Interquell, a Germany-based dog and cat food company, has entered the Thai pet food industry by forming a joint venture, named Happy Pet (Thailand) Co Ltd, with partner Technic Pet Holding, reported Pets International. Interquell holds 49 percent of the joint venture. Interquell owns the Happy Dog and Happy Cat premium pet food brands.

The new company will import Happy Dog and Happy Cat products from Germany. The venture partners say the trend for healthy pet food is taking hold in Thailand, and that his segment is growing faster than in Japan and other Asian countries.

In the future, the company plans to expand into Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos by using Thailand as a base to distribute the products. The products are now available at pet shops in Thailand.

Happy Pet (Thailand) said it wants to become established as the leading brand in the premium pet food in Thailand.

Interquell manufactures Happy Cat and Happy Dog, the second-best-selling dog food brand in Germany, according to the Petfood Industry Top Companies database. The company's products are sold in more than 66 countries, and it operates six extruders at its plant. Interquell is also involved in the production of grains for human consumption.

Pet food market in Thailand

Kriengsak Athikomvittaya, general manager of Happy Pet (Thailand), said the country’s market for pet products and services is growing rapidly, even in the midst of an economic downturn. This market is growing at about 10-15 per cent a year.

“In the past three to five years, Thai society and the lifestyles of people have changed dramatically,” Kriengsak said in a press release. “Families have become smaller, with fewer children, while the numbers of single people and those living alone are increasing and people are living longer.

“These factors contribute to the popularity of dogs or cats as companions. Most importantly, Thailand has become a middle-income country, its people have more purchasing power and with the trend of people living alone and having less children, consumers have more disposal income to spend on their pets - especially on the products that enhance their pets’ health.

“With all of these factors, the pet-related businesses has since become one of the hottest segments in the market.”