Pet food sales boost Thai Union’s latest bottom line

Thailand-based seafood company Thai Union is increasing its presence in the pet food space.

Oziel Gómez |
Oziel GĂłmez |

Thai Union Group PCL, one of the world’s leading producers of shelf-stable seafood products, particularly tuna, has cats and dogs to partly thank for its strong third-quarter 2020 financial performance.

Across its markets around the world, sales of its seafood products for humans and pets increased the company's net sales total at the end of September 2020 by 9.3% to Thailand Baht (THB) 34.78 billion (US$1.16 billion) year-on-year, while net profit surged 49.7% to THB2.06 billion (US$68.87 million). Overall, Thai Union's annual sales of tuna products exceed THB126.3 billion (US$ 4.22 billion).

Classified among Thai Union's ambient seafood business, pet care along with other value-added business registered 12% growth during the third quarter of 2020, which translates to THB5.15 billion (US$172.18 million) in sales. A silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic for Thai Union is the way it has shifted consumer purchasing patterns: the company’s customers from different countries bought more long-shelf-life products and pet food items to guarantee they and their pets would have enough to eat during government-mandated stay-at-home periods, the company said.

Thai Union’s growth in the pet food space

In addition to supplying seafood ingredients to other pet food companies, Thai Union has its own line of pet care food products featuring fresh tuna loin mixed with other ingredients “for better nutrition and flavor.” In addition to wet seafood-based cat and dog foods, Thai Union makes surimi-based fish snacks and canned cod liver for pets.

Early in 2020, the Thailand government called on local pet food manufacturers to help keep the country's status as the world's fourth-largest pet food exporter after the United States, the European Union and China. The government said local pet food manufacturers and exporters could take advantage of current favorable market environments made possible by its Foreign Trade Agreements. In response, Thai Union announced that it will invest more in the pet food sector to enable it to add value to its by-products from seafood processing. In 2019, strong performance from the frozen seafood and pet food business helped the group achieve an overall 46.5% year-on-year increase in its first quarter net profit of US$39.91 million.

Meanwhile, Thai Union's PetCare Innovation Center continues to do research and development for the company's global pet food brand portfolio covering an assortment of formats, tastes, textures and packaging types.

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