From January through June, Nestlé Purina PetCare products followed the sales trend of many other pet foods during the pandemic: a surge then a lull. Beyond the overarching effects of the pandemic, online pet food sales and premiumization continued to be drivers for Purina’s sales in the first six months of 2020. Compared to all other product categories, pet food sales contributed the most to Nestlé’s growth.
“The market has been growing at a strong mid-single-digit rate even before COVID-19…” Mark Schneider, Nestlé chief executive officer, said in a July 30 investors webcast. “There might have been some stockpiling in Q1, we have seen a little bit of destocking in Q2, maybe more to come. We don't know, difficult to assess, but we will see as it comes.”
Overall, pet food segment sales in the first half of the year reached CHF6.981 billion (US$7.6 billion), compared to CHF6.554 billion (US$7.133 billion) during the same period in 2019. Purina PetCare sales had organic growth of 12.5% and real internal growth of 11.3%.
“PetCare continued to see outstanding growth globally,” François-Xavier Roger, Nestlé chief financial officer, said in a July 30 investors webcast. “Most segments grew in double digits with market share gains. Purina's performance was driven by continued strong momentum in e-commerce and increased demand for premium products. Innovation also continued to make a significant contribution, as demonstrated by the recent launch of Proplan LiveClear, the first allergen reducing cat food.”
Purina pet food sales around the world
Purina PetCare sales growth continued around the world. In North America, pet food sales remained a stand-out among other sectors, Roger said. Purina’s four largest markets in Western Europe, France, Germany, the U.K. and Spain, grew at double-digit rates with market share gains. In particular, the brands Felix, Purina One, Tails.com and Lily's Kitchen reported strong growth supported by e-commerce in Europe. In Asia, Purina PetCare saw continued double-digit growth, driven by Proplan, Purina One and Felix.
“We continue as well to focus on premiumization, personalization, innovation and it's working very well,” Schneider said. “So, it's a combination of good market momentum, gain of market share and innovation.”