In India and China
A Euromonitor International Report
hanging lifestyles in the form of the rise in nuclear families and double income households have encouraged the growth of pet ownership in urban areas of India. Increasingly, pets are being looked upon as companions and members of the family rather than as guard dogs for example. Pet owners have started to take an interest in their pet’s diet, health and grooming. A gradual shift towards prepared pet food has been observed. Pet owners are more willing to spend on pet food and pet care products than ever before. This trend has spawned an entire industry, with a growing emphasis on pet care. Most of the branded pet food is imported. The government’s reduction of the import duties on pet food in 2007 provides a boost to both manufacturers and importers. But the ban on imported pet food due to the outbreak of Avian Flu in year 2006, which continued through 2007, resulted in the reduced availability of pet food. A few foreign brands such as Royal Canin and Bento Kronen escaped the ban, but others like US brands Pro Pac and Purina were impacted. On the other hand, locally manufacturing looked up. According to Euromonitor International, veterinary clinics and pet shops remained a leading distribution channels for pet food and pet care products in 2007. But more and more retail outlets and supermarkets started emerging as viable distribution channels. This has reduced the influence of vets on consumer purchasing decisions. In the days to come, with pets increasingly being treated as companions and fashion accessories, pet owners, especially in the urban areas, are expected to spend more on their pets.
Key Trends and Developments
Pet owners in India have traditionally relied on vets to provide them with guidance on taking care of their pets. The influence of vets
stretches beyond the realm of vaccines and extends to advice on pet food. Thus, over the years, manufacturers have pitched their products to vets, and focused on getting them to recommend products to pet owners. Most vets in India sell pet food and pet owners traditionally purchased pet food from vets. However, as pet owners become more familiar with different brands of pet food and pet care, they are increasingly becoming the decision makers and making their purchases elsewhere. This trend was shown by veterinary clinics’ decreasing share of retail value sales of pet food and pet care products; its share decreased by slightly over four percentage points between 2002 and 2007. This gradual decline in share indicates
MOST OF THE BRANDED PET FOOD IS IMPORTED. THE GOVERNMENT’S REDUCTION OF THE IMPORT DUTIES ON PET FOOD IN 2007 PROVIDES A BOOST TO BOTH MANUFACTURERS AND IMPORTERS. 29
Creature Companion • March-April 2008
Pet Food and Pet Care Products: Forecast Value Sales % Growth by Region 2005/2010
vets with their products and many are using the professionals to recommend prepared pet food to pet owners. Effem India Pvt Ltd was one of the first manufacturers to target pet owners directly through media advertisements and direct communications. Other manufacturers are increasingly using advertisements in pet magazines and leaving promotional literature in veterinary clinics. These marketing strategies have increased the consumers’ general awareness and acceptance of prepared pet food. The frequent bans on imports of pet food have affected its availability in India. There are very few domestic manufacturers of pet food in India and their main focus tends to be on dog treats and mixers such as biscuits. Apart from Venky’s India Ltd and Tetragon Chemie Pvt Ltd, there are no other domestic manufacturers with a panIndia distribution. Moreover, Effem India is the only multinational that has domestic production facilities. Thus, economy brands tend to be available during the bans but premium and midpriced pet food tends to suffer as these are largely imported. Since the development of pet...