South Africa’s pet food industry has in recent months defied constrained economic growth, a volatile local currency, declining but stable grains sector and muted political uncertainty to post growth and even attract investment from key manufacturers in the country, according to World-grain.com.

The South Africa’s pet food industry has recorded an increase in sales since 2014 with the $94.5 million achieved in 2016 being the highest in the last four years. The sales volumes were higher than those of 2014 and 2015 when local manufacturers and importers sold $73.7 million and $89.7 million of pet food, respectively.

Although the 2018 data on the number of pets, particularly dogs and cats, was not immediately available, South Africa is estimated to have had 9.1 million dogs and 2.4 cats by 2014. These pet numbers are driving increase in consumption of pet foods in the country where the domestic pet food market is dominated by Martin & Martin, Mars Africa Pty Ltd and RCL Foods and its subsidiary Food Corp Pty Ltd, among others.

These manufacturers produce their own branded animal food products and also manage their own distribution network alongside other outlets such as retailers/supermarkets, wholesalers and specialty pet food stores.

Currently, South Africa’s pet food market comprise of a mixture of imports and domestic products with the country being a major gateway to regional pet food markets, especially of members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a 15-member nation inter-governmental organization based in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana.

The Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa (PFI), a non-profit body lobbying for high quality nutritional standards of pets, also ensures compliance with stipulated regulations by randomly and regularly purchasing pet foods in the market and subjecting them to independent laboratory tests.