Keeping up with the changing petfood landscape

Despite a slowdown in petfood sales growth in 2014, changes to the competitive landscape are mostly positive as many petfood companies globally prosper.

If you’ve ever doubted that the petfood industry is riding a roller coaster of change, consider this: P&G Pet Care once accounted for 11% of petfood sales in North America. As of 2014, that share had dropped to 6%, according to Packaged Facts. Which is partially why, of course, the company sold its petfood brands to Mars Inc. and Spectrum Brands (United Pet Group) last year.

Combined with other mergers and acquisitions in 2014, P&G’s exit from the market will noticeably alter the petfood landscape this year, just as that scene has changed the past few years. For proof, check out the top 35 global petfood companies, according to the latest data from the Petfood Industry Top Petfood Companies Database. Because the most recent figures are from 2013, P&G still appears on the list, yet other prominent players from previous years are now missing.

For example, after its 2013 acquisition by Deuerer, Vitakraft no longer appears on the list; and thanks to that acquisition (along with that of UK-based Pets Choice, also in 2013), Deuerer is now the eighth largest petfood company in the world and the largest in Western Europe, up from 19th globally and sixth in Europe based on 2012 data. Similarly, Natural Balance Pet Foods was acquired by Del Monte Foods in 2013, and Del Monte itself has a new name, Big Heart Pet Brands.

Other new petfood  names  show up on the list, and not because of name changes. That’s due partly to our research finding better data for 2013 than in previous years, which also accounts for some companies not making the updated list or having different rankings.

But several other new names are there because they’re growing and making an impact on the global petfood scene. This includes powers such as InVivo Animal Health, which made news late last year by announcing its acquisition of Total Alimentos—yet another change for this year and subsequent ones. It also encompasses up-and-coming players like Merrick Pet Care, Butcher’s Pet Care, Simmons Pet Food and GA Pet Food Partners.

Given that the petfood  market is increasing the fastest in developing regions like Eastern Europe and Latin America, it’s no surprise that the list of top companies for each region offers even more new names. For instance, Vafo Praha, based in the Czech Republic, has been known for some time for its Brit petfood brand; yet now, due to acquisitions and sales growth, it’s the second largest petfood company (behind Partner in Pet Food) in Eastern Europe, according to the revenue data available to us.

In the fast-growing Latin American market, you’ll see companies like Empresas Carozzi, based in Chile, and Grupo Pilar, from Argentina, now making a mark. While Euromonitor projects Brazil (now the second largest petfood market globally) to reach US$6.4 billion in annual sales by 2019 and Mexico to hit US$1.1 billion, smaller markets like Chile and Argentina seem poised to add to the region’s growth considering the companies dominating them.

Despite a slowdown in petfood sales growth in 2014, this rise by so many companies around the world bodes well for the industry’s near and long-term future. The main challenge is simply keeping up with all the moves being made by so many players.

More on top global petfood companies

Check out the database at www.petfoodindustry.com/TopPetfoodCompanies.html.

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