It’s a Big World in the Pet Industry
Increasingly the market for almost everything is global and pet products aren’t any different.
In the US we are used to pet products from other countries being sold here – especially products imported from China – but increasingly US consumers (pet parents) are wary of those products. Several recalls and incidences of pets actually being poisoned has made pet owners in the US extremely wary of food and other products that are imported from China. This is especially true of anything that would go in a pet’s mouth, which in truth is actually anything!
But what about the other direction? Can US pet product manufacturers expect to sell their products overseas? Possibly!
First of all — US pet product makers can capitalize on the same trends and concerns about products from other countries to market their own products. USA made pet foods in particular have a reputation for safety compared to products from other countries. But toys, cushions, pet beds, chew toys and games can make quality and safety major selling points. These qualities can not only allow US manufactured products reach US consumers, but overseas consumers as well.
Another area where the reputation for health and quality associated with US brands can be helpful is with health-related products such as probiotics and prebiotics and other supplements to improve the quality of a pet’s coat, joints, and overall health. These products are also smaller and easier to transport and ship than dog food, making them attractive products for export.
And what about those other markets? In China itself, pet ownership is becoming more popular. The government lowered dog licensing fees from $285 (USD) per year to $42 (USD), and middle class families are increasingly spending money on pets. Owning a dog is both a status symbol and a source of companionship for people who may have one or maybe two children. Pet trade shows in China such as Pet Fair Asia are a destination for buyers from all over the world, and there’s nothing that says that US manufacturers can’t display their goods there too. About 100,000 consumers visited Pet Fair Asia in 2017 – so just exhibiting is a great way to introduce your products to a growing market.
Other countries that have high levels of pet ownership or are poised to become big markets are Brazil and India. The former has the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, and the latter is a very large country with an upwardly mobile middle class with an appreciation for animals and pets.
There are also the pet trade shows in the United States and Canada that attract thousands of buyers from all over the world. Sure, they also attract sellers, and there is healthy competition with thousands of new products being introduced, but a US brand offers qualities that brands from other countries may not: reliability, safety, and in some cases status.
For the US brand looking to reach an overseas market, attending a pet show in the US can be a fast way to explore opportunities. It will allow you to both get your product in front of buyers from around the world, as well as research your competitors – both US and overseas – as a way to find your market advantage.
Wishing all of you a wonderful and international 2018!