Pet companies in Ukraine, Spain, Poland announce expansions
Ukrainian pet product distributor Suziria Distribution, pet food leader Affinity Petcare in Spain and Piesotto pet food in Poland are launching new expansions.
Suziria invests in capacities, new pet food brand
Suziria Distribution is advancing its development plans despite Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and the company is increasing its workforce and launching new brands to expand its foothold in both the domestic and foreign markets.
Polina Kosharna, head of the board and co-owner of Suziria Group, told Petfoodindustry.com that, prior to the war, the company had about 1,600 employees. Today, Suziria Distribution has some 1,900 employees and hopes to further increase this to around 2,000 in the first quarter of 2024, she said.
“Ukraine’s population is around 40 million, and pet adoption is becoming increasingly popular. The market has stabilized, and we’re opening new warehouses and pet shop stores,” Kosharna said. “Distribution remains our largest business, as we distribute many global brands in Ukraine, but pet store chain Master Zoo is our second largest business.
“We had 101 shops before the war, of which 60% were in central and eastern Ukraine” and heavily affected by the invasion, Kosharna continued. “Today, we have 170 shops and open five new shops per month. Our chain has the potential to comprise 300 stores and capture around 10% of the specialized trade market in Ukraine.”
Alongside the expansion of its retail chain, Suziria Distribution is also distributing its own brands. “Our Suziria Brands business comprises brands and products produced in Ukraine, and also brands sourced outside Ukraine, which are mainly wet and dry dog and cat food,” Kosharna said. “In 2022, non-food pet products accounted for 70% of our business, and the remaining 30% was pet food. We have two new foreign customers for our Savory pet food brand, and we have 12 foreign customers for our non-food products produced in Ukraine.
“We want to start selling pet food products to countries such as Poland, Romania and the Netherlands,” she added. “We already sell non-food pet products to Spain, Poland, Moldova, the Czech Republic and Georgia, among others.”
This year, Suziria Brands is launching a new, second pet food brand, Half and Half, a line of snacks for cats and dogs. “We are producing these snacks at our Kalush factory in western Ukraine,” Kosharna explained. “The capacity of this new factory is enough to also produce private label products for local and international players once the Ukrainian demand for our products is fulfilled.”
Spain’s Affinity Petcare expands production in France
Spanish pet food producer Affinity Petcare, an offshoot of Agrolimen SA, is investing to ramp up the manufacturing capacities of its plant in La Chapelle-Vendômoise, in France’s central region of Centre-Val de Loire. As part of the project, Affinity Petcare has allocated about €5 million ($5.3 million) to the factory.
Affinity Petcare took over the French factory in 2002 from Royal Canin. The production facility is fitted with a total surface of about 12,000 sq. meters (129,167 sq. feet), and the Spanish business aims to further expand its floorspace, according to information obtained by local business daily “Les Echos.”
With this in mind, the pet food maker has purchased a land plot adjacent to the factory. Affinity Petcare aims to use this land to increase its plant’s surface by about 20%.
The pet food business says its brands include Advance, Ultima, Brekkies and Libra. In addition to its headquarters in Barcelona, Affinity Petcare operates offices in Paris, Milan, the UK’s Snetterton and São Paulo in Brazil. The manufacturer supplies its product to more than 20 countries across the world.
“We have a leading position in cat and dog food products in Spain, we are fifth in Europe and sixth in the world. We belong to the Agrolimen Group, one of the most important wholesale groups in Spain, with relevant brands in each of the categories where we are present,” according to the company.
The group says it is operated by an international workforce of more than 1,100 people.
Piesotto pet food in Poland secures funds for new product development
Polish pet food producer Piesotto has obtained a total of PLN 4.2 million (US$1 million) from a group of investors. The company is aiming to expand its product portfolio with a range of new treats and meals in the coming months.
The firm says it specializes in making pet food that contains 74% fresh meat, cooked at low temperatures, free of preservatives and stabilizers, and custom-made for pets. The available meals comprise beef, turkey, duck, fish and veal, according to information from Piesotto.
“All the recipes we use are prepared by specialists. They have the right composition and contain everything dogs need,” Karol Chmielewski, a co-founder of Piesotto, told local business daily “Puls Biznesu.”
To date, Piesotto has produced about 2 million meals for pets, according to figures from the business.