Prior to the recall, Pedigree was the top pet food brand in the Philippines with a commanding 70 percent share of all dry dog and cat food sold through supermarkets. The voluntary recall left a huge gap in supermarket shelves, which the supermarkets are still working to fill.
The recall has created new opportunities for U.S. pet food suppliers to enter the Philippine market. While Masterfoods is replacing recalled product with new supplies, retailers report reduced consumer confidence in the brand and predict it may take time before Pedigree regains its status as a market leader.
U.S. pet food exports to the Philippines have been on the rise in recent years with steady growth in sales and number of U.S. brands in the market. Sales in 2003 reached a record $7.2 million, double the level in 1998. Growing awareness of pet foods’ superior nutrition over table scraps among upscale pet owners is fueling the growth and continued gains are expected. In the wake of the Pedigree recall, buyers are focusing on U.S. pet foods, partly due to their reputation for food safety and quality assurance compared to other foreign suppliers to the Philippine market.