SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–honest cookingthe pioneer of human-grade pet food, today announced a $150 million minority investment by Monarch Alternative Capital LP (“Monarch”), a leading investment company with approximately $9.5 billion in assets under management, through a new convertible preferred instrument. Monarch will partner with founder Lucy Postins, as well as existing equity investors Alliance Consumer Growth and White Route Investments to contribute to the future growth of the company.
The investment will be used to continue to focus on increasing manufacturing capacity and expanding marketing and product innovations, as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. Along with its investment, Monarch has named Patrick Fallon, Monarch’s chief executive, and Bob Rubin, a longtime pet food industry executive and founder of Breakaway Advisors LLC, to The Honest Kitchen’s board of directors. .
The Honest Kitchen was the first pet food brand to be able to legally claim that its food is human grade. The company’s nutritionally complete and balanced recipes are made in human food production facilities and use the same high-quality ingredients, such as free-range chicken, pumpkin and kale, with the same rigorous quality standards. and safety than human food.
“The Honest Kitchen was founded with a mission to get as many pets as possible on the path to good health through good nutrition,” said The Honest Kitchen CEO Michael Greenwell. “We are at a turning point for the company after many key wins last year, including our new manufacturing facility in Topeka and entering an entirely new segment with the launch of our human-grade cat portfolio. We look forward to partnering with Monarch to push the brand further, expanding our human-grade production capabilities and reaching more pets.
The pandemic’s spike in pet ownership led to overall growth in the category, especially for ultra-premium pet food. The data of the American Pet Products Association estimates that $109.6 billion was spent on pets in the United States in 2021, with an upward trajectory. In fact, pre-pandemic (2019) estimates were $95.7 billion, showing an almost 15% increase post-pandemic. The Honest Kitchen offers the largest assortment of human-grade dog and cat products in dry, wet, and dehydrated formats, representing plenty of opportunities for the brand.
“The Honest Kitchen’s exceptional and differentiated product offering is unmatched in the marketplace, ultimately setting the standards that many consumers have come to expect from pet food,” said Patrick Fallon. “The company is uniquely positioned as a leader in human-grade pet food to capitalize on the expected continued growth of the pet segment. Monarch is pleased to provide capital and industry expertise to help The Honest Kitchen achieve its distribution and product expansion goals in the next phase of its strategic plan.
“When I founded The Honest Kitchen, I wanted to establish ‘human quality’ as the new standard for pet food,” said Lucy Postins, Founder and Chief Integrity Officer of The Honest Kitchen. “We have evolved to create a wide range of products built on the promise of human quality, and we have great opportunities ahead of us, through continued innovation and increased production. Equally important, this investment will provide us with the resources to continue to advance our social and environmental initiatives and amplify commitments like our transition to GAP (Global Animal Partnership) chicken for many of our recipes.
Since its launch in 2002, the brand has achieved many milestones, but 2021 marked one of the biggest recent years for the brand:
The company opened a brand new 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Topeka, Kansas to support the explosive growth of its Whole Food Clusters human grade dry foods, launched in 2019.
The company became a public benefit corporation, to continue its ESG initiatives, including a commitment to charitable giving, prioritization of environmentally friendly packaging and initiatives, and commitments to growth and diversity of employees.
Expanding into new categories helped the brand close last year with the introduction of an extensive portfolio of dry, wet, dehydrated cat foods, treats and hydration boosters.
With over 170 deals available, pet owners can shop through Amazon and Chewy, as well as over 6,000 outlets, including independent pet supply stores and Petco, Pet Supplies Plus, Sprouts and some Whole Foods.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor to The Honest Kitchen. Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP served as legal counsel to The Honest Kitchen. Davis Polk served as legal counsel to Monarch Alternative Capital LP.
About Honest Cooking
The Honest Kitchen was founded by Lucy Postins in 2002 in San Diego, California with a mission to help as many pets as possible get on the path to good health, through good nutrition. They produce a full line of complete and balanced human grade pet foods, including dry, dehydrated and wet foods; as well as treats; top hats; hydration boosters; and a top-selling digestive supplement. The Honest Kitchen was the first-ever human grade pet food, meaning the finished product meets human food production standards (unlike conventional pet food which is food grade). Every Honest Kitchen product is made with uncompromising quality and safety standards by an animal-loving company. For more information, please visit www.thehonestkitchen.com.
About Monarch Alternative Capital LP
Monarch Alternative Capital LP is a global investment firm founded in 2002 with approximately $9.5 billion in assets under management. Monarch primarily focuses on opportunistic situations in corporate debt, real estate, capital solutions, and other market segments. Monarch relies on the skills and experience of its employees in its New York and London offices. For more information, please visit www.monarchlp.com.