The Vitakraft portfolio encompasses food products for dogs and cats, snacks as well as accessories. In the snack sector, the company is the undisputed market leader in several European countries. Switzerland is one of them. Recently, the pet specialist won the Innova innovation award for its Liquid Snack for cats.
“The product is a great success and sells well in supermarkets,” says Constantijn van Gerwen, Managing Director Benelux of Vitakraft Nederland. “Cat owners greatly appreciate the high quality of the product. Also, they use it to give their cats medication. In summer, it is a refreshing snack – a kind of ice cream for cats.”
Every year, Vitakraft launches a new product range which meets current trends or sets a new standard in the market. This year, the company will introduce a full range of food products, snacks and crackers for rodents.
“Innovation is part of our daily business,” says the Managing Director. “We do not rest on the success of our products – we try to improve and innovate continuously.”
In addition to products for dogs and cats, the product spectrum of Vitakraft boasts food, snacks and accessories for rodents, birds, fish and reptiles. Currently, cats, dogs and rodents are the most important categories. Vitakraft sells through supermarkets and specialized retailers, also including DIY stores and gardening centers.
Vitakraft Nederland is responsible for the Dutch and Belgian markets. In order to stage its latest innovations and to enhance its contact network, the company regularly exhibits at local fairs in Belgium and at the Dibevo fair in the Netherlands.
Originally, Vitakraft was founded in Germany in 1837. After World War II, the whole business had to be re-established. Also, the company began to internationalize its activities. Today, the group is active in 52 countries across the globe and operates four production facilities.
Vitakraft was taken over by a German specialist in dog and cat food in 2012. “This integration was an important step and gave us access to other production locations,” says Mr. van Gerwen. “For example, our cat sticks are produced at one of our own factories now.”
Last year, Vitakraft acquired Hanseaten Naturprodukte, a German expert in natural pet food. In the Benelux countries, the company has a staff of 67. Worldwide, Vitakraft has over 2,500 people on the payroll. Around 80% of all products are ‘Made in Germany’.
In the coming years, Vitakraft will further flex its muscles in the Benelux region. “We aim to enhance our market share and strengthen our customer relationships,” says Mr. van Gerwen. “As I mentioned earlier, our business is about emotions – it is a people business. Therefore, we listen closely to our customers, to know about their needs and problems. Thanks to our long experience in the market, we draw on profound know-how in the development and production of pet food.”
Vitakraft will also enhance its distribution activities across all channels, especially in the supermarket sector. “We will lay even more emphasis on keeping consumers informed about snacks and health products,” says the Managing Director. “We might even branch out into neighbouring markets where we can use our know-how and core competences.”