Hunger for high-quality pet food in Japan has resulted in 400% sales growth this year and a predicted 500% increase over five years for Manchester business MPM Products.
Founded in 2002 by passionate pet owners, Making Pet Food Matters (MPM) provides an alternative to additive-filled food on the market. Made using 100% natural ingredients, MPM’s range of brands, including Applaws and Encore, are trusted by welfare-conscious owners in 49 countries.
After launching in Japan in 2019 through distributor AEONPet, MPM has generated £1 million in sales so far this year, leading to a five-year projection of £5 million.
The company has been supported by the Department for International Trade (DIT) since 2014.
MPM Products’ Chief Operating Officer James Bracewell comments:“We previously found Japan a difficult market to obtain new business in due to the strict legislative framework and high expectations on quality. However, with the help of the Department for International Trade and others, we have recently won new business with our Applaws brand.
“Applaws’ premium cat and dog food provide real health benefits for pets and strong growth is anticipated as the roll-out across Japan continues.”
Other significant markets for MPM brands include Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Taiwan, and China. In April, at the height of lockdown measures, the company noted a spike in e-commerce orders which has helped sustain growth despite the pandemic.
On Friday 23 October, the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed by Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu in Tokyo.
The deal could boost trade between the UK and Japan by over £15 billion and drive economic growth, increasing UK workers’ wages by £800 million in the long run. This could benefit the 782 businesses in the North West that exported over £350 million in goods to Japan in 2019.