How Your Pandemic Pet Helped Raise General Mills’ Fiscal 2022 Outlook

cat and dog laying on couch together.
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Fido and Fluffy have been very, very good for General Mills. The Minnesota-based food giant’s pet food division has helped push overall sales higher amid a rise in the overall pet population during COVID-19, and played a part in the company raising its full-year outlook.

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An increase in so-called “pandemic pets” — which many Americans invited into their homes to keep them company during lockdowns and remote work — has led to a similar increase in demand for pet food and supplies.

In a Wednesday press release accompanying its fiscal third-quarter earnings release, General Mills said that an “increase in the pet population and further humanization and premiumization of pet food during the pandemic are expected to create tailwinds for the pet food category.”

The company’s pet segment logged third-quarter sales of $568 million, up 30% from the previous year. That gain outperformed all other segments. Overall sales were flat as a 23% year-over-year decline in international sales weighed.

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Pet food sales were driven by favorable prices and strong volume growth, General Mills said. Sales also got a 14-point benefit from the company’s 2021 buyout of Tyson Foods’ pet treats business for $1.2 billion. That acquisition brought aboard the Nudges, Top Chews and True Chews brands, the Pet Food Processing website reported last year.

Thanks in part to General Mills’ strong pet division sales, the company raised its full-year sales outlook, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company said it now expects organic net sales to rise by 5% for all of fiscal 2022, up from its previous guidance of 4% to 5% increase.

See: The Rise of Post-Pandemic Pet Sitting — and How To Make Money Doing It
Find: Get a Pet During the Pandemic? Here’s How To Save on Supplies for Your New Furry Friend

As GOBankingRates previously reported, the early months of the pandemic led to a sharp rise in the number of new pets in U.S. households. From March 2020 to January 2021 alone nearly half (49%) of Americans said they got a new dog during the pandemic.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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