“I and love and you,” a brand of premium, holistic pet food and treats, has received a Series C investment led by the Growth Fund of L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. In conjunction with this investment, the company also announced the appointment of Michael Meyer, a veteran leader in the pet category and current member of the “I and love and you” Board of Directors, as Chief Executive Officer.
“I and love and you” continues to accelerate its growth, which has repeatedly landed the company on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. “I and love and you” wins with consumers who share Millennial and Gen Z values of offering human-focused, pet specialty quality to an omni-channel digitally native consumer.
The company, known for both function and fun, is expanding its product line in 2022. In the face of a nationwide shortage, it is launching “hugs and kisses” wet cat food, including “XOXO’s & XOXO Mix,” “Feed Meow,” and “Treat Meow,” three complete and balanced offerings with functional benefits. L Catterton’s investment, together with current shareholders including Winona Capital Management will support the company’s continued growth through its omni-channel strategy and bolster its leadership as the number one independent, ultra-premium pet brand in the grocery and natural channels.
Meyer brings extensive executive leadership experience and has a proven track record of delivering significant growth across a wide range of consumer companies and innovative brands. He is currently an Operating Partner at L Catterton and has served on the Boards of several pet food brands, including “I and love and you,” Lily’s Kitchen (UK) and JustFoodForDogs. Previously, he was President of Wellness Pet Foods, one of the first natural pet food brands in the U.S.; Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Plum Organics, the organic baby food brand that drove a full reimagination of the industry; and Chief Administrative Officer of Restoration Hardware, a leading purveyor of luxury home furnishings.
“As the brand enters its next chapter of growth, there is no one better positioned to guide the company than Michael,” said Howard Steyn, a Partner at L Catterton. “Michael brings significant leadership and industry experience and is poised to help the company accelerate its innovation and bring its high-quality, differentiated products to more pet lovers. L Catterton is thrilled to continue its partnership with the company as it seeks to continue innovating to help all pets eat better and live life to the fullest.”
“I am incredibly honored to join “I and love and you” as CEO at such an exciting time for the Company and our industry,” said Meyer. “L Catterton paved the way in the natural pet category with Wellness Pet Food in 2004. I am pleased to bring our authentic, differentiated brand and people-aligned offerings to the next generation of consumers who rely on us every day. I live the food philosophy of “all good, nothing bad” and am focused on creating the very best food for our pets, including my own pug, Cola. I know that our pets would make this food for themselves if they had thumbs!”
L Catterton has significant experience investing in the pet care and pet food space, with current and past investments including Ainsworth (the parent company of the Nutrish brand), Alliance Animal Health, Canidae, Petlove, JustFoodForDogs, Nature’s Variety, Wellness Pet Food, Lily’s Kitchen, Inspired Pet Nutrition and PetVet Care Centers.