Disney barking up a new tree with pet products
Reuters - 6/7/06

Disney barking up a new tree with pet products

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) - Disney is going to the dogs.

The iconic entertainment company, home to such famous canines as Pluto and Goofy, wants a piece of the $75 billion global market for pet products after a successful trial run of "Old Yeller" branded dog food at Kroger supermarkets.

"That's a character that most people wouldn't even remember," Andy Mooney, head of Walt Disney Co.'s consumer products division, said during a discussion with a handful of journalists on Wednesday.

"And we have a lot of pets in the Disney portfolio."

Cincinnati-based Kroger in April 2005 replaced a private-label dog food in its 2,500 U.S. stores with one branded by the 1957 Disney film pooch. Since then, it has become the store's best selling dog food, Mooney said.

"They're anxious to develop a whole range of accessories," said Mooney, a Scotsman who formerly worked for Nike. Disney is already investigating a cat food range with Kroger.

He stressed, however, that Disney's expansion in the pets business is unlikely to be centred around food, but instead on such items as collars, clothing and bedding, which have been popularised recently by celebrity dog owners like Paris Hilton.
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