Shifts in the PET market challenge the sector’s professionals
Just 30 years ago, pets were mainly something we used to guard our home. Now they’ve conquered a special place in our hearts and our beds. This evolution, coined “pets in the backyard to pets inside the house” by the CEO of Petz, Sérgio Zimerman, opened up a broad range of new opportunities and challenges. That was the keynote of the opening ceremony during the 7th Executive Education Week, held on February 18-22 at FGV.
This segment now accounts for BRL 28 to 33 million, ranking Brazil as the world’s third largest market in terms of revenue and the second in terms of volume. Its sheer scale and complexity ultimately led FGV to build a short-term course around all of its various stages.
According to Pérsio Talarico, course coordinator, the quality of professional training has not kept up with the growth rate of the pet market, which encompasses areas like petfood, petcare, petvet, and petserv.
“The industry needs to keep up with new habits of consumers, who now have a lot of information before they even step foot into the pet store or the vet’s office. And there are opportunities in the intersections that bind these four segments together”, he said.
Professor Cosenza explains that the course is geared towards students with an entrepreneur profile, covering the topics of market knowledge, its specific characteristics, labor aspects, protocols and other standards related to legal procedures and market relations.
For José Carlos Rapacci, President of Mars Petnutrition – a branch of the multinational corporation Mars, which also controls other big-league brands such as Whiskas, Pedigree, Royal Canin, and a global network of veterinarian and diagnosis clinics –, the Brazilian market still has a lot of potential to grow.
“The rising population of animals, dogs, cats and other pets is more intimately related to the new household structure, rather than actual population growth. In addition, people are more aware of the benefits of raising a pet”, he said.
Rappaci mentions some studies revealing that having pets increases the quality of life for the elderly, helps in the treatment of children with autism, and contributes towards improving several health indicators, ultimately raising quality of life. Based on this scenario, the public tends to gradually invest more and more money to take better care of their pets, according to the executive.
Still, there are major challenges to be overcome. Rappaci points out the low rate of calorie conversion, which is used in the industry to measure the composition of pet food used as a nutritional source compared to other sources.
In Brazil, this rate still stands at 42%, compared to 100% or more in other countries, which indicates that pets are eating more calories than they actually need. “A rate of 42% in Brazil means that many pet owners still give leftovers or actually cook food for their pets, ignoring the health risks related to the lack of pet food in the animal’s diet”, he said.
Zimerman, from Petz, however, attributes this low conversion rate to a lack of information, pointing out a major opportunity in this scenario. “Many people think that giving their pets barbecue leftovers is an act of love. When warned of the risks related to the amount of salt or sugar in this food, they switch to a proper pet food diet”.
Learn more about the course Pet Market: Pet Business Management.