Petfood and animal nutrition
Quality raw materials
With its reputation for high-quality raw materials, based on grass-fed animal husbandry, Ireland is beginning to capitalise on the growing demand for premium products in the petfood and animal nutrition sector.
Exports of Irish-manufactured pet foods are currently valued at approximately €200 million and growing. Human food consumer trends are beginning to influence pet food choices. There is now greater emphasis on demand for products that offer good quality, healthy and nutritional food solutions for pets, including functional foods and organic options.
Key existing companies
The biggest players in Ireland include: C&D Foods, which is part of ABP Group; Irish Dog Foods Ltd, which is part of the Queally Group; Gaines (Europe) Ltd; Connolly’s Redmills; Linhurst Manufacturing and Phoenix Petfoods.
In 2011, German multinational pet food company, Rondo Food invested €6 million in Irish pet-food manufacturing facilities. Gaines Pet Nutritional Treat Products exports 100 per cent of its products, principally to Germany, the US, Canada and Australia. Its Irish base is to be a flagship facility within the international Rondo Network and will help Rondo service the North American market.
The sector has seen some innovation in recent years, particularly around the area of nutrition. With consumers willing to spend more on their pets than before, there is an opportunity to develop premium product ranges.
All Irish pet food manufacturers are well aware of these trends and are ‘premiumising’ their product ranges.
Furthermore, there is extensive applied research being carried out by Ireland’s third-level institutes and Teagasc, the Irish agriculture and food research agency, into the availability of functional ingredients in existing food streams. There is also increasing interest among existing consumer-food manufactures to create value from their current food processing waste streams.