Chennai, Oct 31 (IANS) Expanding its dog food range, Mars International India Pvt Ltd will sell its new product Eukanuba only through specialist channels – veterinary doctors, pet shops, dog breeders and institutions – a senior official said on Saturday.
“The product needs some expert guidance for the pet owners and hence it is being distributed only through veterinary doctors, pet shops and dog breeders,” Nitin Kulkarni, director, corporate affairs told IANS here on Saturday.
Eukanuba has omega-3, fatty acids/docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which makes puppies more trainable and also enables dogs to peak physical performance, Kulkarni said.
A happy and healthy dog is one that is able to walk for an hour without panting.
“There are different Eukanuba variants for small and large breed puppies and small and large breed adult dogs,” Ganesh Ramani, demand director, told IANS on the sidelines of a product launch meet.
Kulkarni said the company imports human grade fish oil while other ingredients are sourced locally.
A wholly owned subsidiary of $32 billion Mars Inc, Mars International India has its dog food factory near Hyderabad.
According to Kulkarni, the company may double its dog food production capacity in a couple of years to 44,000 ton per annum (tpa) at an outlay of around $20 million.
“We have around 76 acre land near Hyderabad and the expansion will happen there,” Kulkarni said.
He said dog food in India is a nascent category and it is estimated there are around 26 million breed dogs.
“If one takes into that number then the potential for the organised dog food industry is around Rs.1,600 crore,” Kulkarni said.
According to him the top markets for dog food are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and some North Indian states.
Kulkarni ruled out production of cat food in India as the current demand is not economically viable for local manufacture.
“We import and sell the cat food. One should not feed dog food to cats as it is made for dog’s body constitution. The body constitution of the two animals are different,” he said.