Croatian Pets to Finally Enjoy Locally Produced Food

Total Croatia News

Croatia currently imports pet food worth about 900 million kuna each year.

According to the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2016, more than 133,500 tons of pet food and pet products worth 118.5 million euro, or almost 900 million kuna, were imported into Croatia. Of this number, more than 52,500 tons were food for cats and dogs, worth nearly 48.5 million euro, reports Večernji List on February 12, 2018.

This figures will be even higher for 2017 since the imports reached 139,000 tons of food in the first 11 months of the year. The imports increase significantly from one year to the next. For example, in 2014, only about 102,500 tons of pet food was imported.

However, despite the growth of consumption, Croatian pets cannot follow the “Buy Croatian” motto. Even a cursory visit to any pet store makes it evident that pet food produced in Croatia simply does not exist.

It is quite clear that Croatian entrepreneurs are missing an excellent opportunity. But, that could soon change. Late last year, the construction of the first Croatian pet food factory started in Virovitica. The investment is worth 15.4 million kuna, with 5.3 million coming from EU funds. The investment does not seem too high given the quantities which are imported into Croatia annually, and especially if we take into account the value of the pet food market in the European Union. In 2016, this industry was worth 21.26 billion euro in revenue, and its growth in the future is expected to reach more than four percent a year.

While Croatia is still constructing its first pet food factory, neighbouring Serbia has eight such plants. However, it is not Serbia from which Croatia imports most of its pet food. The largest amount is imported from Hungary; in the first 11 months of last year, Croatia imported 22,500 tons of food worth 12.5 million euro from there.

This is a lucrative business sector, with the manufacturer of the famous Purina brand, Nestle PetCare, earning more than 12 billion dollars in 2015, which is still not even close to the most significant producer, Mars Petcare, which produces the Pedigree Pal brand, which had revenues in the amount of 17 billion dollars. These two manufacturers are by far the largest in the world.

The other two countries from which Croatia imports a lot of food for dogs and cats are Germany and Italy.

Translated from Večernji List (written by Zoran Vitas).


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