Nestlé Purina Brazil bets on wet pet food with new plant

Though dry pet food dominates the Brazilian market, Nestlé Purina is betting on wet pet food with a new production facility coming on line in early 2024.

Purina Brazil
Courtesy Nestle Purina Brazil

The Brazilian pet food market is the second largest globally after the U.S. According to official reports, Brazil has more than 400 pet food manufacturers nationwide.

Nestlé Purina is among the top 10 pet food producers in Brazil, with two production facilities in the country, yet ranks fifth in production capacity compared to other leading companies, according to a report by Triplethree International. The largest pet food companies in Brazil are Premier Pet and BRF Pet.

In December 2021, NestlĂ© Purina announced the construction of a new production facility in Florestal, VargeĂŁo, in the southern state of Santa Catarina. The company expects to complete the construction of the new facility at the end of 2023 and to start operations in March 2024.

Dry pet food more popular in Brazil, yet Purina bets on wet

According to an article on NSC Total, Purina Vargeão will focus on wet food products at first, with an estimated production capacity of 30,000 metric tons annually. Such investment would position Nestlé Purina as the third biggest domestic pet food producer in Brazil, as established by the ranking of Brazilian pet food companies by Triplethree.

It is worth noting that around half of the current market leaders in Brazil participate in the wet food market, while the others focus only on dry food and treats. Although Purina’s press release states that the new facility will serve local and foreign markets, perhaps Purina is taking advantage of such a competitive advantage to encourage sales of wet pet food products locally.

Versatile pet food market with hundreds of manufacturers

As the second largest market worldwide, Brazil is a significant hub of pet food innovation in Latin America. A sizeable portion of its 400 pet food companies are startups with innovative products, including natural or human-grade ingredients in pet food.

Brazilian pet owners are likely more drawn to such innovative products rather than to regular wet pet food. Among the successful startups are Mascote Fit, Simple Dog, Natoo and several regional companies of smaller scale.

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