The novel Coronavirus has profoundly impacted all fields, including the food industry, healthcare, medical services, animal nutrition industry, automotive, pharmaceutical, and many others. This pandemic has led to shutdowns of mass production and disruptions in the supply chain that have impacted the economies of virtually every nation in the world. The COVID-19 has impacted the animal nutrition industry by increasing its demand across the global region. The extended lockdown has affected pet care product demand through e-commerce. The two major reasons are easy accessibility and the availability of multiple brands.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers became more inclined towards more essential nutrients and the feed intake of their animals and pets. Moreover, there has been an increase in the focus for care and maintenance among pet owners for a better quality of life thus growing the demand for various nutritional food products.
All these factors have helped to boost growth for the animal nutrition market during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feed manufacturers and producers are prioritizing health, animal immunity, and safety over productivity and profitability due to this pandemic. They are looking for specialty feed flavor and sweetener ingredients as they become more aware of techniques and strategies to manage the health of pets. This pandemic has provided an opportunity for pet food manufacturers to show their assurance to their customers by delivering customized support, representing their reliability and consistency as suppliers, and augmenting their company’s biosecurity efforts across the board.
Moreover, there has been a growing number of animals and pet adoption which is further expected to fuel the demand for the animal nutrition market.
Before the pandemic, pet food was considered comfort food by the animal holders owing to its feed intake increasing capacity. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the consumers are more inclined towards more essential nutrients and the feed intake of their pets. This factor has helped to boost the growth of the animal nutrition market during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in terms of the safety of pets, there is no recent evidence regarding the pet food associated with transmission of novel coronavirus diseases as the corona is primarily spreading from person to person through direct or indirect exposure of respiratory droplets.
However, there has been increased concern regarding the quality care among pets by their owners. As a result, the key pet organization and welfare such as American Pet Products Association (APPA), the World Pet Association (WPA), the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), urged the governments for are taking initiatives so that the owners could care for their beloved companion animals.
In the COVID-19, the price of animal nutrition is not much affected due to various reasons such as the boom of animal nutrition products including pet food. But with the rising number of cases, is creating a panic situation among growers and suppliers. Asia-Pacific saw an increasing demand for pet nutrition commodities, which has resulted in increasing prices of the products.
However, with the massive discount from the e-commerce platform, the prices for overall animal nutrition products have not changed much since the start of the pandemic. This will ensure that the market will substantially increase with the growing demand for the animal nutrition market.
COVID-19 has printed a negative impact on the global economic outlook in the first quarter of 2020. The animal nutrition industry suffers from major supply chain disruption.
There is an evident lack of supply of various animal nutrition foods, supplements, and medications such as pet medication and so on.
However, COVID-19 is accelerating a shift to e-commerce that was already reshaping the animal nutrition market. Social distancing has generated a surge in online orders and led to growth for new models like Click and Collect and Third-Party Delivery. The long-term "stickiness" of this shift will depend on the ability of thinly stretched online infrastructures to meet demand without long shipping delays or out-of-stocks. In addition, most of the consumers have been looking out for products from various internet platforms.
The ease of buying products through online channels offers greater flexibility and safety to the owners of pets. Hence, the benefits offered by the e-commerce channels that provide accessibility and options to choose from a variety of products are expected to drive the market in the coming years.
Due to the pandemic, the various conferences such as the animal nutritional conference and the trade show have been postponed or cancelled until further notice is provided by regulatory authorities. Most of the companies or manufacturers are organizing online webinars to educate pet owners for a better quality of life, even during pandemic times.
With this uncertainty caused by COVID-19 regulatory bodies have taken initiatives to start their conference on the digital platform.
Many governments are taking initiatives for pet food manufacturing.
Thus, owing to these measures that have been taken by many associations, governments, awareness regarding animal health has been increased which impacts the demand for feed flavours and sweeteners ingredients in positive terms.
Cambodia’s government is looking for private investors to help raise domestic animal feed production. In May 2020, the Khmer Times reported that the Cambodian government has reduced its imports of swine from neighbouring countries to support local swine production. Cambodia imports up to 70% from neighbouring countries hence, the government is primarily focusing to reduce imports and supporting local farmers for swine production. In the country, the demand for swine is about 8,000 per day, out of which local farmers can supply 6,000 per day. Hence, it is expected to impact demand for feed flavors and feed ingredients positively
As the Coronavirus outbreak has impacted the global animal nutrition market badly, several organizations have taken certain initiatives to provide their products in the market.
"Our driving concern is the health and safety of our employees and their families. We have implemented measures to reduce COVID-19 risk to our customers, our employees, and their families while doing all we can to continue product supply to our customers. We are doing everything possible to continue the supply of Phibro products to our customers in every market while adhering to strict safety and quality protocols. We have increased our stock of raw materials and finished products to help ensure a continuous supply. We are in constant contact with our logistics partners to secure timely shipments to customers. We require our employees to work from home, where possible. Those who need to work at our facilities maintain social distancing and, where possible while working in shifts. Our sales and technical service staff are staying engaged with customers to service their needs through digital channels as much as possible.
All employees involved in production or logistics who must work on-site are adhering to strict hygiene protocols and social distancing, and where possible, we have implemented split shifts to reduce employee contact. We have also implemented increased biosecurity protocols for freight carriers who deliver and collect goods at our facilities."
- Phibro Animal Health
"As a global manufacturer, we operate in more than 90 countries on six continents, with manufacturing facilities in places like China, Italy, and Singapore – countries that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Kemin remains committed to ensuring the same level of supply assurance as you are accustomed to. This type of incident is an anticipated scenario in our global end-to-end supply chain risk management strategy. We have prohibited all non-essential international and domestic travel for all our global employees. We are utilizing digital meetings and telecommunications to conduct business, and we are minimizing meetings with external parties to only those necessary."
- Kemin Industries
"We are making location-based decisions on work-from-home policies based on individual situations, local regulations, and health official recommendations. We have business continuity plans for various scenarios and are prepared to respond if we see potential impacts on our business operations. We are closely monitoring the situation and are communicating regularly with our employees and customers through various channels as the situation continues to evolve."
- ADM Animal Nutrition
Barentz International has entered in acquisition with pet food ingredient supplier Chicago-based Ingredients Inc.
"This is a promising new route, from which both parties will immediately benefit from each other's strengths,"
-Jim Stewart, founder and Managing Director of Ingredients Inc.
"We are taking the potential risks of the coronavirus very seriously and are committed to doing our part to keep our colleagues, their families, and the communities where we operate safely. We are taking necessary precautions throughout our business, including:
We are closely monitoring the situation and are communicating regularly with our employees and customers through various channels as the situation continues to evolve."
COVID-19 outbreak has impacted positively on animal nutrition market. The animal nutrition industry is expected to grow substantially during the coming years, with the rising awareness among consumers that as pet holders. But due to the social distancing, start-ups and many producers are facing restricted access to bring their products in the market. Many pet care manufacturing companies are taking various initiatives as a part of COVID-19 and creating awareness among the people. Due to COVID-19, most of the people are staying at home, and they are getting enough time for taking care of their pets, so they are inclined to buy pet food and supplement care products through e-commerce platforms, hence, creating a demand for animal nutrition during COVID-19 pandemic.
Thus, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been neutral for the pet food market across many the globe compared to other feed ingredients segments, and hence, a stable growth can be observed in the industry during coming years, with many opportunities for new products development for the manufacturers.