BANGKOK — With U.S. pet food manufacturers globally known for their premium products, it’s no wonder that exports of these products have increased dramatically in recent years, according to Gina Tumbarello, senior director of international and trade policy for the American Feed Industry Association (AFI). In Pet food processingIn its September 2022 edition, Tumbarello detailed the business opportunities U.S. pet food processors are missing in various parts of the world, including Thailand.
“Although Vietnam and Thailand are not currently major markets for pet food exports, U.S. pet food manufacturers have growing potential to compete in these markets,” Tumbarello wrote. . “…In Thailand [households owning cats and dogs] increased by 22% and 17% respectively, between 2017 and 2021.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. dog and cat food exports to Thailand grew just 4.2% between 2021 and 2022, raking in $8.98 million. Although there is market potential for US pet food processors in the country, most pet food exports are hampered by Thailand’s tariff rates, which currently sit at 9%.
As pet ownership in the Indo-Pacific country increases, along with premiumization and humanization trends, Thai exports are gaining popularity as US exports fall behind in the country.
According to the Thai Pet Food Trade Association (TPFA), Thailand became the world’s third largest exporter of pet food in 2021, exporting a value of more than 65 billion baht ($1.7 billion), a 27% increase from 2020. Major exporters in the country include the United States, Japan, Italy, Malaysia and Australia. According to the association, Thailand’s pet food exports have already seen significant growth for 2022, increasing by 43% in the first seven months.
With a large agricultural industry, 95% of the raw materials used in Thai pet food are locally sourced, helping the country’s production and its success in global trade, according to TPFA.
“Our strengths also stem from the long-standing experience and reputation in the production of canned tuna which can be extended to the manufacture of wet pet food,” said Chanintr Chalisarapong, Ph.D., President of TPFA.
The country’s leading pet food manufacturers include Perfect Companion Group, owner of the SmartHeart and Me-O brands; Asian Sea, owner of the Monchou brand; Charoen Pokphand Foods, owner of the JerHigh and Jinny brands; and Thai Union, owner of the ChangeTer brand. The growth in the number of pet owners and consumer demand for more pet nutrition products in the country has also attracted several international companies, including Mars Petcare, Nestle Purina, Pedigree and Tiki Pets.
In Thailand, pet food consumers are interested in pet food products that offer similar safety, variety and dietary value as human food. Consumer demand has increased for prescription formulas and functional supplements that target a variety of pet health issues, such as heart, lung and kidney disease, according to TPFA.
“Customer confidence in our manufacturers’ quality and safety standards, combined with product diversification, innovation and continuous development, contributes to Thailand’s competitive advantage in the global animal feed market. pet,” Chalisarapong said.
With the global pet food market expected to reach a CAGR of 4.6% from 2022 to 2027, according to Mordor Intelligence, Thailand is likely to increase its competitiveness in the global market and strengthen its leading export position. of pet food.
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