Royal Canin has announced a plan to double its sales volume by 2025, with special efforts in Asian markets and online sales channels across the world.
The brand now belonging to Mars Inc. has been a pioneer in China, entering the pet industry more than 20 years ago. Continuous efforts, particularly in specialty channels such as pet clinics and neighbourhood pet stores, have seriously installed the brand in consumers’ purchasing habits. Since 2010, it’s also selling massively on all major online platforms such as Tmall, JD.com, EPet or Boqii.
For the past five years though, the brand has somehow suffered from its mid-range positioning. The lack of premium SKUs in a context of hyper-humanization has left it at the door of the insane growth rates experienced by players focusing on premium segments, such as Orijen, Ziwipeak, K9 Natural and a few others.
Additionally, Royal Canin has lost market shares in entry level products and in the veterinary channel against increasing competition from local players such as Nature’s Bridge, who have adopted similar aggressive strategies and gained significant influence in pet clinics. It will be interesting to see how Royal Canin can keep up with the competition in the coming years, particularly in these veterinary channels where the brand remains a leader – so far.
The next battles will happen in 2nd, 3rd and 4th tier cities where the conquest of the west has just begun. According to Stephen M. Badger, chairman of Mars Inc. that was recently displaying Royal Canin products at the massive China International Import Expo (CIIE) : “There are already 60 million pets in China, that’s a lot. Thirty years ago nobody expected the Chinese to love their pets in the way they do. So, for us, that’s the big priority.”