VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestlé Purina PetCare posted double-digit growth in 2021, with premium and science-based brands leading the charge. Purina Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and Purina ONE, as well as the company’s veterinary brands, all contributed to strong growth in the company’s fiscal year.

Purina sales grew roughly 11% to 15.56 million Swiss francs ($16.90 million USD) in 2021, compared to 14 million Swiss francs ($15.21 million USD) in 2020. Pricing for the pet segment increased by 3.4% over the year. Organic growth was 12.7%, which was the highest of all Nestlé businesses, and real internal growth was 9.4%, according to the company.

Note: Swiss franc to USD conversions are based on Oct. 21 exchange rates.

“To me, PetCare, Coffee and Nestlé Health Science were clearly the star performers in 2021, [they] kicked the lights out when it comes to organic growth,” said Mark Schneider, chief executive officer of Nestlé, in the company’s full-year 2021 earnings call on Feb. 17. “…Clearly, pet adoptions around the world are up in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic, and that bodes to a permanent step-up and growth from a higher base when it comes to pet food and pet care products, hence, very good prospects here. And, as you know, we have invested significantly in meeting the capacity demands of this attractive and growing category.”

Purina sales in North America also grew in the double-digit range, supported by premium and science-based brands as well as the launch of Pro Plan Cardio Care and new variations of Purina’s Sensitive Skin & Stomach pet food formula.

In Latin America, strong Purina sales contributed to double-digit growth for Nestlé overall in Brazil and Chile. Purina was the largest growth contributor in Latin America among all product categories in 2021, led primarily by its Pro Plan and Dog Chow brands.

Purina’s Gourmet, Felix and Pro Plan brands supported double-digit sales in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (Zone EMENA). Nestlé shared its pet care segment also saw strong e-commerce and pet specialty sales growth in this region, specifically for its, Lily’s Kitchen and Terra Canis brands, the sales of which grew by nearly 40% in 2021.

In Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa (Zone AOA), Purina saw high single-digit growth across the region, but strong double-digit growth in China. The pet division contributed to single-digit growth in Japan and double-digit growth in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Purina also contributed to increased e-commerce sales for Nestlé, which grew by 15.1% and accounted for 14.3% of the company’s total sales in 2021. 

“PetCare maintained its strong growth momentum,” Schneider said. “Most segments and geographies grew at a double-digit rate with market share gains. Purina's performance was driven by continued e-commerce growth and increased demand for premium products. Key science-based innovations, such as Pro Plan LiveClear, the first allergen-reducing cat food, saw almost triple-digit growth.”

Overall, Nestlé posted 87.08 billion Swiss francs ($94.6 billion USD) in net sales in 2021, up 3.3% from 2020. Operating profit was impacted by rising input costs, down 20% to 11.68 billion Swiss francs ($12.69 billion USD) compared to 14.8 billion Swiss francs ($16.07 billion USD) in 2020.

In 2022, the company is projecting organic sales growth around 5% and an underlying trading operating profit margin between 17% and 17.5%.

Nestlé also noted it is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% by 2025 and by 50% by 2030. Between 2020 and 2021, the company facilitated a reduction of four million metric tons of GHG in its operations.

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