Pet shop chains
Pet shop chains are on the rise throughout Asia, here Nimanja with branches in Brunei and Malaysia.
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Success in Asia?

As one of the world's fastest growing pet markets, Asia offers immense opportunities for pet companies that can navigate the attendant challenges. Pet Fair PreConnect helps those interested in accessing this market.
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Organised by VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific in October, Pet Fair PreConnect was a business-to-business virtual event for the Southeast Asian pet industry. The participants in the e-conferences at the Pet Fair PreConnect virtual event noted that a growing middle class, the humanisation of pets and the premiumisation of products, along with social isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, were boosting both pet ownership and pet-related consumer spending in the region.
Speaking on the opportunities and challenges in Asia, Dr Matthias Koch, founder and managing director of European premium pet supplies importer Anibene and former head of corporate development at German pet product retailer Fressnapf, said the region was a thrilling market that pet companies could not afford to ignore.
Presenting pre-coronavirus numbers, he said the 14-bn-dollar Asia Pacific pet supplies market was projected to grow 11.6 per cent  in the next five years. This is faster than the 15-bn-dollar Latin American market, which was expected to grow at 7.6 per cent, the 4-bn-dollar Australasian market (4.6 per cent), the 53-bn-dollar North American market (2.2 per cent) and Western Europe (1.7 per cent). "It's a fantastic opportunity since we do not fight about distribution of market share, but the market itself is growing," he said.

More challenges

Matthias Koch noted that unlike Europe, where pet companies only needed one entry point to sell to the entire population, Asia required different regulations for each country. And because Asia was divided into developed markets - composed of Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea - and developing markets in Southeast Asia, the regulations could have varying levels of difficulty. Some markets may allow foreign importers to set up their own entities, while others could require local partners. He suggested that pet companies consider a master franchise arrangement or a joint venture with a local partner: "This team is closer to the markets than you are from your regional headquarters in the US or in Europe."
Marketing was another challenge in the region of diverse cultures, religions and languages. Matthias Koch noted this diversity impacted on promotions, sale cycles, the kinds of products that could be brought in - in markets that were predominantly Muslim, for instance, pork-based products may be unwelcome- and even packaging. Pricing was also an issue in discount-loving Southeast Asia. David Ng, chief executive of regional pet retail chain Pet…
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