Pet care industry grows after pandemic; attracts FMCG companies

The pet care industry is expanding due to trends such as increased pet demand and people becoming aware of the differences between pet food and human food

Pet care industry is growing in India

The pet care industry is growing at a faster pace. Increased pet adoption after the pandemic is driving the Indian pet care industry to touch Rs 10,000 crore by 2025, prompting FMCG majors like Nestle India and Emami to enter the sector. The pet food market is currently around Rs 4,000 crore and expected to grow significantly over the next five years. Mars Petcare and Himalaya Wellness Company, among others, are the two major companies operating in the segment.

Mars Petcare is a division of global confectionary major Mars Inc.

Last week, Nestle India entered into the segment by acquiring the pet foods business from its fellow subsidiary Purina Petcare India for Rs 123.5 crore, providing the FMCG major direct access to this fast-growing business in the country.

Earlier this month, another FMCG company Emami announced to invest in a pet-care startup Cannis Lupus Services India, offering Ayurvedic remedies for pets under the brand “Fur Ball Story”.

According to Mars Petcare India Managing Director Salil Murthy, India is “one of the fastest growing pet care markets” in the world. The growth is led by factors, such as rising incomes, nuclear families, and changing attitudes toward pets and pet owners.

“A number of people during the lockdown filled their emptiness by adopting a pet. This trend during the pandemic saw a rise in demand not only from metros but also from tier II and III cities,” Murthy told PTI.

Now, pet parents are aware of the difference between the nutritional needs of pets and that human food does not suffice the requirements of pets, and therefore the requirement for nutritionally balanced manufactured food for their pets, he said.

“The domestic manufactured pet food market is about Rs 4,000 crore as of 2021 and is expected to grow significantly over the next five years,” he said.

According to a Euromonitor report, the overall dog food market in India is projected to rise at a 15 per cent current value CAGR in the next 5 years.

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“The market in India for pet food has been on the rising end of the ladder for some time now. Indian pet care industry is estimated at USD 434 million (Retail Sales Value) in 2021 and expected to reach USD 1,356 million (Rs 10,770 crore) by 2025. The industry has had an over 15 per cent year-on-year growth in the past decade,” said Murthy.

New age retail channels such as e-commerce, Omni channel initiatives, and Hyperlocals like Swiggy and Dunzo have expanded organisational reach significantly.

“… Quick commerce platforms help pet parents to receive the products on the same day or in a few hours” time. This has led to a sharp growth in these platforms, and it continues to grow stronger,” Murthy added.

Edelweiss Financial Services Executive Director Abneesh Roy said pet food is now a big market growing at 20 per cent. Due to Covid, a higher prevalence of pets is happening.

FMCG companies as “Emami has entered into the naturals, ayurvedic side of pet food in which Himalaya is key player,” he said.

Earlier, this week Nestle India Chairman and Managing Director Suresh Narayanan said its pet care business has an exciting future and would be a growth driver for the company.

During the company’s earnings call, Narayanan said pet care is among the highest growing category now. Today, there are an estimated 30 million pets in the country and is growing at 11 per cent per annum.

According to Narayanan, “portfolio expansion in fast-growing segments like Wet Cat Food” and expansion to tier 1 towns and e-commerce is playing a big role.

It has “scope to unleash the full potential of business now”, he added.

Murthy said India has a much larger number of dogs historically but the number of pet cats is smaller, but growing faster.

Citing Euromonitor data, he said:” In 2022, cat food is set to continue to record higher growth than dog food at the global level, with more and more people adopting cats as they are easy to look after”.

Mars Petcare, which owns popular brands – Pedigree, Whiskas, IAMS and Temptations – had last year announced to invest Rs 500 crore for the expansion of its Hyderabad petfood factory to meet the rising domestic demand and exports to the Asian markets.

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Emami Vice Chairman and Managing Director Harsha V Agarwal on July 21 said the pet care segment in India is witnessing rapid growth. Now, with rising disposable income, more people are getting house pets, especially dogs.

Last year, Cosmo Films, a leading solution provider in the packaging, lamination, labelling and synthetic paper segments, forayed into the pet care business with the brand ZIGLY.

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