Friday, June 29, 2007

Kansas City Animal Health Corridor

Last year's unique initiative by Kansas City to attract animal health companies keeps paying off. MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc. (NASDAQ:MWIV) based in Idaho is the most recent company to sign up, announcing plans to open a 105,000 square foot distribution facility in the area.

In fact, the KC Animal Health Corridor contributes 32 percent of total sales in the $15.2 billion global animal health market by hosting company divisions including Bayer HealthCare, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Del Monte and Cargill.

Pet health has become one of the driving trends in the industry. Even though pharmaceutical companies have been in the animal health segment for years, there's been a recent acceleration in interest, as previously reported in this blog and on our company website.

A good article on the subject: "Big Pharma Chases Dogs and Cats," by Rachel Petkewich, Chemical & Engineering News, June 25 2007.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Central Garden & Pet

Central Garden & Pet Co. (NASDAQ:CENT) may be rapidly losing interest in acquiring some assets of Spectrum Brands, Inc. (NYSE:SPC), according to the Financial Times. Bad news continues to dog both companies. Central Garden & Pet experienced "softness" in lawn and garden as well as pet retail sales in April and May, and told investors to expect results below expectations ("Spectrum Brands could face new complications to asset sale process, sources say," by Aja Whitaker-Moore, Financial Times, June 13 2007).


Friday, June 15, 2007

Sony Hopes The Puppies Will Help

On the paws of successful titles like Nintendogs and Sims2 Pets, it's become clear: pets in video games attract women. Nintendo credited its game for attracting female market share, and Sims2 Pets sold over 3 million units in three months (which is a good number for a video game, by the way).

The New York Times reported this week that Sony Online Entertainment, in trying to diversify the demographic profile of its 85% male customer base, has added puppies to its new release, Free Realms.

Marketed toward girls, the game is free but relies on paid registration and microtransactions like buying virtual pets. Puppies, that is. Apparently the male design team wanted pets with fighting capabilities until someone came to their senses ("Sony's Other Games Division Makes Push in New Direction," by Seth Schiesel, New York Times, June 11, 2007).

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