Luis Daniel Teigeiro used to work at one of the leading multinational pet food companies operating in Latin America. As an executive, he oversaw the expansion of pet food products in the channel, while getting a better understanding of consumer requirements and the emerging trends within the pet food arena.
Suddenly, Luis Daniel had to leave his company. A few weeks later, he and other pet food experts founded the Nandog Pet Company.
Nandog is a Mexican startup that commercializes dry and wet pet food. It also offers pet accessories and toys. Its pet food umbrella brand is Natdog and, it has been performing outstandingly in the Mexican market. The company mastered one of the biggest challenges of new companies: distribution. Nowadays, the product is readily available at the major retail chains of the country.
Teigeiro’s experience is one of many involving former executives from large pet food companies launching startups. There are a few other startups such as Nandog, trying to get a portion of the market. However, not all of them flourish so rapidly.
The pet food industry requires great knowledge and experience, and a profound understanding of consumer preferences, market trends and, most importantly, effective execution of the route-to-the-market plan.
As commercialization is likely the most challenging part of the business, most pet food startups, including some larger companies, struggle to get their products offered at the major retail chains. Others are just unable to find enough distributors to reach multiple points of sale.
Although starting a company has several obstacles in the road, one competitive advantage for pet food startups founded by former executives is the knowledge they have of the market.
Flexibility is another must-have feature a startup requires. Since a nascent company has a compact corporate structure, the administrative costs are generally lower, and prices for the final products are manageable. Thus, pet food startups can compete with giant companies in terms of pricing.
Nandog is proof that there is room for lifelong talented pet food professionals who are willing to undertake the risk of building a pet food company on their own.
Iván Franco is the founder of Triplethree International and has collaborated on hundreds of research projects for several consumer goods industries. He was granted the Global Consultant of the Year award by Euromonitor International and authored the book 17 Market Strategies for Growth (in Spanish).
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