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Nestle China expands further in Chinese pet industry | Updated: 2019-03-19 20:58
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A girl plays with her pets at an international pet products exhibition in Beijing. [Provided To China Daily]

Nestle China has rolled out high-end pet food for older dogs, in an effort to continue its expansion into the country’s pet food market.

The product, launched March 18 by Nestle Purina, claims to improve pets’ health, memory, attention and training capacity.

Along with infant nutrition, coffee and water, pet food is considered one of Nestle's four strategic business pillars.

The company recently published figures showing Nestle Purina’s continued global growth and significant contributions to Nestle’s general performance.

Global CEO Mark Schneider has said that pet food in 2018 contributed about 14 percent, the division growing by 4.5 percent.

In China, Nestle’s second-largest market, the performance of the pet food business is eye-catching, said Rashid Qureshi, chairman and CEO of Nestle China.

In 2002 Nestle Purina entered the Chinese pet market and introduced global flagship brand Pro Plan, which sells $1 billion annually, while in 2006 Nestle Purina's first Chinese pet food factory opened.

“Nowadays, keeping pets has become a healthy lifestyle for Chinese families. Pets bring trust, joy and family-like companionship,”said Qureshi.

As China's economy grows, so too does the country’s number of pet owners – China now boasts the second-largest number of pets in the world, he said.

The CEO added that demand for high-quality, personalized products and an expectation of innovation have become the foundation for the development of Nestle's pet-care business.

The new product is for pet dogs aged over seven years old – 44 in human years.

Chen Mei’en, Nestle Purina China director, said the pet food industry has grown about 20-30 percent annually in China.

“Despite slower growth forecast of 15-20 percent in the next few years, growth is still impressive compared with other countries and regions,”Chen said.

Yang Jing, an executive at Boqii, a pet-care e-commerce platform, said demand for older dog care is on the rise, as the Chinese pet industry has a decade under its belt.

He estimated that food for senior dogs accounts for about 10 percent of the market, and that the figure will continue to increase as people’s pets age.

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