A pet food firm has made its first foray into the Asian market with its products now on the shelves in South Korea, the Irish News reports.
County Tyrone-based Mackle Petfoods, which employs 200 staff at its Moy and Moygashel production sites, will sell its award-winning Naturo range after entering a partnership with pet care giant Pet 3L.
The family-owned manufacturer, founded in Co Armagh in 1972, has identified the rapidly-expanding pet care market in the Far East as the next significant opportunity for the Naturo brand.
A meeting last year with Pet 3L’s agent at global pet industry trade event Interzoo led to a trip to its headquarters in Seoul, and orders totalling nearly £70,000 have now been placed for Naturo.
Mackle Petfoods’ key account manager, Sinead Cotter, told the Irish News: “Naturo is already shipped to 13 countries worldwide, so the team is well versed in some of the regulations involved in export.
“When we visited Seoul, we had great synergy with the Pet 3L team, who were keen to get our product on to shelves as soon as possible to keep up with customer demand for healthy, natural petfood.
“But before we could fulfil an order, Naturo had to pass various stringent regulations and all packaging had to be translated for the market, so the entire process from initial discussions to product landing on shelves, took around six months.”
Sinead told the News that the firm’s research had revealed that, while pet owners had started feeding specialist pet food only in the past 15 years, modern South Koreans were prepared to invest in premium natural products to support the health and wellbeing of their pets.
“So developing this partnership with Pet 3L is hugely beneficial for Naturo and we are now the only petfood brand from Europe available in South Korea,” Sinead said.
The Mackle Petfoods brand range includes Cat Club, Brandy, natural petfood Naturo and premium natural dog food range Naturo Chef’s Section, with new lines recently introduced in 380 Morrisons stores UK wide and Tesco due to launch its dry food range into stores this month.