The Iams Company manufactures premium cat and dog food that is distributed in over 70 countries worldwide. The company was founded in 1946 by Paul Iams, an animal nutritionist, who developed the world’s first animal-based protein, dry dog food. He later went on to develop a new dog food, named Eukanuba. The company was sold to Proctor and Gamble (P&G) in September 1999. Since then ‘‘Iams has grown its share of the U.S. pet food market from 8.7 percent in 1999 to 13.7 percent in late 2002 and Iams is now one of P&G 's billion-dollar brands with 13 quarters of consecutive growth.’’ (Cincinnati bizjournals, 2009). Iams was initially a purely business to business company as the food was only distributed to veterinarians, animal breeders, and specialty pet stores. However, more recently due to demand, P&G 's marketing strategy has took Iams products from pet specialty shops to the main grocery stores both in the UK and the US but grocery stores still refrain from offering the full Iams product choice as the food is still predominantly a niche product as it is higher priced than most mainstream pet foods because of its quality and health and nutritional differentiation. The majority of the Iams range remains through veterinarians and animal breeders. Eukanuba continues to be sold to only veterinarians, animal breeders and pet speciality stores ‘‘although some industry watchers think it 's only a matter of time before Eukanuba can be found alongside Iams in grocery isles.’’ ‘‘P&G officials said their own research shows that 70 percent of U.S. pet-food buyers never shop for it in specialty stores’’ (Enquirer, 1995) making it possible that Iams and Eukanuba could potentially move away from the niche market and fully into the consumer mass market in the future.
The Iams Company has seen an extreme change since being bought by the 6th largest corporation in the world by market capitalization (P&G).
References: Cincinnati Bizjournals (2009) P&G seems ready to unleash new focus on pet-product market (Online) [Accessed on 11th December 2008] http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2003/02/10/story2.html Enquirer (1995) P&G ready to prove worth of Iams merger (Online) [Accessed on 11th December 2008] http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2000/03/19/fin_p_g_ready_to_prove.html Iams (2008) IAMS Truth – Mission Statement (Online) [Accessed on 13th December] http://iamstruth.com/iamstruth/en_US/jhtmls/home/IT_Home_Page.jhtml?li=en_US&pti=HP P&G, UK (2008) Products (Online) [Accessed on 12th December] http://www.uk.pg.com/products/products/iams.html Epinions (1999) Select Brands Iams Large Breed Puppy formula (Online) [Accessed on 15th December 2008] http://www0.epinions.com/review/Iams_Large_Breed_Puppy_Formula/content_128504270468