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feed their pets homemade fare, are now increasingly turning to the commercial pet food market. Euromonitor reports that the Indian pet market arena is expected to grow at a 10 to 15 per cent annual rate in the next few years. In Russia, Nestle Purina PetCare, has recently opened a $45 million

line for pet food production in the Kaluga region. What is described as a ‘state-of-the-art robotized’ production line, located near the border between the Kaluga and Moscow regions, took just under two years to complete. It will use 90 per cent locally sourced ingredients and packaging and will produce cat food under the brand name Felix. This is the third production line of Nestlé’s pet-food factory, which started in 2007. Next to the pet food production facilities, Nestle is constructing a

27,000 square metre distribution centre costing over 1 billion rubles ($32 million). This facility is to start operations in October this year. The managing director of the Russian Pet Food Manufacturers Association, noting that while the Russian economy might not be in a very good shape, the pet food market was performing strongly, estimated that the market is growing about 10 per cent per year and was one of the biggest in the world, with the number of Russian cat and dog owners being larger than in all of Europe combined. Nestle Purina Europe PetCare estimates that there are around 20 to 25 million dogs and about 15 million cats in Russia. Another country exhibiting strong pet industry growth is Japan.

Overall sales of pet food increased in the Japanese market in 2011 reaching $4.8 billion; sales of dog and cat food accounted for the bulk of sales at $4.5 billion. Interestingly, sales are forecast to decrease into 2016, as existing pets age and smaller indoor dogs become increasingly popular. However, Japanese consumers are using more health and wellness products to support their own health, and this trend is extending to the pet food market. There are now more specialty pet food products with functional ingredients that address specific issues such as obesity, care of joints/bones/muscles, vitamin/mineral supplementation, oral health and food intolerances, etc as well as niche products tailored to a pet’s age, breed, size and nutritional needs. Japanese consumers are also buying more cat and dog treats. Increasing incomes combined with greater awareness of pets’

specific nutritional needs of pets mean that Brazilian consumers are increasingly purchasing manufactured pet food. Pet food sales in Brazil continue to grow and are expected to increase by 10 per cent from 2012 to 2017. Although the Brazilian pet food market is dominated primarily

by multinationals, some domestic companies have managed to acquire a respectable market share, achieved through the expansion of economical product lines, improved product quality, enhanced distribution and relative ease-of-access to local agri-food producers. Alltech’s recently published and valuable report on the world’s

production of feed includes pet food for the first time, showing a global total of 20.5 million tonnes produced in 2012. This figure compares with data provided by Euromonitor which showed a world total of 21.3 million tons of pet food. Looking at a country breakdown in the Alltech report, it is clear that one reason why its global number is lower than Euromonitor’s is that not all countries were surveyed by Alltech. For pet food, no data was reported for several countries, including several known to have relatively significant pet food production. One such


omission was Russia which Euromonitor had previously identified as having a market value of $2.16 billion in sales and also having one of the fastest growing, at an average annual growth rate of 8.7 per cent. A number of other countries known to be growing pet food sales were also omitted such as South Korea and Ukraine. Alltech’s report identifies the US as the largest pet food producer by

some distance with a total of 8 million tonnes in 2012. The second largest pet food producer in the Alltech report is Brazil with 2.5 million tonnes, with Canada at 1.2 million tonnes followed by China at a million tonnes. However, the volume figures are not the whole story. The US together with Canada constitute a very large share of the world’s production of pet food but in terms of production growth, the two country’s combined output increased by 1.5 per cent in 2012 while its sales in terms of value grew by 3.6 per cent. In contrast, production of pet food in Eastern Europe increased by 5.7 per cent in 2012 compared with its 11.7 per cent growth in sales while Latin America grew volumes by 4.1 per cent compared with a rip-roaring 12.4 per cent increase in sales value. The Asian Pacific region, in contrast, grew volumes by 2.6 per cent and sales value by 3.5 per cent. This should come as little surprise. In the more developed of the

world’s economies, such as North America and in some parts of Western Europe, increases in sales value are being generated increasingly by virtue of price increases rather than increases in volume. The widening gap between growth rates between production and

sales in developing regions for pet food such as Eastern Europe and Latin America, appears to reflect the fact that pet owners are starting to move up from buying mostly economy pet foods to mid-market foods. In some countries, there are distinct signs of a move into even premium and super-premium pet foods. The Asian Pacific region displays a variety of trends; Japan, which constitutes the dominant share of the market, is a fully developed, mature pet food market characterised by lower growth, although it appears to have largely recovered from the 2011 earthquake and the ensuing tsunami. However, the region also includes many booming pet food and pet care markets like China and, to a lesser extent, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia and others. It is no surprise that growth in emerging pet food markets will

continue to outpace that in the more established regions. The only question relates to the period within which the process will take place.

Pets Following Humans The author’s cat who featured some years ago in this publication in a photograph ‘The Author’s Cat at Leisure’ but who has since passed on, at the age of twenty, to wherever much-appreciated cats go when they leave us, was once mistaken on first meeting by her vet as a male, on account of her size. Following a change of circumstances, including the opportunity to

enjoy a new and much more extensive territory, over which she rapidly established unchallenged dominance, the author’s cat became slim and sleek and walked about with a look of intense contentment with her new domain. However, this is not to say that the problem of obesity in cats and dogs is any less urgent than has been highlighted in past editions of this publication. The issue of obesity in pets has been increasing in profile for several years and the implications are not very different from those

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