Cargill, a well-regarded name in the animal feed sector, is broadening its horizons by reentering the pet food market in Mexico. As part of this endeavor, the company is giving a fresh look to its three pet food brands: Pingo, Keycan and Petmaster.
But this transformation isn’t confined to branding alone. Along with updating the visuals, Cargill has also refined the formulation of its products. This dual approach emphasizes Cargill’s intention to keep pace with the evolving preferences of local pet owners. As more consumers pay close attention to the nutritional choices they make for their pets, companies like Cargill are trying to meet those expectations, both in terms of quality and presentation.
“In Mexico, a renewal of the pet line was sought, going through a path of much research toward the market, the shopper and the same consumer (pet) that gave us the guideline to identify the growth potential of the category with great speed,” a Cargill representative told Petfood Industry. “And thus, being able to cover the space in the market through brands that will not only seek to meet an adequate profile in nutrition, but also give added value through a redesign of the formula, ingredients, manufacturing processes and packaging that will emotionally connect with the owner of the pet. This strategic decision was made through a careful consideration of past position and future ambition of the local business and ensuring that this sets us up in a certain solid path to achieve the relevance in such a great market filled with opportunities.”
Leveraging Cargill’s distribution strengths
Given Cargill’s long-standing history in animal feed, this move back into pet food in Mexico is noteworthy. The company’s extensive connections, combined with its in-depth knowledge of animal nutrition, could offer some advantages. However, the pet food sector is not without its challenges. With a mix of well-known and new brands, the industry is diverse. Moreover, today’s consumers have clear preferences, favoring natural ingredients and responsible sourcing.
Cargill’s reputation in semi-urban and rural areas derives from its expertise in livestock nutrition. As it considers expanding into urban areas in Mexico, the company might find it advantageous to use traditional distribution methods, such as partnering with wholesalers and tapping into existing market channels.
Carving a niche in a crowded market
Current pet food markets come with their complexities. For instance, in the price range Cargill is targeting in Mexico, distributors are already working with a wide variety of brands, sometimes as many as 50. This crowded space makes it challenging for any brand to distinguish itself.
As Cargill navigates this new Mexico market, it may find that success extends beyond just pricing or product design. Drawing attention to the unique attributes of its products could be a clever approach. This way, consumers might be more likely to discern the special advantages of Cargill’s offerings among a world of options.
Editor's note: This article has been revised to reflect corrected information from Cargill.