J M Smucker, the US maker of jam, Folgers coffee and other packaged goods, is entering the fast-growing pet food business by buying Big Heart Pet Brands for $3.2bn (£2.1bn).
The cash-and-stock deal will see the firm gain popular pet brands including Meow Mix, Pup-Peroni and Milk-Bone.
Smucker said the deal would give it an immediate presence in the pet food and snacks industry, which is worth an estimated $21bn a year.
Its stock rose 4% in after hours trade.
Smucker’s chief executive Richard Smucker called the deal an “excellent strategic fit” with “many compelling benefits in both the short- and long-term”.
“With approximately two-thirds of US households having at least one family pet, we will now be able to serve the mealtime and snacking needs of the whole family,” he said in a statement.
“The pet food business will become a third platform for growth for our company, along with our existing food and beverage businesses.”
The American Pet Products Association said more US households have pets than children and that about 40% of all pet-related expenditures was on food last year.
Smucker’s purchase marks the pet food industry’s second major deal in a year.
Last April, consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble sold its pet food business to Mars and Spectrum Brand Holdings.
Big Heart was formerly known as Del Monte before the firm sold its fruit and vegetable business last year.
It was then owned by a consortium of private equity firms including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Vestar Capital Partners.
The San Francisco-based company is the market leader in producing pet snacks and has almost 2,500 employees.