Suha Zhou, our QRILL Pet Sales Director in China, has more than seven years of experience in the Chinese pet food industry, with a focus on customer development and maintenance. And just like all of us in the QRILL Pet team, Suha loves pets and is passionate about their health and well-being.
As she has so much experience in the pet food industry, we asked her to share some valuable insights into the current state and future prospects of the Chinese pet food market.
China's pet food market has seen significant growth over the past few years, driven by the rising number of pet owners who prioritize the health and well-being of their furry companions.
The market continues to evolve, which means there are ample opportunities for pet food companies to tap into this growing demand and establish a strong presence.
A psychological portrait of a Chinese pet owner
The majority of pet owners in China are young, with limited experience in pet care. That's why they rely heavily on online platforms for pet-related information and advice from veterinarians. Pet health is a top priority for these owners, as they know that a well-balanced and nutritious diet is vital for their pet's overall well-being.
Pet food manufacturers that supply high-quality raw materials, accompanied by clear functional claims and authoritative verification reports, are most likely to stand out in this growing market.
One crucial factor to consider is the growing population of senior pets in China. In most cases, this is a new and unfamiliar situation for many pet owners, as this is the first time they are going through such moments.
Therefore, brands entering the market should focus on addressing crucial factors like pet emotional health, cognition, and specific issues related to aging. By addressing these needs, brands can establish a strong position and build trust among pet owners.
Advice for Western brands entering the Chinese market
For Western brands looking to work with Chinese pet food manufacturers, understanding the cultural nuances, the needs of pets, and the preferences of Chinese consumers is essential. A Chinese end-user, especially one who prefers to buy premium food and treats, wants to see a European touch on the product.
It's important to mention this on the package, point of sales, and in their marketing campaign. This will undoubtedly build trust, help increase product recognition, and will make the product more liked among buyers.
The future of the Chinese pet food market
As said, the Chinese pet food market is experiencing rapid growth, along with various complexities and opportunities. The pet food industry in China offers an abundance of products with diverse claims and formulations, addressing the needs of pet owners of different ages, from various cities.
Online transactions play a significant role in this market too, opening up new avenues for exploration and expansion.
Cats are expected to dominate the pet population growth in China, particularly among young women who are conscious of their pets' health and nutrition. Streamlining product claims and using professional design elements will help pet owners save time in choosing pet food. At the same time, this will also allow them to spend more quality time with their pets and enrich their overall pet-owning experience.
Aker BioMarine's collaboration with Chinese pet food brands
Aker BioMarine, the biotechnology company behind the QRILL Pet products, has been committed to having a local presence in China since 2011, recognizing it as the world's largest market for marine ingredients.
In recent years, Aker BioMarine has been collaborating with leading pet food producers in China, establishing krill as a premium pet food ingredient in the country.
These partnerships focus on customizing raw materials, sharing best practices, and promoting the development of pet health food through scientific research, technology, and consumer insights.
Understanding the preferences and expectations of Chinese consumers, as well as the evolving pet ownership trends will be critical for success in these coming years.
By collaborating with local partners and offering high-quality, innovative pet food products, brands can tap into the growing love and concern for pets in China.
Focusing on health, nutrition, and sustainability, the future of the Chinese pet food market is bright for both manufacturers and pet owners.