Saturday, March 2, 2013
Nisshin Seifun Claws Way Into Therapeutic Pet Food Business
TOKYO (Nikkei)--A unit of Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. (2002) is offering therapeutic pet foods for dogs and cats suffering from allergies and urinary tract stones.
Nisshin Petfood Inc. is marketing a version produced without using wheat, eggs and four other allergens commonly found in pet foods. Another type is designed to ease urolithiasis, a formation of stones in the urinary tract, which is prevalent among cats.
Sold through 3,000 or so animal hospitals in the Kanto area, these products, weighing 0.5kg to 1kg, carry suggested retail prices of between 1,400 yen and 2,500 yen.
The domestic pet food market has been shrinking at a pace of around 10% a year lately due partly to the growing popularity of small dogs. Of 190 billion yen in pet food sales in 2011, therapeutic varieties accounted for 16.1 billion yen, continuing to expand at a rate of around 10%.
Foreign products are dominant in the therapeutic pet food segment. But Nisshin Petfood aims to cultivate demand by promoting its products' high food safety, made possible by 100% domestic production, as well as the high quality resulting from joint studies with the University of Tokyo.
Nisshin Petfood has set its sights on generating 1 billion yen in sales from therapeutic pet foods in 2016.
The company's surveys found 30% of dogs and 10% of cats suffer from food allergies, while 60% of cats develop urolithiasis.
(The Nikkei, March 2 morning edition)