The global market for pet food, and more broadly pet care, is worth $109 billion and is growing steadily. Two major trends have emerged in recent years: the use of new technologies and connected objects to promote better interaction between humans and their pets and better food. Like the human food sector, pet food is increasingly focused on animal health and welfare.
The pet food sector in Bretagne benefits from all the raw materials and skills it needs, as Bretagne is the leading French region for agriculture and agri-food. The Bretagne pet food players cover all segments of this sector.
Focus on the four major Bretagne pet food players: Diana Pet Food, Sopral, Fidèle (Le Graët Group) and Hamiform.
Diana Pet Food: appetence factors
Diana Pet Food offers multiple solutions to pet food manufacturers through its various brands: SPF develops appetence factors; Vivae offers natural and innovative nutritional solutions that improve their health and well-being; Videka focuses on protecting food; Odalia develops fragrance and care solutions.
With SPF, the company is the world leader in the appetence factors that it manufactures from slaughterhouse co-products by recycling them: they are ground, hydrolysed, heat-treated and processed into appetence factors, in either liquid or powder form, after being dried on the site’s atomising towers. These flavoured ingredients are intended for its 700 customers worldwide who manufacture dog and cat kibble, including Nestlé and Mars.
Diana Pet Food, headquartered in Elven with 320 people, is also established on the five continents with 950 employees, 18 manufacturing sites and 18 sales offices, mainly in the Americas (North, Central and South America), Asia and Europe. It has a turnover of €500M. In 2018, the company, which is part of the German group Symrise, a major player in perfumes and aromas for cosmetics and food, invested €11M in a second drying tower at Elven, thereby doubling its production capacity. Other investments have also been made into constructing new offices and, this year, the expansion of the raw material storage area.
The Bretagne site is also home to all the research that develops tastes and compositions matching the expectations of its customers as closely as possible. Development is also carried out on its various sites to meet the specific needs of each local market in the best possible way.
One of the three centres of expertise of its subsidiary Panélis, which measures the appetence and analyses the feeding behaviour of 450 cats and 200 dogs, is also found at Elven. This unique structure reproduces the living conditions of pets in their domestic environment. These are real four-star pet hotels where dogs and cats are pampered. Pet food manufacturers from all over the world come here to test their new products with their consumers.
Sopral: dry products
Sopral has top-tier expertise in the manufacture of high-end extruded and flaked dry food for dogs, cats and horses. The company has two factories in Bretagne, one dedicated to feed for horses with a production capacity of 50,000 tonnes and the other dedicated to dogs and cats, where the production capacity has increased in 2019 from 24,000 to 40,000 tonnes following a €14M investment. Apart from increasing its production capacity, this investment will be used by its seven-strong R&D team to develop new ranges.
To meet market expectations, Sopral uses only French and GMO-free raw materials in its various blends and enhances its wellness foods by incorporating fruit and vegetables, flax seeds or apple fibres. In addition to manufacturing its own brands (especially Pro-Nutrition and Pure Life for dogs and cats and Dynavena for horses), the company offers food shaping and high-end specialities.
Sopral markets its products to agricultural self-services, garden centres and veterinary surgeries, with the major food distribution dominated by global giants Mars and Nestlé.
Thanks to strong differentiation and bespoke brands that meet the specific expectations of each market, Sopral continues to grow and expand its activities internationally. The company exports 25% of its business and relies on subsidiaries and distribution networks in some fifty countries, notably in Europe, Russia and Africa and is now targeting South America.
Fidèle: wet tinned products
Fidèle is one of twelve production sites in the Le Graet group, an agri-food specialist. Fidèle, bought from the Nestlé Group in 2003, has recognised know-how and is a major player in the pet food market, renowned for private label tinned dog and cat food. With an annual capacity of 45,000 tonnes, Fidèle produces 100 million tins a year, in different formats, to satisfy different appetites.
Exports account for 30% of its turnover. Its certifications are renewed each year to the higher level (BRC/IFS/BIO/MSC) to meet the most demanding quality and innovation requirements of its distributor/importer customers from major retail outlets and specialist superstores.
To maintain this high level of quality and innovation, the group is constantly investing to ensure that it always has an appropriate, efficient production system. Fidèle has its own research and development department and focuses on innovation. The brand offers Clean Label, Grain Free, cereal-free, dye-free, preservative-free products, developed by its research and development department and validated by appetence tests.
Fidèle therefore positions itself on very high quality products from rigorously selected French raw materials, complete products that meet the nutritional requirements of health and well-being (linseed oil, spirulina, fruit, etc.). Fidèle has also decided to launch a Super Premium Natural Range under its “Petite Balade” signature coming from the specialities of three major regions in France.
The group’s DNA has always been to sustain industry and local employment. Fidèle therefore wished to have its societal values recognised in a CSR approach validated by the SME+ certification for 2020. The company also has the ambition to increase its major export market share. One priority for 2020/2021 is to find importer partners.
Hamiform: pet food and treats
Hamiform is the national leader in feed and treats for rodents and other small pets: hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, ferrets, gerbils, squirrels, etc. In addition, the company develops premium quality ready products for cats and treats for dogs. The “Ready meals” for cats include 40 exclusive recipes for cat jellies devised in a Bretagne cannery with ingredients from integrated fishing and farming. Free of dyes and preservatives, the ready meals are packaged in resealable and recyclable glass jars.
Hamiform has always sought to stand out in its market by offering many original products, including especially treats reminiscent of fine pastry: macaroons, cookies and biscuits for dogs, whose recipes were developed with a best pastry chef in France. The raw materials are selected carefully for all Hamiform products before being used in optimum, environmentally-friendly fashion. The company uses each co-product to develop new applications, be it food, litter, accessories or treats.
Beyond food and treats, this constant search for animal-serving innovation led the company to create the first shampoos for hamsters, develop solutions to make dog fur brighter and silkier, design contemporary chicken coops, design feeders, make fat balls for wild birds and even offer organic hay. Shampoos, lotions and other hygiene and care products for cats and dogs are marketed under the brand Anju Beauté Paris, recognised as the expert brand of grooming by the greatest professionals and acclaimed in canine and feline competitions.
Hamiform has its own laboratory to develop exclusive formulas using the latest advances in cosmetology, in close collaboration with biochemists, veterinary surgeons and organic cosmetic specialists. Hamiform sells its products to garden centres, pet shops, specialist stores and dog and cat care professionals. Hamiform also operates abroad through a network of distributors in Europe, Russia and Asia.
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