Fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer RCL Foods on Thursday launched its new R150-million pet food manufacturing facility, in Randfontein.
Through the establishment of the 1 500 m2 facility, which employs around 700 people, the company aims to take a greater share in the R5-billion-a-year South African pet food market, of which R3-billion is demand from the retail sector and about R1.2-billion from vets. R800-million fell in the nongroceries sector.
RCL Foods currently holds 40% of the retail sector and will focus on gaining clientele in the vet market.
The new facility increased the company’ pet food production by 60%, from 7 000 t/m to 12 000 t/m.
Speaking to Engineering News Online, RCL Foods consumer business MD Scott Pitman said the company aimed to double its profit from the pet food market within the next three years and would achieve this goal by continually implementing new innovations.
As part of the new manufacturing facility, RCL Foods introduced six new capabilities to its pet food range, which includes brands such as Bobtail, Canine Cuisine, Ultra Dog and Catmor.
These capabilities include real meat inclusion, which impacted palatability and digestability; vacuum-coated technology to enhance the meaty taste and lock in flavour; kibble coated in gravy powder; extract from real vegetables being included for increased health benefits and high levels of calcium, in the form of enriched milky bones, aimed at the puppy market.
“As more people discover the joy of owning a pet, [our market share] is set to grow,” Pitman added.
Another area for potential growth would come from the treats market. Globally, treats make up 25% of the market, but in South Africa, this is currently only about 8%.
“We are excited to grow this category with vet-quality canine cuisine treats. Going forward, all of our Bobtail treats will contain VitaRite with a combination of 23 essential vitamins and minerals,” Pitman added.
RCL Foods is also introducing grain free food in retail, for dogs with allergies.