Latin American, Photo: Isma Braz, Pixabay
Latin American countries like Brazil, Peru and Argentina have been particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Isma Braz, Pixabay
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Adapting to the pandemic

The pet supplies industry in Latin America has experienced huge growth in recent years. Expert Diana Mercado analyses how the pet market has been impacted during the coronavirus pandemic.
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To understand how the pet food industry in Latin America was affected by Covid-19, it is first necessary to understand its exponential growth in the months before the pandemic came to stay. Businesses related to the pet food industry have grown disproportionately in recent years and Latin America has become the region with the largest number of pets in the world. 80 per cent of people have at least one dog or cat at home. In Brazil there are 74.3 mio dogs and cats, in Mexico 28.2 mio, in Argentina 13 mio, in Colombia 5.7 mio, in Peru 4.77 and in Chile 4.5 mio2. This increase in pets in Latin America is largely due to humanisation trends, especially in younger generations such as the millennials, a generation born between 1981 and 1993. They account for around 30 per cent of the Latin American population and prefer to have a cat or a dog over a child2. Dogs and cats are actually a part of their family and they invest large amounts of money in their health and nutrition. But there are some more interesting data that demonstrate the strength of the pet food industry in Latin America:
At the end of 2019, Latin America was experiencing great growth in the production of pet food, positioning itself as the second fastest-growing region in the world after the United States.Latin America was producing 6 mio tons at a growth rate of 7 per cent compared with the previous year, according to a global food survey by Alltech.Although Brazil and Mexico are the largest markets, the most prominent countries were Ecuador and Argentina, where they produced 180 000 tons and 710 000 tons respectively, according to Alltech.All of this is attributed to growth in the purchasing power of the population, meaning that more and more people are moving up to the middle class.Other influencing factors are the growing extent of pet ownership, based on the millennial trend of having a pet instead of kids, the global trend in humanisation and new concerns for the health of these pets.Hand in hand with this trend, the pet food industry experienced significant growth of 28 per cent only in Mexico. This is due to the fact that around 70 per cent of households in the country have a pet. 41.5 per cent have a dog and 16.5 per cent one or more cats, according to the market survey company Euromonitor International.According to Statista, around 5.9 mio tons of balanced pet food were produced in Latin America in 2017, with Brazil and Mexico being the main leaders in both sales and market penetration…
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