Examining pet food trade in Vietnam, Thailand

WASHINGTON — Vietnam and Thailand are both experiencing burgeoning populations and expanding middle classes, providing US exporters of agricultural products, including pet food producers, opportunity for international expansion, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). 

 

Vietnam

The Vietnamese economy, in particular, is poised for significant expansion in the coming decades, according to the FAS. Vietnamese consumers are becoming more interested in the origin and composition of their food products as they home in on health and wellness. The country also touts growing retail, tourism and food processing sectors that are able to absorb high-value US agricultural products. 

Vietnam’s population is currently estimated at 105 million and is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world. According to data shared by the FAS, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country is set to stabilize with growth this year expected at 6%. The GDP per capita in 2023 was $4,284, an increase of $160 from 2022. This growth is attributed to significant expansion of services and industrial sectors in the country, as well as the recovery of tourism following COVID-19. 

With rising per capita income, Vietnam has continued to ramp up its agricultural imports over the past three years. In 2023, the country imported $32 billion worth of agricultural products. The top nations supplying agricultural products to Vietnam in 2023 were China at 15%, Brazil at 11%, the United States at 10%, Australia at 9%, India at 7%, Cambodia at 7% and Argentina at 6%. The rest of the world accounted for the other 32%, due to Vietnam’s continued ratification and expansion of its Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

Source: Trade Data Monitor, LLC, BICO HS-6

According to the FAS, the United States exported $3.1 billion worth of agricultural products to Vietnam in 2023, representing the third largest exporter to the country. Top US exports included those related to feed and manufacturing, including pet foods. Despite this, the FAS highlighted that the Vietnamese market is price sensitive. 

Consumers in Vietnam are seeking products that tout high quality and safety, attributes in which US agricultural products naturally fit. For pet food specifically, the FAS noted that interest in dogs and cats as pets in the country have steadily risen along with the rate of disposable income. During the past five years the dog and cat populations have grown 30% and 20%, respectively. 

With more pets comes an increased need for nutrition. Vietnamese pet parents are slowly shifting away from non-prepared pet foods (like human food scraps) to prepared products (processed wet and dry foods and treats). According to the FAS, in 2023 retail sales of both dog and cat food grew more than 15%. 

According to Euromonitor International Vietnamese purchasers of pet food are less sensitive to price inflation, spelling good news for US pet food processors. However, currently US processors are only eligible to export dried pet food to Vietnam. Despite this limitation, the opportunities are significant, as the country is also seeking pet food ingredients and additives for its own products. 

 

Thailand

The Thai market also shows promise for US consumer-oriented agricultural products. According to the FAS, the country touts the fourth highest per capita income in the Association of Southeast Asia Nations. Thailand’s population currently sits at 70 million. The country’s forecasted GDP growth for 2024 is 3%, compared to 2.5% in 2022, and this is expected to rise to 3.5% by 2027. 

It’s important to highlight that Thailand is coming off high consumer price inflation from 2022. Though prices have stabilized and inflation in Thailand is expected to remain below 2%, GDP per capita has witnessed a small drop. According to the World Bank, GDP per capita in 2022 was $6,910, a decrease of about $150 from 2021. 

Despite consumer economic challenges, Thailand imported $17 billion worth of agricultural products. The top supplying nations were Brazil at 20%, China at 13%, the European Union at 10%, Australia at 9%, the United States at 8%, Indonesia at 4%, and Singapore at 4%. 

Suppliers of agricultural products imported into ThailandSource: Trade Data Monitor, LLC, BICO HS-6

In the last year, the United States exported about $1.2 billion in agricultural products to Thailand. Top exports focused on bulk commodities related to feed and manufacturing. According to the FAS, demand in Thailand for processed foods, healthy food products, as well as plant-based and free-from are witnessing increased popularity. 

Similar to that in Vietnam, dog and cat populations in Thailand are expanding. In 2020, there were an estimated 14.5 million pets in the country including 8.9 million dogs and 3.3 million cats. In 2020, the United States dominated the country’s imported pet food market, holding 34% of share at over $14 million. 

As Thai consumers shift to healthier lifestyles and begin examining those of their pets, purchases of premium packaged pet foods and treats have risen, particularly those that tout “natural” and “healthy” labels. The country currently allows both dry and wet pet food imports from the United States. 

With all these aspects in mind, the FAS expects that US processors will find “exciting” prospects for their products in the Vietnamese and Thai markets, especially as each country’s population, economy, and pet ownership level continues to grow. 

Find more articles related to pet food export opportunities and trade. 

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AFIA commends Senate Republicans for supporting Innovative FEED Act


ARLINGTON, VA. — Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) announced Republican support for the creation of “a new pathway at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the approval of new and innovative feed additive products that improve efficiency in meat and dairy production,” as part of the minority party’s framework of farm bill priorities.

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) praised the statement from Boozman, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which referred to the legislative text found within the Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development (Innovative FEED) Act.

“The Senate Republicans have shown that there is hope in Congress for moving forward commonsense legislation that will achieve greater food safety and security, sustainability and animal health and production,” said Constance Cullman, president and chief executive officer of the AFIA. “Our members tell us that ushering in modern feed innovations currently takes a herculean effort within the FDA’s outdated regulatory system. The FDA has said it needs the tools to change, our nation’s top brass have said the time is ripe for change and our farmers have said that not changing with the times is not an option. 

“We urge Congress to include the Innovative FEED Act on any legislative vehicle, including the farm bill, and continue to encourage swift action for America’s farmers and ranchers,” she added.

The Innovative FEED Act was originally introduced in June 2023, following which amendments to the bill passed the Senate Committee of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The act was then brought to Congress at the end of 2023, and in February 2024 the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) struck down its 1998 policy regarding new ingredient approval. The act would update the FDA’s process to review new ingredients that do not impact animal nutrition, but rather, act in the animal’s gut to provide health or production benefits, reduce emissions or address human food safety concerns, as a food additive rather than as an animal drug. 

By amending the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to establish a new category of animal food additives, it would give the FDA the authority to review these innovations as feed ingredients. As such, these ingredients would be subject to the rigorous Food Additive Petition process before gaining market approval, ensuring the products work and are safe to the animals that consume them and the people who eat the resulting foods. 

The Innovative FEED Act is supported by nearly 200 state and national agriculture organizations and companies, a growing number of bipartisan members of Congress and several administration officials, the AFIA said.

For more regulatory news affecting the pet food market, visit our Regulatory page.

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Danone collaborating on biotechnology platform


PARIS – Danone SA, Michelin, US startup DMC Biotechnologies and Crédit Agricole Centre France will create a Biotech Open Platform to scale up advanced fermentation processes, particularly precision fermentation.

An investment of over €16 million (more than $17 million) will create the industrial and technological platform within Parc Cataroux Center for Sustainable Materials, an innovation accelerator supported by Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

In precision fermentation, microorganisms such a bacteria, yeast or fungi are used to produce proteins, enzymes and other molecules used in industry, including the food industry. Biotechnology, including precision fermentation, also may assist in finding alternatives to fossil-based resources.

“At Danone, we have always been focused on investing in the future of food, and this partnership is the next step in this journey,” said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, chief executive officer of Paris-based Danone. “We look forward to working with our partners to develop cutting-edge fermentation technologies which will accelerate innovation health benefits and decarbonization in the food industry.”

By 2025, the project aims to install an initial demo-scale production line, including a fermenter and purification equipment. Additional equipment and a second production line should follow.

Michelin, based in Clermont-Ferrand, manufactures tires and components for applications in fields such as mobility, construction, aeronautics, low-carbon energy and health care. DMC Biotechnologies, which has locations in Boulder, Colo., and Research Triangle Park, NC, develops and produces chemicals and ingredients using precision fermentation. Crédit Agricole Centre France is a bank serving more than 900,000 customers.

Public and private institutions supporting the platform include the University of Clermont Auvergne, Greentech, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Clermont Auvergne Métropole.

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Thanjai Natural’s Indian Rolled Oats | Diet Food | Wholegrain | High Fibre | Premium Oats | Non GMO | Weight Loss


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Dietary Friendly: These Rolled oats are vegan, gluten-free, and a good source of fibre.

Antioxidants & Weight Loss: Rolled Oats are rich in antioxidants & Helpful in Weight Loss

Reduces Hypertension & Stress: Consumption of Rolled oats reduces the risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure).

Helpful in Weight Loss: Rolled Oats are rich in fibre that fills up the tummy quicker than non-fibre breakfasts.

Quality Assured: Thanjai Natural’s adheres to strict quality standards for their products.

Thanjai Natural’s Indian Rolled Oats are a wholesome and nourishing choice for a healthy breakfast or snack. Made from premium quality whole grain oats, this 800g pack provides a generous serving of fiber, protein, and essential nutrients to keep you energized throughout the day. Rolled oats are versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes, from hearty porridges and granolas to savory dishes and baked goods. With their nutty flavor and satisfying texture, these oats are a delightful addition to any diet. Enjoy the goodness of Thanjai Natural’s Indian Rolled Oats and embrace a wholesome lifestyle. Rolled oats are a convenient and nutritious option for individuals seeking a balanced and fulfilling meal or snack. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, this 800g jar pack offers ample servings for the entire family.