Already for quite a long period dog and cat foods manufactured in N.America have found their way into the EU market. One might say that it have been some US brands that were at the origin of the superpremium category in Europe; a category in which today a plethora of brands from the USA and Canada can be found. The going has been good sofar!

However, rules and regulations are changing. The EU Commission takes a more stringent look at the imports of pet foods. In that respect regulation 1774/2002 plus its amendments will have far-reaching consequences. Its interpretation leads to the conclusion that exporting pet foods to EU countries becomes nearly impossible, unless manufacturers are prepared to invest in separate production for the EU market. This investment would most likely bring cost of goods sold to such a level that consequential price-setting in the EU market becomes prohibitive. The exporting manufacturers are bound to lose market-share! The going will not be good in the future!

The measures taken by the EU Commission will incite those manufacturers to rethink their business in and with the European Union. Pulling out altogether is clearly an option. But, wouldn't that destroy all investment sofar made in the brands in the EU?

The alternatives are clear as well: co-packing in Europe is one. The preconception that European manufacturers are not capable to bring excellent products to market is a ridiculous one! One could also think about licensing the brands and their formulations. Both options are constructive in the sense that brand-investments are not destroyed and the presence of brands in the EU can be continued. Those company-owners who take the opportunities the EU market offers seriously do well to consider alliances in the EU in case they wish to continue to play a role in the global dog and catfood market.

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