• HQ: Durango, CO
  • Category: Brands
  • Investment: Sold to Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, the pet care division of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A.

Zuke’s is a marketer of all-natural, premium dog and cat treats sold primarily through the independent pet channel.

Zuke’s is a leading pet treat brand in this channel, with products differentiated by their all-natural and healthy characteristics, high quality ingredients and distinctive brand. Named after founder Patrick Meiering’s loving chocolate lab, Zuke, the company is dedicated to creating tasty, healthful, treats and chews that meet the unique nutritional needs of dogs and cats to keep them performing at their best.

Encore provided Zuke’s with growth capital and partial liquidity for existing shareholders.  The founder maintained a majority share of the Company.

Investment Period Highlights

  • Recruited senior management team members with strong pet experience including a new President with whom Encore principals had worked
  • Invested in brand building activities to help refine packaging
  • Improved promotional activities at the store level
  • Built out direct sales team and transitioned away from broker sales model
  • Launched new products and refined product positioning based on customer data and consumer feedback
  • Launched into PetSmart and expanded presence in Petco
  • Revenues tripled during investment period

I could not have asked for a better partner than Encore to help take Zuke’s to the next level. Encore helped recruit world-class management and sales talent to drive the growth of the Zuke’s brand while staying true to Zuke’s mission of fostering active and healthy devotion between people and pets.

The statement quoted above was made by a current or former executive of an Encore Consumer Capital portfolio company following Encore’s exit of that company. Such executive has not received compensation for the above statement and this statement is solely his or her opinion and representative of his or her experience with Encore Consumer Capital. Other portfolio company executives may not necessarily share the same views. It should not be assumed that Encore Consumer Capital’s investment in such portfolio company was ultimately profitable.

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