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Evolution of Brazilian Family Life Triggers Boom in Pet Ownership

Demand for pet services in Brazil grows by 400% in just 10 years in line with increased disposable income.

Photo: Bow-wowed: Brazil goes canine crazy.
Bow-wowed: Brazil goes canine crazy.
Photo: Bow-wowed: Brazil goes canine crazy.
Bow-wowed: Brazil goes canine crazy.

The Brazilian market for pet products and services has enjoyed enormous growth over the last 10 years. The demand for washing and cosmetic services for cats and dogs, for instance, has grown by more than 400% since 2004. The pet-friendly nature of the country has also been underlined by a raft of new animal protection legislation introduced in recent years.

The growth in the pet sector, of course, has been driven by changes in the country's wider economy. Over the last 10 years, the increased purchasing power of Brazil's lower and middle class citizens, combined with smaller family sizes (a result of improved family planning) has seen the emergence of a more pet-friendly society. There have also been underlying changes to the structure of the typical Brazilian family – notably a tendency to delay having children and a greater propensity for divorce – that have seen pets become more popular.

According to figures from Brazilian Industry Association of Pet Products (ABINPET) the sector was worth 15 billion Reais (US$6 billion) in 2013, a 7.3% increase on 2012. Typically, the average Brazilian pet-owning household spends around US$200 on its domestic animals per annum. While pet food is still, by far the largest component of this spend, the proportion spent in other related services is increasing every year. Overall, a number of specialist areas, such as pet baths, hotels, daycare facilities and pampering services, are seen as the sectors with the most potential for growth.

When it comes to the market diversity, the Brazilian pet industry runs to both ends of the scale. At the top is Cobasi, a large chain of specialist pet supermarkets. Every weekend, its stores are full of cats and dogs being cosseted and treated, with the outlets offering a wide variety of services – including pet-friendly products, a pharmacy and veterinary care. At the other end of the scale, every neighbourhood has its own local pet shop and its own vet.

The continued growth of the Brazilian pet sector represents a genuine opportunity for suppliers and distributors in the sector. Any Hong Kong companies active in the animal toys, pet food, accessories, collars, clothing or bedding industries should consider the possibilities now opening up in the country. The focus, here, should be on the larger cities, the home to the more affluent residents who are driving growth in this sector.

Marina Barros, Sao Paulo Consultant

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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