C.J. Foods was initially a human food manufacturer until the company received a request to produce 100% organic-certified bird feed in 1992. By agreeing — and succeeding — C.J. Foods opened the door that would help it grow into a leading manufacturer of extruded super- and ultra-premium dry pet foods.

Although the company hasn’t always been involved in the pet food space, it has certainly carved a niche for itself in the industry since. C.J. Foods was the first pet food producer in the United States to gain China certification and the first co-packer in the United States with the capability to introduce inclusions, such as freeze-dried meats and dehydrated fruits and vegetables, into finished kibble. Additionally, in 1996, C.J. Foods was the first pet food processor to completely automate an extrusion line from beginning to end.

CJ Foods fast factsC.J. Foods continues to innovate its processes and develop its business to offer top-notch, value-added extruded pet diets. This co-manufacturer has been on the front end of recent super-premium pet food trends, including high-meat, grain-free and limited-ingredient diets.

In March of 2018, C.J. Foods acquired Lortscher Agri-Service and integrated it as the C.J. Foods Ingredient Division with the goal of having more control over its supply chain. Additionally, the company has a private label brands division, which provides services such as product launches, positioning, production, in-store education and marketing support for its clients.

In February 2020, C.J. Foods merged with American Nutrition, Inc. to create one of the largest manufacturers of super premium pet food in the United States.

Whether a brand experiences processing challenges, difficulties with new ingredients or need a leg up to deliver on the latest trend, C.J. Foods' willingness to say "yes" has kept its capabilities and the products it produces on the cutting edge of the premium pet food market.

Learn more about C.J. Foods’ pet food operations in our exclusive processor profile from September 2018.

Read other pet food and treat company profiles featured in our 2019 Resource Guide.