ADM looks to extend its footprint in Chinese pet food market

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/AsiaVision
© GettyImages/AsiaVision

Related tags pet food China dog Adm

ADM launched three of its global brands into the Chinese market at the Pet Fair Asia, held in Shanghai, from August 16-18.

The agribusiness giant wants to expand its footprint in the Chinese pet market with the introduction of its Ganador, Minino and Protexin brands alongside its current Equilibrio 英派特 and Sanpo product lines.

In terms of how those products have been performing elsewhere, a representative told us that, in Mexico, ADM is positioned as the second player for annual revenue in the pet food category, in which Ganador and Minino are the key product lines. Ganador has gained 15% market share and Minino has 20% market share. “Protexin’s Pro Kolin+ product is the top probiotic paste available and the market leader in digestive health in the UK. Furthermore, Equilibrio is a respected global brand with a strong presence in South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.”

Ganador:​ includes premium functional ingredients to meet the growing needs of pet owners for different nutrition solutions needs for dogs.

Minino:​ The formula of the Minino Plus series is based on Vital 5 standards and focuses on caring for cats’ five vital organs.

Protexin:​ The new Protexin products include Pro-Kolin+, which is designed to effectively relieve intestinal adverse reactions in dogs and cates; Synbiotic D-C, used for post-surgery or antibiotic therapy to rapidly restore the gut microflora in dogs and cats; and CystoPro, which is used for preventing urinary tract infections, protecting bladder walls, inhibiting bacteria, and reducing urinary diseases.

We spoke to Hongfeng Chen, general manager, pet nutrition – China, ADM to get a deeper dive on the Chinese pet food sector.

The pet food category in China is estimated to reach roughly US$15bn by 2026 with a 17% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), he said. There are 65 million cats (+12.6% compared to 2021) and 52 million dogs in China.

“In the past decade, the number of registered pet-related businesses in China has increased year by year. There were 2,020 million existing pet-related businesses in China in 2022, with 455,000 newly registered pet-related companies in the first half of 2022, an increase of 39.0% year-over-year,” he told us.

Gut microbiome

A top-of-mind concern for Chinese pet owners is the health of their animals, according to Chen.

“Specifically, 53% of pet owners are concerned about pets’ hygiene and 52% of pet owners are concerned about health and wellness issues. Interest in support for digestive health is expanding as more consumers become aware of the influential role the gut microbiome plays in human and animal well-being.

Fiber, prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics, certain plant extracts and other functional ingredients may assist immune function, skin and coat health, digestion, oral health and more.

Additionally, a Euromonitor survey finds top concerns addressed by pet supplements include anxiety and calming, mobility and joints, immune function, skin and coat, liver and kidney function and digestion. Brands that emphasize scientific research, safety standards and ingredient quality on product labels can support pet parents’ peace of mind.”

Premiumization – a growing trend

Asked whether the premiumization trend is strong in China, Chen commented:

“While mid-price products contribute about 60% of sales in China, premiumization is a growing trend, with more consumers willing to increase spending on pet food products. In fact, Mintel finds that 45% of Chinese pet owners say they are likely to repurchase pet food made with a formula that has been specifically designed for their pet.

“Top deciding factors of pet product purchases include nutritional content, ingredients, and palatability. There is also growing consumer interest in more sustainable options, such as responsibly sourced ingredients or recycled packaging materials. According to FMCG Gurus, 42% of global pet owners say they want to purchase pet food with sustainably sourced ingredients.”

Recent initiatives

Chen outlined how the acquisition of Invivo Sanpo demonstrates ADM’s commitment to invest in China’s pet market.

Recent initiatives include the launch of Equilibrio 英派特 super premium pet products in May 2022, with upgrades to both packaging and formulations, and the establishment of ADM’s Pet Nutrition Research Center (China) in November 2022.

The company has also been cooperating with China Agriculture University on efficacy trials with dogs and cats, he added.

Going forward, ADM will introduce more international brands into the Chinese market, covering basic and high-end product lines to meet the needs of Chinese consumers, said Chen. “It will also leverage a global R&D network and innovation capabilities to expand into more product categories and provide science-backed, precise nutrition solutions that address cat and dog wellness at all life stages.”

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