Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Organization and Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

Organization and Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
12 Months Ended
Sep. 25, 2021
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Organization Organization – Central Garden & Pet Company (“Central”), a Delaware corporation, and subsidiaries (the “Company”), is a leading marketer and producer of quality branded products and distributor of third-party products in the pet and lawn and garden supplies markets.
Basis of Consolidation and Presentation Basis of Consolidation and Presentation – The consolidated financial statements are prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) and include the accounts of Central and all majority-owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The fiscal years ended September 25, 2021, September 26, 2020 and September 28, 2019 each included 52 weeks.
Noncontrolling Interest Noncontrolling Interest – Noncontrolling interest in the Company’s consolidated financial statements represents the 20% interest not owned by the Company in a consolidated subsidiary. Since the Company controls this subsidiary, its financial statements are consolidated with those of the Company, and the noncontrolling owner’s 20% share of the subsidiary’s net assets and results of operations is deducted and reported as noncontrolling interest on the consolidated balance sheets and as net income attributable to noncontrolling interest in the consolidated statements of operations.
Use of Estimates
Use of Estimates – The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires that management make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period including realization of accounts receivable and inventory and valuation of goodwill and intangibles. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Change in Segment Components - During the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, the Company began reporting the results of its outdoor cushion operations in the Pet segment as a result of a change in internal management reporting lines due to potential synergies in sourcing, manufacturing and innovation and to be consistent with the reporting of financial information used to assess performance and allocate resources. These operations were previously reported in the Garden segment and are now managed and reported in the Pet segment. All prior period segment disclosures have been recast to reflect this change.
Revenue Recognition and Nature of Products and Services And Sales Incentives and Other Promotional Programs
Revenue Recognition and Nature of Products and Services

The Company manufactures, markets and distributes a wide variety of branded, private label and third-party pet and garden products to wholesalers, distributors and retailers, primarily in the United States. The majority of the Company’s revenue is generated from the sale of finished pet and garden products. The Company also recognizes a minor amount of non-product revenue (approximately one percent of consolidated net sales) comprising third-party logistics services, merchandising services and royalty income from sales-based licensing arrangements. Product and non-product revenue is recognized when performance obligations under the terms of the contracts with customers are satisfied. The Company recognizes product revenue when control over the finished goods transfers to its customers, which generally occurs upon shipment to, or receipt at, customers’ locations, as determined by the specific terms of the contract. These revenue arrangements generally have single performance obligations. Non-product revenue is recognized as the services are provided to the customer in the case of third-party logistics services and merchandising services, or as third-party licensee sales occur for royalty income. Revenue, which includes shipping and handling charges billed to the customer, is reported net of variable consideration and consideration payable to our customers, including applicable discounts, returns, allowances, trade promotion, unsaleable product, consumer coupon redemption and rebates. The amount billed to customers for shipping and handling costs included in net sales for the fiscal years ended September 25, 2021, September 26, 2020 and September 28, 2019 was $13.1 million, $12.5 million and $13.8 million, respectively. Shipping and handling costs that occur before the customer obtains control of the goods are deemed to be fulfillment activities and are accounted for as fulfillment costs.

Key sales terms are established on a frequent basis such that most customer arrangements and related incentives have a one year or shorter duration. As such, the Company does not capitalize contract inception costs. The Company generally does not have unbilled receivables at the end of a period. Deferred revenues are not material and primarily include advance payments for services that have yet to be rendered. The Company does not receive noncash consideration for the sale of goods. Amounts billed and due from our customers are classified as receivables and require payment on a short-term basis; therefore, the Company does not have any significant financing components.
Sales Incentives and Other Promotional Programs

The Company routinely offers sales incentives and discounts through various regional and national programs to its customers and consumers. These programs include product discounts or allowances, product rebates, product returns, one-time or ongoing trade-promotion programs with customers and consumer coupon programs that require the Company to estimate and accrue the expected costs of such programs. The costs associated with these activities are accounted for as reductions to the transaction price of the Company’s products and are, therefore, recorded as reductions to gross sales at the time of sale. The Company bases its estimates of incentive costs on historical trend experience with similar programs, actual incentive terms per customer contractual obligations and expected levels of performance of trade promotions, utilizing customer and sales organization inputs. The Company maintains liabilities at the end of each period for the estimated incentive costs incurred but unpaid for these programs. Differences between estimated and actual incentive costs are generally not material and are recognized in earnings in the period such differences are determined. Reserves for product returns, accrued rebates and promotional accruals are included in the consolidated balance sheets as part of accrued expenses, and the value of inventory associated with reserves for sales returns is included within prepaid and other current assets on the consolidated balance sheets.
Cost of goods sold and occupancy Cost of goods sold consists of cost of product, inbound freight charges, purchasing and receiving costs, certain indirect purchasing, merchandise handling and storage costs, internal transfer costs as well as allocations of overhead costs, including depreciation, related to the Company’s facilities. Cost of goods sold excludes substantially all shipping and handling and out-bound freight costs to customers, which are included in selling, general and administrative expenses as delivery expenses.
Advertising Costs Advertising Costs – The Company expenses the costs of advertising as incurred.
Other income (expense) Other income (expense) consists principally of earnings (losses) from equity method investments and foreign exchange gains and losses.
Income taxes Income taxes are accounted for under the asset and liability method. Deferred income taxes reflect the impact of “temporary differences” between asset and liability amounts for financial reporting purposes and such amounts as determined based on existing tax laws. Deferred income taxes result primarily from bad debt allowances, inventory and goodwill write-downs, amortization and depreciation. The Company establishes a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets when management believes it is more likely than not a deferred tax asset will not be realized.
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash – The Company considers cash and all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less at date of purchase to be cash and cash equivalents. Restricted cash includes cash and highly liquid instruments that are used as collateral for stand-alone letter of credit agreements related to normal business transactions. These agreements require the Company to maintain specified amounts of cash as collateral in segregated accounts to support the letters of credit issued thereunder, which will affect the amount of cash the Company has available for other uses.
Accounts receivable Accounts receivable are carried at their estimated collectible amounts. Trade credit is generally extended on a short-term basis; thus trade receivables do not bear interest, although a finance charge may be applied to such receivables that are past due.
Allowance for doubtful accounts Allowance for Credit Losses and Customer Allowances – The Company’s trade accounts receivable are recorded at net realizable value, which includes an allowance for estimated credit losses, as well as allowances for contractual customer deductions accounted for as variable consideration. Under the guidance found in Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Topic 326, the “expected credit loss” model replaces the previous incurred loss model and requires consideration of a broader range of information to estimate expected credit losses over the lives of the Company’s trade accounts receivable. The Company’s prior methodology for estimating credit losses on its trade accounts receivable did not differ significantly from the new requirements of Topic 326. The Company maintains an allowance for credit losses related to its trade accounts receivable for future expected credit losses for the inability of its customers to make required payments. The Company estimates the allowance based upon historical bad debts, current customer receivable balances and the customer’s financial condition. The allowance is adjusted to reflect changes in current and forecasted macroeconomic conditions. The Company’s estimate of credit losses includes expected current and future economic and market conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, which did not significantly impact its allowance.
Inventories Inventories, which primarily consist of garden products and pet supplies finished goods, are stated at the lower of FIFO cost or market. Cost includes certain indirect purchasing, merchandise handling and storage costs incurred to acquire or manufacture inventory, costs to unload, process and put away shipments received in order to prepare them to be picked for orders, and certain other overhead costs. The amount of such costs capitalized to inventory is computed based on an estimate of costs related to the procurement and processing of inventory to prepare it for sale compared to total product purchases
Land, buildings, improvements and equipment Land, buildings, improvements and equipment are stated at cost. Depreciation is computed by the straight-line method over 30 years for buildings. Improvements are amortized on a straight-line basis over the shorter of the useful life of the asset or the terms of the related leases. Depreciation on equipment and capitalized software is computed by the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of three to 10 years.
Long-Lived Assets Long-Lived Assets – The Company reviews its long-lived assets, including amortizable and indefinite-lived intangible assets and property, plant and equipment, for potential impairment whenever events or changes in business circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets may not be fully recoverable, and annually for indefinite-lived intangible assets. An impairment loss would be recognized for amortizable intangible assets and property, plant and equipment when the estimated fair value of the asset is less than its carrying amount. An impairment loss would be recognized for an intangible asset with an indefinite useful life if its carrying value exceeds its fair value. Impairment, if any, is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of a long-lived asset exceeds its fair value. As a result of one of our retail customers exiting the live fish business, factors indicating the carrying value of certain amortizable intangible assets may not be recoverable were present during the quarter ended March 30, 2019. The Company performed impairment testing on these assets, found the carrying value was not recoverable, and accordingly, recorded an impairment charge in its Pet segment of approximately $2.5 million as part of selling, general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statements of operations for the fiscal year ended September 28, 2019. There were no impairment losses recorded in fiscal years 2020 or 2021. Should market conditions or the assumptions used by the Company in determining the fair value of assets change, or management changes plans regarding the future use of certain assets, additional charges to operations may be required in the period in which such conditions occur.
Goodwill Goodwill represents the excess of cost of an acquired business over the fair value of the identifiable tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination. Identifiable intangible assets acquired in business combinations are recorded based on their fair values at the date of acquisition. Goodwill is not subject to amortization but must be evaluated for impairment annually. The Company tests for goodwill impairment annually or whenever events occur or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount.
Investments Investments – The Company owns membership interests ranging from 3% to 50% in twelve unconsolidated companies. The Company accounts for its interest in these entities using the equity method and in accordance with ASC 321 – Investments – Equity Securities.
Leases -The Company determines whether an arrangement contains a lease at inception by determining if the contract conveys the right to control the use of identified property, plant or equipment for a period of time in exchange for consideration and other facts and circumstances. Long-term operating lease right-of-use ("ROU") assets and current and long-term operating lease liabilities are presented separately in the consolidated balance sheets. Finance lease ROU assets are presented in property, plant and equipment, net, and the related finance liabilities are presented with current and long-term debt in the consolidated balance sheets.
Lease ROU assets represent the Company's right to use an underlying asset for the lease term, and lease liabilities represent the Company's obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease. ROU assets are calculated based on the lease liability adjusted for any
lease payments paid to the lessor at or before the commencement date and excludes any lease incentives received from the lessor. Lease liabilities are recognized based on the present value of the future minimum lease payments over the lease term. The lease term may include options to extend or terminate the lease when it is reasonably certain that the Company will exercise that option. As the Company's leases typically do not contain a readily determinable implicit rate, the Company determines the present value of the lease liability using its incremental borrowing rate at the lease commencement date based on the lease term on a collateralized basis. Variable lease payments are expensed as incurred and include certain non-lease components, such as maintenance and other services provided by the lessor, and other charges included in the lease, as applicable. Non-lease components and the lease components to which they relate are accounted for as a single lease component, as the Company has elected to combine lease and non-lease components for all classes of underlying assets.Amortization of ROU lease assets is calculated on a straight-line basis over the lease term with the expense recorded in cost of sales or selling, general and administrative expenses, depending on the nature of the leased item. Interest expense is recorded over the lease term and is recorded in interest expense (based on a front-loaded interest expense pattern) for finance leases and is recorded in cost of sales or selling, general and administrative expenses (on a straight-line basis) for operating leases. All operating lease cash payments and interest on finance leases are recorded within cash flows from operating activities and all finance lease principal payments are recorded within cash flows from financing activities in the consolidated statements of cash flows.
Insurance Insurance – The Company maintains insurance for certain risks, including workers’ compensation, general liability and automobile liability, and is self-insured for employee related health care benefits. The Company’s workers’ compensation, general liability and automobile liability insurance policies include deductibles of $250,000 to $350,000 per occurrence. The Company maintains excess loss insurance that covers any health care claims in excess of $750,000 per person per year. The Company establishes reserves for losses based on its claims experience and actuarial estimates of the ultimate loss amount inherent in the claims, including claims incurred but not yet reported. Costs are recognized in the period the claim is incurred, and the financial statement accruals include an estimate of claims incurred but not yet reported.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments Fair Value of Financial Instruments – At September 25, 2021 and September 26, 2020, the carrying amount of cash and cash equivalents, short term investments, accounts receivable and payable, short term borrowings and accrued liabilities approximates fair value because of the short term nature of these instruments. The estimated fair value of the Company’s senior subordinated notes is based on quoted market prices for these instruments.
Stock-Based Compensation Stock-Based Compensation – Stock-based compensation cost is estimated at the grant date based on the fair value of the award and is expensed ratably over the service period of the award.
Total Comprehensive Income (Loss) Total Comprehensive Income (Loss) – Total comprehensive income (loss) consists of two components: net income and other comprehensive income (loss). Other comprehensive income (loss) refers to gains and losses that under generally accepted accounting principles are recorded directly as an element of shareholders’ equity, but are excluded from net income, and is comprised of currency translation adjustments relating to the Company’s foreign subsidiaries in the U.K and Canada whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Accounting Standards Recently Adopted
Credit Losses
In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326), which changes the impairment model for most financial assets to require measurement and recognition of expected credit losses for financial assets measured at amortized cost, including trade receivables. The model replaces the probable, incurred loss model for those assets and broadens the information an entity must consider when developing its expected credit loss estimate for assets measured at amortized cost. The Company adopted the standard as of September 27, 2020, and the adoption did not have a material impact on the Company's consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
Goodwill and Intangible Assets
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-04, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other: Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment. The new guidance simplifies the subsequent measurement of goodwill by removing the second step of the two-step impairment test. The amendment requires an entity to perform its annual or interim goodwill impairment test by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. An entity still has the option to perform the qualitative assessment for a reporting unit to determine if the quantitative impairment test is necessary. The Company adopted this guidance as of September 27, 2020 on a prospective basis. Based on the Company's annual goodwill impairment test performed as of July 1, 2020, there were no reporting units for which the carrying amount of the reporting unit exceeded its fair value; therefore, the adoption of this ASU did not have an impact on the Company's consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
Fair Value Disclosures
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-13, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820), Disclosure Framework-Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement. This ASU modifies the disclosure requirements for fair value measurements by removing, modifying or adding certain disclosures. The amendments on changes in unrealized gains and losses, the range and weighted average of significant unobservable inputs used to develop Level 3 fair value measurements, and the narrative description of measurement uncertainty should be applied prospectively for only the most recent interim or annual period presented in the initial fiscal year of adoption. The Company adopted this standard as of September 27, 2020, and the adoption did not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
Accounting Standards Not Yet Adopted
Accounting for Income Taxes
In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU 2019-12, Income Taxes (Topic 740), Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes, which eliminates certain exceptions related to the approach for intraperiod tax allocation, the methodology for calculating taxes during the quarters and the recognition of deferred tax liabilities for outside basis differences. This guidance also simplifies aspects of the accounting for franchise taxes and enacted changes in tax laws or rates, and clarifies the accounting for transactions that result in a step-up in the tax basis of goodwill. ASU 2019-12 became effective for the Company in its first quarter of fiscal 2022 beginning September 26, 2021 and requires the Company to recognize a cumulative effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings, if applicable. The Company is currently evaluating the impact that ASU 2019-12 may have on its consolidated financial statements but does not expect the impact to be material.
Fair Value Measurements
Generally accepted accounting principles require financial assets and liabilities to be categorized based on the inputs used to calculate their fair values as follows:
Level 1 – Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
Level 2 – Inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly.
Level 3 – Unobservable inputs for the asset or liability, which reflect the Company’s own assumptions about the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability (including assumptions about risk).
The Company’s financial instruments include cash and equivalents, restricted cash and equivalents, short term investments, accounts receivable and payable, derivative instruments, short-term borrowings, and accrued liabilities. The carrying amount of these instruments approximates fair value because of their short-term nature.