How to market pet food in Mexico and Brazil

The similarity between Mexican and Brazilian pet owners may indicate that comparable pet food trends run throughout the Latin American pet food market.

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(axelbueckert | BigStock.com)
(axelbueckert | BigStock.com)

Mexican and Brazilian pet owners tend to look for similar phrases on pet food packaging and want comparable qualities in those products, said Armando Enriquez de la Fuente, technical commercialization manager for ingredient supplier DSM. Those consumers’ preferences mirror global and Latin American pet food market trends.

Enriquez presented pet food consumer survey data from Brazil and Mexico during his presentation at the Septimo Foro MĂ©xico sobre Alimento para Mascotas Internacional (Seventh International Mexican Pet Food Forum) in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico on June 14.

The similarity between Mexican and Brazilian pet owners may indicate that comparable pet food trends run throughout the Latin American pet food market, while mirroring trends in the global pet food market.

What Mexican and Brazilian pet owners look for on packaging

The most frequently looked-for elements on pet food packaging are the ingredients used and their health benefits, according to a survey of Mexican and Brazilian pet owners conducted by DSM.

“What can we learn from this?” he said. “It’s that the customers are reading the packages…The consumers value what we’re using in our products, and over everything they want the most natural possible.”

Along with healthy ingredients, popular pet food trends in Mexico and Brazil are natural and sustainable attributes, said Enriquez.

“The results from Mexico and Brazil are very similar, and if we were to expand this to consider our survey results in Europe and the United States, we’d see the same thing,” he said. Likewise with the wider Latin American pet food market.

Pet food buyer study in Brazil and Mexico

Eriquez’ study involved 645 cat owners and 645 dog owners living in either Mexico or Brazil. The survey focused only on those pet owners who expressed an interest in their pets’ health. Enriques said that focus helped to avoid pet owners who aren’t concerned about dog and cat nutrition and just make their purchasing decision based on cost.

These percentages of Brazilian pet owners reported looking for these claims when choosing which brand to buy for their pets.

  • 82% - Natural
  • 69% - Sustainable origin
  • 60% - Organic
  • 57% - Locally sourced ingredients
  • 36% - Low in grain

Similarly, Mexican pet owners look for those qualities in the same order and similar percentages when choosing which brand to buy for their pets.

  • 88% - Natural
  • 66% - Sustainable origin
  • 65% - Organic
  • 61% - Locally sourced ingredients
  • 33% - Low in grain

Brazilian pet owners considered these attributes to be important when choosing which brand to buy for their pets.

  • 78% - Ingredients used
  • 77% - Health benefits specified on the label
  • 72% - veterinarian recommendation
  • 58% - Trusted or well-known brand
  • 28% - Images of fruits and vegetables on package

Likewise, Mexican pet owners considered these attributes important when choosing which brand to buy for their pets.

  • 80% - Ingredients used
  • 78% - Health benefits specified on the label
  • 70% - veterinarian recommendation
  • 64% - Trusted or well-known brand
  • 32% - Images of fruits and vegetables on package

Active lifestyles and dog ownership

The survey also revealed an important connection between active lifestyles and dog ownership, Eriquez said. Pet food brands can capitalize on this by emphasizing that healthy foods support active lifestyles.

“In the pet food industry, people ask themselves if consumers understand the nutritional value of my product,” he said.

Eriquez said the results of the survey show that people have developed an understanding that pet food nutrition matters. Mexican and Brazilian dog and cat owners are indeed reading the labels, and that what they read there matters.

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