Canada's ambassador to China, John McCallum, visited the headquarters of Epet.com, China's leading e-commerce platform for pet products, to meet its CEO, Yu Xiao, and celebrate the launch of the "Canadian Pavilion" – Epet.com's first pavilion. During the ceremony, Epet.com also signed strategic cooperation agreements with a number of Canadian pet food brands such as Orijen, NOW Fresch, Nutram, Legacy and Lotus as well as renowned bakery brand Darford.
The deeper cooperation enables Epet.com and Canadian brands to work together to develop and introduce more products to better serve Chinese pets. The opening of the Canadian Pavilion on Epet.com also heralds a new era for China's pet industry, when consumers are increasingly embracing global brands. It is also the start of Epet.com's new business model, as more national "pavilions" will be launched for the United States, Australia, New Zealand and countries in Europe.
"We are privileged to welcome Ambassador McCallum to the launching ceremony of Epet.com's first international pavilion,” said CEO Yu Xiao in a press release. “This marks the beginning of a new era for the company and our industry. Epet.com is a leading company in China's pet food industry, and the pavilion model will help meet demand from China's increasingly brand-conscious pet-owners by providing an official channel for quality, imported products. Through this strategy, Epet.com is creating a platform that benefits consumers and foreign brands, as well as the company itself."
China's rapidly growing pet food market has caught the attention of McCallum, a veteran politician, economist and diplomat who has been seeking to boost Canadian export business to China since January, when he was appointed as Ambassador to China. This wish brought McCallum to Epet.com, the second stop of his trip to Chongqing, where Epet.com is headquartered.
China’s US$1.5 billion pet food market now includes 27 percent sales of natural products, plus 6 percent grain-free, according to Alfred Zhou, managing director of GfK China. He was the lead speaker at Petfood Forum China 2017, held August 23 in Shanghai.
Only 2 to 4 percent of Chinese households own pets, Zhou said, compared with about 65 percent in the US. That indicates the huge potential of the Chinese market, which is also characterized by rising incomes, especially among younger people who are more and more likely to own pets and to spend well on them.
By Lindsay Beaton
This country is straddling the line between developing and developed as more of its citizens see the value in pet ownership.
By Lindsay Beaton