Eduardo Aron is the new CEO of Mogiana Pet—at the helm of the largest Brazilian petfood company only five months as of press time—and is already focused on expanding distribution and entering every petfood and treat channel available in the rapidly growing (and changing) South American pet market. “There’s something happening in the petfood industry that has to do with the digital revolution,” Aron explains. “We are going to really focus on brand-building and exposing our brand, if you will, because of this. We are really working on meeting the retailer and consumer’s needs. We are going to grow because of innovation—it’s what drives us.” The recent announcement of Mogiana’s merger with Affinity Pet Care, a European-based petfood making mega giant, will also help push for this growth, Aron says.
“It’s about developing a specific category for those passionate clients,” he continues. “We worry about shoppers being overwhelmed by the amount of products on the shelf; not only that but the size of the packages on the shelf. How can we make things easier and more direct?” By empowering pet retailers with education, Mogiana hopes that nutritional information about their products will reach their consumers and a circle of trust—manufacturer, retailer, pet parent—will be built and only strengthened over time.
Aron describes the current Brazilian petfood and treat market as premium, focused on small breed dogs and other small mammals. “Wet food and foods with functional claims are also a very common, strong trend,” he explains. “There are also a lot of holistic and natural petfoods. The Brazilian petfood market is certainly still underdeveloped, but it’s already starting to mirror human food trends like in other more developed markets in the world.”
Aron points out that there is still plenty of room for more segmentation, as fresh, refrigerated and pre-mix petfoods have yet to hit any Brazilian petfood shelves. There are two movements happening simultaneously in the country, he says: one based on convenience and flavor that is capturing those pet owners outside the market (still feeding table scraps to their animals), and the premium, healthy foods that are keeping pet parents coming back for more. “The market is always ready for more innovation,” he concludes. “The meat of the market will always be driven by flavor and health.”
The company’s most recent launch is Guabi Natural, a superpremium dry food targeting obesity for both dogs and cats. “We are very concerned about obesity in pets,” says Aron. “People are becoming lazier and less active, which means their animals are less active as well. People are also traveling more and are often away from their pets for long amounts of time. Then the guilt sets in and you end up over-treating, giving your dog or cat too many treats and not enough exercise.”
When asked what sets Mogiana apart from their competitors, Aron says that there are two answers: one focused on the present and one on the future. “Today we export to 35 countries, we have 40 years as a brand and our level of quality can’t be questioned. In the future, we want to be known as a nimble, aggressive company. A company that brings innovative products to the market in a new and fast way.
“Our ambition as a petfood company is to impact the market with value-added products,” continues Aron, when asked to expand about his future vision for Mogiana. “We want to increase our presence internationally and strengthen our presence in Brazil, where we are already established. We want to develop the Brazilian petfood market to be on the global stage with other petfood leaders.”