Interview with Yannick Verry, Pet Fair Asia

Only the best for the fur babies

Issue 90 - spring 2021

The pet as a status symbol, owners willing to spend and a dynamic market: All of this shapes China, says Yannick Verry, project manager at the largest Asian trade fair for pet supplies. The love for pets is also growing in Southeast Asia.

Yannick Verry, Pet Fair Asia
Yannick Verry, Pet Fair Asia
corporAID: The Chinese love for pets is growing. Who are the new pet owners?

Verry: Pets are becoming more popular across all demographics, particularly those under the age of thirty. Singles and childless couples in cities in particular hope that cats and dogs will bring more joy to their lives. Animals can also be used to show to the outside world that one leads a good life. Pets are a very popular subject in China's social media.

What do Chinese pet owners look for when purchasing products?

Verry: The trend towards humanization of animals, which can be observed almost everywhere in the world, goes one step further in Asia. Many people do not trust cheap products because of food scandals. Pet owners want to feed their fur babies only the best they can afford. Money does not play a role, especially for wealthy, health-conscious city dwellers. It is not uncommon to pamper your pet with food that costs 100 euros per kilo, to go to the groomer several times a month, to spend hundreds of euros at the veterinary clinic, or to book animal boarding houses for 50 euros a night if you are visiting town for a couple Must leave days. A lot has really changed in the past ten or twenty years!

Is China an Easy Market for International Pet Supply Brands?

Verry: International brands have a major advantage in successfully entering China's pet market: their quality image. But is that enough? If the brand is not widely known and available worldwide, it is likely not enough to just be “imported”. Because the market is extremely competitive, tastes change quickly and local brands are catching up faster and faster in terms of quality, range and branding. However, there are still great opportunities for foreign companies to position themselves if they invest the time and resources to understand the market and create a suitable offer.

Are pets still on the rise elsewhere?

Verry: We expect Southeast Asia, like China, to be a very important source of growth for the pet industry. In addition to well-developed markets such as Singapore, we assume that Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will also develop into key markets in the next ten years. However, challenges remain, because every country has its own cultural, religious or historical peculiarities and thus a different affinity for pets.

In some Asian countries, dog and cat meat is traditionally eaten - will that change with the pet trend?

Verry: This tradition is in decline, but still makes headlines due to its high emotional level. In any case, the fact that more and more people are raising pets brings more awareness of the subject.

Thank you for the interview.
Photo: Pet Fair Asia

To the whole story:

Pets are booming in Asia. Pictured: a dog at Pet Fair Asia

Pet hype

The hope that lockdowns with dogs, cats or hamsters will be easier to endure is fueling the demand for pets. As the booming market in China and other Asian countries show, the desire for an animal companion is also growing beyond the pandemic where prosperity and urbanization are increasing.