HONG KONG — Solid Gold Pet, Chesterfield, Mo., has been fully acquired by Health & Happiness Group International Holdings Ltd. (H&H Group) for $163 million USD.

The move signals H&H Group’s strategic portfolio expansion to include pet care and nutrition brands as a “third pillar” to complement its existing nutrition and care brands for adults, children and infants. Solid Gold is H&H Group’s first venture into the global pet food space.

“Entering into Pet nutrition and care is a natural move for H&H where we recognize the importance and the role that pets play in the lives of modern families around the world,” said Laetitia Garnier, chief executive officer of H&H Group. “The same consumers who care about their own health and wellness also care about that of their families and friends. As pets are very much a part of that family and treated more and more like humans, pet owners attach a growing importance to the wellbeing of their pets including their nutrition choices.”

Solid Gold reported $55 million in sales from the United States and its international markets in September alone, with a year-over-year growth rate of 39%, H&H stated.

“In line with our mission to make people healthier and happier we have been observing the humanisation of pets and following the market closely," Garnier said. "The pet food market has demonstrated resilience to macro conditions and the pandemic has driven an increase in pet ownership which we expect to continue as the way we all work continues to evolve. This year’s pandemic has also accelerated trends within the pet nutrition space such as premiumisation and online purchasing – two areas we have focused on across all our brands. We believe Solid Gold is particularly well aligned with those trends and we feel very confident of the brand’s ability to deliver a strong contribution to the growth of H&H in the future.”

Solid Gold pet was founded in 1974 by Sandy Harrington McGill as a holistic nutrition provider for dogs and cats. The company is headquartered in a suburb of St. Louis and offers a wide range of dry and wet complete-and-balanced diets, meal toppers and supplements.

The pet food company’s portfolio includes six “dietary ranges,” including Everyday Nutrition, Weight Control, High Protein, Sensitive Stomach, Complete Health and Indoor Cat formulas.

“We are delighted to be working with H&H Group to further realize Solid Gold’s vision of positively impacting the lives of pets around the globe,” said Julie Barron, chief executive officer of Solid Gold. “This acquisition creates a greater opportunity for us at Solid Gold to bring transformative nutrition to pets worldwide. Our values and passion for pet holistic health are perfectly aligned with H&H Group’s mission of health and happiness for all.”

H&H Group said Solid Gold’s nutritional philosophy aligns the two businesses.

“We share a belief of nourishing the body from the inside out,” Garnier said. “The same principles apply to the health and wellbeing to the human members of our families and to their pets.”

One of Solid Gold’s international markets is China, where the pet nutrition market is estimated at $5.1 billion USD with 29.5% sales growth since 2015. According to H&H Group, Solid Gold is No. 4 on the list of imported cat nutrition brands via e-commerce sales in China.

Currently, two of its cat food formulas are already approved by the China Ministry of Agriculture, and several other Solid Gold products are awaiting approval.

“For over 45 years, Solid Gold has established a strong brand and premium range of high-quality nutrition solutions for cats and dogs, with a pioneering spirit of innovation at its core,” Garnier said. “The combination of Solid Gold’s attributes and brand reputation in the US premium pet food market, along with the growing demand for pet nutrition globally - driven by the rapidly increasing pet population and the trend in humanization of pets, makes this a very compelling opportunity for the Group.”

H&H Group was founded in 1999 with its inaugural brand, Biostime pediatric probiotics and infant milk formulas. The company brands can be found in more than 12 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America and Oceania. It operates 95 global offices and employs more than 2,800 people. Its global headquarters are in Hong Kong and its United States offices are in San Diego.

Other H&H brands include Biostime; Swisse vitamins, supplements skincare and sports nutrition for adults; Healthy Times USDA-certified organic baby food formulas and pediatric supplements; Dodie baby care products; Good Goût snack foods; and Aurelia Probiotic Skincare.

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