UPLAND, CALIF. — Following its recent acquisition of Natural Balance from The J.M. Smucker Company in January, Nexus Capital Management has announced a “robust pipeline of new specialty products” for the brand, as well as a focus on supporting and maintaining its core products, food quality, safety and pet health.
Natural Balance will retain the brand assets, operational resources and more than 40 employees of the brand, ensuring production and retail distribution operations are uninterrupted. In early December 2020, Nexus appointed Brian Connolly as the new chief executive officer of Natural Balance, who offers previous pet specialty marketplace experience to carry out the new brand strategy.
"We acquired Natural Balance® because we recognize the brand's untapped potential,” Connolly said. “We see opportunity – and we see brand equity. We intend to embrace innovation – driving a well-defined strategy that leverages the best of our current Natural Balance® branded foods, even as we create new specialty products for pet consumers."
Additionally, John Sturm has been appointed to chief revenue officer of Natural Balance, in which role he will lead sales, marketing and new product initiatives.
A research and development team will be tasked with building a rich pipeline of new specialty products, but the brand will not abandon its existing products or network. Natural Balance will continue to leverage current business partners, pet specialty retailers, distributors and supply chain partners to drive sales of both existing and new product lines.
"Our team is fully embracing what makes Natural Balance® stand out among other brands, even as we work on the introduction of new products that will grow our business," Connolly said. "Our Feed with Confidence® program and our firm commitment to stringent food safety testing will continue to be our focus, and with it our dedication to transparency and traceability."
Feed with Confidence is Natural Balance’s transparency and traceability program, which will serve as a major selling point for the brand in the pet specialty retail space. All products will be tested by accredited, third-party laboratories that test for foodborne pathogens and nutritional integrity and safety before products are released to market. Test results will be posted on the Natural Balance website by UPC code and lot number so that pet owners can access comprehensive, transparent product information.
"We are firmly focused on retaining and attracting premium pet food consumers for the Natural Balance® core product lines through incremental growth, while also introducing new and exciting products that embolden the business," Connolly said. "We are confident we will enhance this well-loved brand through our strategic approach, precision market targeting and extensive understanding of today's ingredient-conscious pet food consumers."
To support this strategy, Natural Balance will work to reengage consumers with the brand, revamp its digital properties and launch a full-scale integrated marketing campaign.
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