The Pet Market in Croatia - Study Review
Even though Croatia is not a big or rich country by any means, it is very interesting for foreign investors and companies which want to expand their products and services in the pet industry. With a slow but steady rise in the GDP of the country in the last couple of years, more and more households in Croatia are getting a pet and they are spending money on animal food, toys, and accessories.
In some recent surveys, more than half Croatian households are owning at least one, if not more pets. Before 2019, Croatia didn't have any factory which produced food for pets and depended mostly for importing. In 2019. the big factory opened in the town of Virovitica, but just that factory alone isn't enough for the big market demand.
This makes Croatia interesting for foreign companies and offers a lot of business opportunities. Currently, Croatia is importing most of the pet food from Italy, usually about 25% of all imports, but reaching as high as 33 % in 2017. Next are France, Germany and Hungary, each around 15 % of imports.
Statistics show that imports from the Belgium-Luxembourg region are small and declining in the last few years, going from 5.5 million dollars worth, which makes about 4.3 % of imports, in 2016 to 3.91 million of dollars, which makes 3.1 % of imports, in 2017. This presents an opportunity for Belgian companies, given that the general importing is rising, reaching its peak in 2016 and that importing from Belgium is on the decline.
The total worth of the imported pet food industry in Croatia is around 126 million dollars. The majority of pet food is distributed through supermarkets that carry economic, mid-priced brands (Whiskas, Pedigree Pal, Friskies, Kitekat, Sheba, FelinaY, Dog Chow, Chappi and Cesar) and private labels, while, veterinarians and specialized shops carry premium brands (IAMS, Eukanuba, Purina). There is a big range of drug products for pets in the pharmaceutical industry in the world. Companies which supplies drugs in Croatia are Medika, Bayer-animal health, Phoenix-Farmacija, Ceva, Genera, Krka, Merial, MSD, Zoetis. They sell all sorts of drugs, medications, supplements, and nutraceuticals for animals and pets. Croatia has few specific veterinary pharmacies and a lot of private as well as public veterinarians. Only legal veterinary physicians can prescribe and sell animal drugs.
A lot of companies are now offering all kinds of pet accessories. Dog/cat outfits, hygiene wet tissues, variety of toys, brushes and all stuff that a person needs for its pet. Pet furniture market is still a new market.
For now, there is only one company that produces furniture for cats and dogs in Croatia. Robowsky j.d.o.o. is the only Croatian company specialized in designing and making modern beds for pets. Places like pet (dog) hotels and daycares are increasing. There are a lot of private places where somebody can leave a pet for some period and they provide all kinds of service the owners want for their pet. As Croatia is in the EU, it complies with all relevant EU legislation, which makes it easier for foreign companies to expand to the market.