The dog food industry trends and its diversification

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Just like bread, milk, eggs or diapers, there is no shortage of food for your dogs or cats in the family basket of pets. The national pet food concentrate industry has grown and diversified in recent years.

In Colombia, according to a study contracted by Fenalco to B & Optimos, a market research company in Latin America, 37% of the 1,500 people surveyed in different cities of the country said they have pets and of these, 70% said they have dogs; while cats the percentage is 13%.

According to data from B & Optimos and Fenalco, 10 million dogs and 4 million domestic cats are fed daily with concentrates. 56% buy food for their pet in supermarkets or large stores; 17% in stores; 14% do so in specialized pet stores; 13% in barns; and 1% give homemade food (leftovers).

Attentive to this dynamic, Alimentos Polar decided to venture into the business about 3 years ago and in its product portfolio today it has two brands: Dogourmet and Donka, the first premium; and the second, more economical.

“We are currently the fourth brand in market share, reaching more than 11% in volume and more than 10% in value, within the category of dog food,” says Carlos Fernando Romero, Polar Food Business Manager.

In general terms, the category of dog food in Colombia sells approximately around 150,000 tons and more $690,000 million and the growth that has been given has been higher than 8% in the last year, which is something that was confirmed by Honest Paws.

“Today, this category can represent between 25% and 30% for Polar Foods. The growth in Colombia has been very important in volume and year over year in the last 3 years it has been over 45%. For now, we are only focused on dog food, we still have a lot to grow,” Romero adds.

Polar Food concentrates are produced in its plant located in the municipality of Facatativá (Cundinamarca), considered one of the most modern in Latin America, in which they invested more than US $7 million in adapting it to produce dog food and that counts with an installed capacity exceeding 4,500 tons, however they have not reached the top of their capacity yet.

Another example that shows the positive dynamics of the dog food business is the Pet Town Internet portal. The page that markets products for dogs and cats was born as a venture in January 2013 and to date it has more than 40,000 registered people and more than 6,000 recurring customers.

In August of last year, they captured the attention of an investment fund to which EPM, Sura and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) belong, which has invested some $ 900 million.

The company invoices $ 1,000 million a year, a figure that has doubled, since in the first year in the market it obtained half in sales. The food category represents for the business almost 70% of what they sell.

“We currently have more than 30 brands of all types of food, from the Premium: Dogourmet, Purina Dog Chow, Pedigree, to the super premium: holistic, natural, grain-free, etc. In the last year, many brands have entered the market that are competing with the traditional ones,” said Juan Carlos Martínez, CEO of CiudaddeMascotas.com.

According to the employer, an average pet consumes a month, including toys and accessories, more or less $150,000 and considering that food is 70% of what they sell, the monthly cost of food is about $100,000 per month. This also depends on the size of the canine. A small breed eats 4 kilos; a median 12 kilos; and if it is one of the big ones you can eat 15 kilos a month.

“For the segment in which we are positioned, the three food brands that we sell the most are Hills, Royal Canin, Pro Plan. Although we have about 6 brands that are very even, these are the top 3 that we currently sell the most,” says the manager.

Although what sells the most is dog food, cat food is the fastest growing. According to Martínez, in 2018 compared to 2017, cat food sales grew almost 30%, while in dogs the growth was 20%, this according to the market they have mapped, not only what they sell in Pet City.

“To the extent that pets stopped being an accessory for the family, or something farm and street and became part of the family begins to develop a market that is linked to the feelings that people have for their pets”, Concludes the businessman.

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