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French premium dog food producer secures expansion funds

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French premium dog food producer Japhy has secured €7 million (US$8.6 million) in seed funding from a group of investors to support its further development. Company representatives say the French pet food market has experienced significant growth over the past few years, and Japhy aims to earn a major share of the premium segment.

“It’s an enormous market: €1.6 billion [US$1.95 billion] in sales, 7 million dogs and twice as many cats,” Thomas Chabrier, the company’s co-founder, told local business daily Les Echos

The latest seed funding round, developed in partnership with French venture capital fund Capagro, which specializes in food- and agriculture-focused startups, is designed to boost the pet food company’s market position in the coming years. 

Cat food line to be launched in 2021

The launch of a new line of pet food for cats in the third quarter of this year is expected to further bolster Japhy’s sales. “Among our customers, 40% of them already own a cat,” according to Chabrier, who points to a potential synergy that could benefit his company.

Currently, Japhy offers tailor-made products for dogs based on their weight, race, age, allergies and other factors. Customers subscribe to receive pet food made at the company’s two plants, located in Mayenne, in France’s north-west, and Castres, in the country’s southern part. 

The company offers three canine subscription plans based on the pet’s size. Costs work out to €0.78 (US$0.95), €1.3 (US$1.59) and €1.79 (US$2.19), respectively, per day.

Company representatives say that, since its establishment in 2018, Japhy has sold more than 5 million portions of its dog food to French consumers. On average, the firm’s customers spend €50 (US$61) on its products. 

Expansion to Western European markets

Meanwhile, the company has announced it is mulling plans to expand its service to a number of Western European markets. Chabrier said some of the potential foreign destinations include Germany, Spain and Italy. 

Japhy does not disclose its annual sales, but the company claims that, over the next year, it aims to increase its sales growth rate fourfold and expand its workforce to 60 employees. 

Adamowski is a freelance journalist based in Warsaw, Poland. He has written on various industries, including pet food, drinks, telecoms, energy, defense and pensions, for numerous English-language publications.

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