Del Monte Foods pet products division gets new name

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As the sale of the Del Monte Foods consumer products division goes through, the remaining pet products division has taken on the new name of Big Heart Pet Brands.

The name might be new, but the pet company’s brands will be familiar to many. Big Heart lines include Milk-Bone, Meow Mix, Natural Balance, Kibbles ‘n Bits, 9Lives, Nature’s Recipe and Pup-Peroni.

Big Heart Pet Brands will be headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. — as was Del Monte Foods — and continue to have offices in Pittsburgh and in Burbank, Calif., according to a company announcement this morning. In Pittsburgh, Del Monte’s offices are on the North Shore. The pet food operation has about 220 people there, the company said.

The Pittsburgh connection for the company can be traced to 2002, when Del Monte bought a whole group of brands from the H.J. Heinz Co., including a private label soup business, College Inn broth, pet food lines such as Kibbles ‘n Bits and 9Lives, as well as StarKist tuna.

Del Monte later would sell the soup business, including the former Heinz plant on the North Side, to Illinois-based Treehouse Foods. It sold the StarKist tuna business to South Korean conglomerate Dongwon.

And, effective this week, it sold its consumer products business for $1.675 billion to Del Monte Pacific Limited. The sale included brands such as Del Monte, Contadina and College Inn.

Teresa F. Lindeman: or at 412-263-2018.

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