Mars Petcare hopes to expand its pet food portfolio

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on March 14, 2021

With growing pet adoption and accelerated shift towards branded pet food in the country, Mars Petcare India is looking to expand its product portfolio, both at the premium as well as the affordable end. As consumers seek trusted brands, the company is also looking at aggressively ramping up the distribution of its products.

India is one of the fastest growing markets for the company, which is known for its pet food brands, Pedigree and Whiskas.

Ganesh Ramani, General Manager, Mars Petcare India, said pet food sales witnessed a strong double-digit growth in the country in 2020 despite the supply chain challenges posed by the pandemic.

“Over the last decade or so there has been attitudinal shift in India and pets are now increasingly being seen as companions, leading to an increase in pet adoption. During the pandemic, as consumers are staying longer hours at home and spending more time with their pets, they are also indulging them more and there has been accelerated shift towards manufactured pet food from home-cooked meals,” he added.

In a bid to tap into the growing shift towards manufactured pet food, the company has launched its affordable dog food brand Chappi in India. “In a market like India we have reached a stage where we want to go beyond our core brands of Pedigree and Whiskas. Since affordability is key in India, we have activated our affordable brand Chappi, and we expect to grow its distribution to 150-200 towns by the end of the year,” Ramani added.

At the same time, the company will also be strongly focussing on growing its premium dog food brand ‘IAMS’ in India, as certain consumer cohorts are ready to shell more on their pets for tailored nutrition offerings.

“Currently, the bulk of our business comes from the top 50-60 cities. However, from product availability perspective, we have a strong presence across 150-200 towns. We are now looking at ramping up our distribution to 350-400 towns,” he said.

The 2,500-crore pet foods market in India is still in its nascent stage, compared to other evolved markets, but is growing at a fast clip. “We expect the category to witness a strong double-digit growth of over 20 per cent in 2021. As the market leader, we have been growing ahead of the category growth rates and, infact, we have been driving the growth of the pet food category, “he added.

Published on March 14, 2021

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