You probably know Mars Inc. as the maker of popular candy like M&M’s and Snickers. But the company actually makes more money from your pets than from your sweet tooth.

The candy giant recently announced its acquisition of VCA, a network of veterinary hospitals and doggy day cares. And this isn’t its first foray into the pet business either. Mars Inc. already owns Pedigree and Iams brands, along with over 1,000 veterinary clinics.

This might seem like a strange combination of product and service offerings. But when you think about changing consumer trends, it actually makes a lot of sense. Consumers are becoming more health conscious, and thus less interested in spending tons of money on sugary treats. And people are also becoming increasingly concerned about the wellbeing of their pets. So they’re willing to spend on them like they would any other member of the family.

Consumer Trends Drive This Diversification Strategy

Mars Inc. didn’t just shift from selling candy to selling dog food overnight. The company appears to have moved slowly as it keeps an eye on changing trends among consumers. And other businesses that might be working in changing industries could learn a valuable lesson from this slow business evolution.

Mars Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Why This Popular Candy Brand Is Selling Dog Food (Watch)” was first published on Small Business Trends