Chinese pet food market offers opportunities, challenges

At Petfood Forum China 2019, experts will provide updates on the market’s growth, information on new regulations and tips for importing into the country.

Petfood Forum China offers experts will present their latest information and insights, plus the chance to network with industry suppliers. (Courtesy Pet Fair Asia)
Petfood Forum China offers experts will present their latest information and insights, plus the chance to network with industry suppliers. (Courtesy Pet Fair Asia)

As one of the most dynamic pet food markets in the world, China continues to soar. In 2018, estimates from market research firm GfK put the country’s pet food sales at US$2.2 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 21%. Online sales were particularly strong, rising 30.8%, though that growth slowed from 40.7% in 2017. Still, e-commerce accounted for more than half of the Chinese pet food market at 51.8%, compared to 48.2% for brick and mortar outlets.

Petfood Forum China 2019, scheduled for 20 August at the Kerry Hotel in Shanghai, will feature industry experts providing updates on this growth, along with insights for domestic and multinational pet food companies to take advantage of it. The exclusive conference will also offer new information on Chinese pet food regulations, plus the latest research on functional pet food ingredients, social media and more.

Foreign and domestic investment in Chinese pet food market

Capitalizing on China’s market growth and consumer demand, pet food companies, both foreign and domestic, are investing in new or expanded production facilities in China. Multinational powerhouse Mars signed an agreement in January 2019 to develop a pet food facility in Tianjin, while growing domestic players like Shanghai Bridge Petcare, Sunsun Group and Navarch Petcare are also expanding or attracting local investment. In 2017, 15 Chinese pet food companies’ revenues exceeded 100 million RMB (US$14.9 billion), according to Wang Jinquan, Ph.D., associate professor with the Feed Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Some of the expansion is international; for example, Yantai China Pet Foods Co., using the brand name Wanpy, announced plans to open a European office to support its rising export business.

However, for pet food companies outside of China that do not have production facilities in country, exporting their products into China can be a challenge. For U.S. companies especially, the challenge has only increased with the recent tariff wars between that country and China. Petfood Forum China 2019 will provide information for companies and professionals not based in China to navigate trade barriers and new regulations.

Partner show Pet Fair Asia also growing

Petfood Forum China 2019 will take place in conjunction with Pet Fair Asia 2019, a large and rapidly expanding pet trade show for the Chinese pet market and pet owners. In its 22nd edition this year, the show will have 14 halls with 180,000 square meters and 1,600 exhibitors, including an area featuring pet food and treat manufacturers from China and throughout the world. Pet Fair Asia 2019 will take place 21-25 August at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, next door to the Kerry Hotel.


Petfood Forum China will be co-located with Pet Fair Asia, a large, growing pet trade show for the Chinese pet industry and pet owners. | Courtesy Pet Fair Asia



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