“Most European and American pet brands have traditionally focussed on Russian and Chinese manufacturers, but production in Africa has grown faster to keep up with demand on the continent leading to Africa becoming a bigger focus for international brands,” says Sakkie Luther, international business developer for Montego Pet Nutrition.
In Africa, the pet food industry amounts to $6.6bn in 2021 and is expected to grow by 9% every year between 2021-2025. South Africa accounts for $631m of that, or roughly 10% of the market on the continent, according to Statista. Africa has become the biggest emerging market for the pet food industry globally, with year-on-year growth being recorded by pet food manufacturers in South Africa who are exporting to the continent and internationally.
Montego is the largest privately-owned pet food manufacturer, brand owner and distributor in Africa with a capacity of almost 100,000 tons annually. The company currently exports to 15 countries, of which 13 are on the African continent, and recently announced it would be expanding into America.
For the last four years the manufacturer says it has seen "exceptional growth" and in 2020 Montego accounted for 11% of all exported pet food from South Africa, showing dominance in countries like South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana.
“As an African company, Montego has a firm understanding of the industry on the continent and is committed to support Africa’s path to sustainable economic growth and development through intra-Africa and global trade,” adds Luther.
Montego recently acquired an existing 3,000m² pet food production facility in Pretoria – a move that is expected to boost the company’s production capacity by 25%. The newly acquired premises allows Montego to further expand its reach into existing and new markets.
This follows on from a $4.25m factory upgrade that Montego completed in 2018 at its original 6,000m² production facility in Graaff-Reinet (Eastern Cape), as part of its growth strategy to meet local and international demand for premium quality pet food.
Montego installed equipment to enhance the efficiency of its production process, boosting overall production by 30%, and expanded its range to grow its global distribution footprint.
In 2019, the company installed a dedicated solar energy plant at its production facility in Graaff-Reinet at a cost of $1.34m. The 843kWp solar panel system, spanning 4,580 square metres of rooftop space, is part of the company’s drive to becoming a low-carbon company with a commitment to sustaining the environment.
“The boost in production and demand for Montego’s pet food and treats meant that a move to renewable energy sources was crucial for us. We believe it to be our responsibility to sustaining the environment and since installing the solar panels, we have seen a 300-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions,” concludes Luther.
Montego will be participating in the 2022 Interzoo Trade Fair in Germany to exhibit its proudly African products and plans for expansion to its global peers in the industry.