Private and venture equity investment fund Janic Capital has invested in South African pet food producer Montego Pet Nutrition, becoming a minority shareholder in the business for an undisclosed amount. The latest investment is designed to support the manufacturer’s development and plans to launch the sale of its products in a number of new foreign markets, according to senior company representatives.

“It is part of our strategy to expand our footprint in Africa during the next few years,” said Wilfred Cawood, marketing manager of Montego Pet Nutrition. “We currently have a strong position in southern African countries, and will focus more on the central and northern countries. We also aim to extend our reach into Eastern Europe and the Far East as we constantly seek new opportunities to partner with distributors in these areas.

“Currently, our products are distributed in 11 countries across Africa, including Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Angola, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria,” he added.

Pet food brands from economy to ultra premium

Montego Pet Nutrition currently offers seven brands of cat and dog food across various market categories. These include its economy brand, Montego Monty & Me; premium products under the Montego WUMA! and Montego Classic lines; the superpremium Montego Karoo range; the ultra-premium Field + Forest brand; and its Montego Sauce toppers and Montego Bags O’Wags treats, according to data from the company.

Asked whether the investment would allow Montego Pet Nutrition to launch new pet food products, Cawood confirms, and says the South African company has a “strong R&D team” whose work allows the producer to “anticipate what the market wants and needs before it becomes a reality.

“We constantly research international markets to determine new trends and experiment with new ideas in our bakeries and laboratories,” Cawood explained. “We understand that quality grain products still offer value to customers and consumers and will ensure that we maintain our strong presence in this category. It is also well-known that internationally, the treats and toppers categories are growing drastically. We are gearing ourselves in these categories to remain the largest independent manufacturer in Africa of dry food, but also become a major player for treats and toppers.”

Montego Pet Nutrition operates its facilities in Graaff-Reinet, in the Republic of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.