China is the next big thing happening in the global economy with all the developed economies, shifting their focus on the Asian major. Without posing any exception, the pet food industry in China market is also set on a growth track with increasing awareness about ready-to-eat pet food. Until recently, the China market was a meagre contributor to the pet food market sales. But recent studies reveal that all that is set to change with more and more childless Chinese couples opting for dogs and cats as pets. The pet care industry in China market is a key determinant of the country’s economy, with pet food being 37% of it.
Top pet food manufacturers in China
With the increase in the number of pets in most households across the China market, the pet food industry in China is poised for growth at 10% annually. These figures came across in the recent China Pet Nutrition and Pet Food Processing Technology Forum held in 2013. Most pet owners are still not much aware about the ready to eat dry food that can be bought off the shelves. The growth of the industry largely depends upon the consumer awareness that is increasing with most pet owners being educated about the advantages of dry pet food. Though production of pet food by leading companies like Mars Foods (China) Co. Pvt. Ltd and Royal Canin Au Yu (Shanghai) Pet Food Co. Ltd., Nestle (China), etc. is significantly less as compared to developed companies, these companies are adopting new technology with healthier ingredients to cater to the growing demands of good quality pet food in the China market.
The pet food industry in China is not simply about producing good pet food, but also about producing food specific to certain breeds which calls for extensive research making product development an important part of the industry. This has encouraged new multinationals to try their luck in the industry in addition to the well known existing brands. Some of the established brands like Mars Foods and Royal Canin are ahead of their competitors as they have the advantage of an early entry into the China market. Mars Foods has introduced two new flavours of cat wet food like Whiskas small yellow croaker wet cat food and Whiskas scabbard fish wet cat food to meet the varying needs of cats. Similarly Royal Canin Au Yu based in Shanghai has come up with variations in food for dogs helping it reinstate its leading position as a pet food manufacturer in the China Market. For e.g. it has a special food for extra small dogs and has a wide range of variety catering to different ages, breeds, puppies, seniors, etc.
With the focus on quality and convenience, the pet food industry is all set for a robust growth in the coming years with expectations of more consumption of prepared foods for pets in the China market. The shift of pet owners in the China market from home made food to prepared food has been an encouraging trend for the industry fuelling a stable but significant growth story. The rising disposable income of most households and changing consumer conceptions are also important determinants of this expected growth in the pet food industry.