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Mars has expanded both its direct-to-consumer and pet-care portfolio with the acquisition of NomNomNow.

The deal has been struck through its Mars Petcare business for an undisclosed sum and will form part of the US-based group’s Royal Canin division.

NomNomNow, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is described by Mars as a “fast-growing” D2C company in the US. Founded in 2014 by CEO Nate Phillips and president Zach Phillips, the business supplies foods, treats and supplements for cats and dogs.

Its Nom Nom brand will operate independently within the Royal Canin division “with their own brand positioning and strategies, preserving their entrepreneurial culture and agility while maximising synergies”, Mars said in a statement.

“We are confident that this acquisition will bring synergies to keep supporting their success in the fresh category while complementing our existing portfolio,” the statement read.

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By GlobalData

Just Food has approached Mars to confirm if it has any other existing D2C operations in pet foods.

In other areas of food, the M&M’s confectionery owner holds a majority stake in Germany-based D2C firm Foodspring, which produces sports nutrition and health-and-wellness products for humans such as snacks, protein shakes, cereals and supplements.

Mars also has D2C operations in the US – My M&M’s and Ethel M Chocolates.

Also housed in Mars’ international pet-food portfolio are the brands Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Sheba, Cesar, Whiskas, Pedigree and Spillers, along with a host of others.

Last month, General Mills, the owner of the Blue Buffalo pet-food business, invested again in US direct-to-consumer player Pet Plate.

Investment bankers covering the food and beverage industries have identified pet food as a “hot” area for deal-making in 2022.

Just Food archive, August 2020: “D2C helps us build a frictionless consumer experience” – Mars on entering the direct-to-consumer channel with Foodspring