Nestlé Chief Financial Advisor Francois-Xavier Roger listed pet care as one of the company’s high-growth product categories, along with coffee, water, infant nutrition and consumer health care, in a nine-month sales investor presentation for 2018. Recent growth in pet care has been driven by premiumization, the acquisition of Merrick Pet Care and e-commerce sales, according to Roger.

Nestlé’s pet care segment yielded 4% organic growth in the past nine months, making it the second-highest product category in organic growth after nutrition and health science at 4.4%. The company reported 2.8% organic growth overall.

Purina, Nestlé’s principal pet care brand, has driven solid growth for Nestlé in the US, along with Coffee-mate creamers and coffee, according to Roger. Pet care accounted for $9.35 billion in sales in the nine-month period ending October 2018, up from $9.05 billion in 2017. Purina accounted for 14% of total sales in 2017, surpassing those of prepared dishes and cooking aids, water, and confectioneries.

Roger explained Nestlé has refocused on “driving growth through innovation” in all product categories following a period of little-to-no growth, and even some decline, in revenue. In September, he told investors, “organic and natural is a very strong growth platform in pet care,” and Nestlé plans to capitalize through premium Purina and Merrick pet products.

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