Ecuador's pet census reveals key market insights

Data suggests the country's pet food market is poised for substantial growth with more pets -- 5.2 million dogs and 2.4 million cats -- than the industry consensus anticipated.

Pet food companies in Ecuador are responding to growing demand by expanding their production capacities.
Pet food companies in Ecuador are responding to growing demand by expanding their production capacities.
D_Fenix249 | Pixabay.com

The recent 2022 population and pet census in Ecuador has unveiled significant opportunities for the pet food industry, providing key insights that can help producers better understand the market dynamics and future potential.

Ecuador, with a population of 17 million inhabitants, predominantly consists of adults aged 30 to 64 years (39.7%), while young people aged 18 to 29 years make up just 20.3% of the total. This demographic structure, which has shifted from a broader base of younger individuals in the 2001 census, influences the country's pet ownership trends.

More pets than the industry consensus anticipated

The census revealed that there are more pets than the industry consensus anticipated. As of the 2022 census, Ecuador has 7.6 million dogs and cats, with 5.2 million dogs and 2.4 million cats.

This information is fundamental for understanding the current market landscape and identifying growth opportunities. Most pet-owning households in Ecuador are nuclear families, while a smaller proportion are single-person households. This trend helps to understand who makes pet food purchasing decisions and what types of products families are more likely to buy.

The data suggests Ecuador's pet food market is poised for substantial growth. It is estimated the market will reach more than 300,000 metric tons of dog and cat food in 2024. This projection reflects the rising demand for pet food, driven by increasing pet ownership and the evolving demographics of pet-owning households.

An expansion of local infrastructure expected

Ecuador is not a pet food importer. Therefore, local companies are responding to growing demand by expanding their production capacities. For example, Pronaca, a leading local company, is set to complete a USD $25 million plant expansion by the end of 2024. This expansion will increase the company's production capacity by 25%, consolidating it as the second-largest pet food producer in the country.

Finally, with a significant portion of the population consisting of pet-owning nuclear families and the market projected to grow substantially, the pet food industry in Ecuador is set for a promising future. Local companies like Pronaca are already making strategic investments to meet the increasing demand, signaling robust market expansion in the coming years.

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