollination startup, BeeHero, direct-to-consumer cat food brand, Smalls, and dog location and activity monitor brand, PitPat. G-Works test-and-learn launches include blood sugar friendly snack brand, Good Measure, and lower net carb pasta brand, Carbe Diem.
ABOUT GENERAL MILLS
General Mills makes food the world loves. The company is guided by its Accelerate strategy to drive shareholder value by boldly building its brands, relentlessly innovating, unleashing its scale and standing for good. Its portfolio of beloved brands includes household names such as Cheerios, Nature Valley, Blue Buffalo, Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Totino’s, Annie’s, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2023 net sales of U.S. $20.1 billion. In addition, the company’s share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totalled U.S. $1.0 billion.
ABOUT GOLD MEDAL VENTURES
Gold Medal Ventures is General Mills’ disruptive innovation ecosystem, which leverages the company’s expertise and scale to make the food system work for tomorrow’s families starting today. Gold Medal Ventures is uniquely designed to build new businesses through its venture studio, G-Works, to invest in outside ideas through its venture capital arm, 301 INC, and to accelerate the growth of acquired or existing businesses through its growth equity fund. For more information about Gold Medal Ventures, visit www.goldmedalventures.com.
ABOUT FERA PETS, INC.
Fera Pets, Inc. offers a veterinarian-formulated line of pet-approved supplements. It uses high-quality ingredients that are effective, clean and delicious. Each product is manufactured in the USA and bears the NASC seal. Fera Pets, Inc. is led by Dr. Michelle Dulake and Emily Hsu, lifelong friends-turned-entrepreneurs who combined their respective expertise and backgrounds to formulate a line of pet supplements meant to keep pets wild at heart and running free as long as possible. To learn more about Fera Pets, Inc., visit www.ferapetorganics.com or follow the company's journey on social media at @ferapetorganics.