Two new homegrown cat food brands entered the Philippine market in February 2022, a clear sign that local food manufacturers are seeing real growth coming from the animal food segment.
Pilmico, the integrated agribusiness and food subsidiary of Aboitiz Group, one of the biggest Philippine conglomerates, has launched the brands Tommy and Maxime that cater to cats of all ages.
Maxime for cats is a follow-up to Pilmico's two-year-old line of Maxime premium dog food. It claims to offer cats a minerally balanced, easily digestible formulation. Tommy is a totally new cat food product made with real tuna.
The Philippine pet market
Just a few years ago the Philippine market relied mostly on foreign pet food brands, especially from the United States (which accounts for 61% market share of the local market). But a supply crunch due to COVID-19 lockdowns highlighted the need for locally produced pet food, stirring local food manufacturers into action. Today, the country's top food conglomerates and leading tuna canning company have pet food businesses in place.
“Even before the pandemic started, pet ownership had been growing in the Philippines and more pet owners are becoming increasingly discerning on the choices they make for their pet’s nutritional needs,” said Blessie Zarzuela, national sales manager for Maxime. “Being in the animal nutrition business for over 20 years, we wanted to share our expertise in this field.”
Pilmico growth strategy
Tommy and Maxime bring Pilmico closer to its goal of growing and diversifying the company in both agribusiness and food. Maxime will be Pilmico's premium offering for cats while Tommy will be the budget-friendly product. Their goals are simple: Give cats healthy meals and their owners an easy time buying them. Pilmico claims that both Tommy and Maxime follow the international standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF). Both will be initially available for purchase on leading e-commerce platforms.
By 2030, the parent company Aboitiz is expected to increase its animal feeds milling capacity to 5.3 million metric tons per annum, which will allow Pilmico to further increase its presence in the fast-growing pet food market.
Six years ago, the number of pet cats in the Philippines was estimated to be about 1.8 million. Judging by the huge increase in cat food demand in recent years, it would be safe to assume that the number of pet cats has likewise increased.