HELSINKI — On April 9, Alvar Pet, a leading Finnish direct-to-consumer (DTC) pet food brand, acquired online retail platform Verkkokauppa Kivuton (Kivuton). Combined, Alvar Pet and Kivuton will form the largest online store focused on pet health in the Nordics. 

According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the global pet industry is anticipated to reach $500 billion by 2030 with consumer demand continually rising. Additionally, demand for individually tailored pet foods has grown in popularity as pet parents become more aware of pet health and wellness. According to Alvar Pet’s database, which includes information on more than 100,000 canines, more than half of dogs have special dietary needs that owners seek to address through nutrition. 

To meet this demand, Alvar Pet launched in 2020. Co-founded by Ilari Haataja, chief executive officer, the brand provides tailored diets based on dogs’ specific health needs. According to Alvar Pet, it has become one of Europe’s fastest-growing pet industry startups, serving more than 40,000 pet households throughout Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The brand produces its individually tailored pet foods in the Nordics, touting local and sustainable sourcing benefits. 

“Pet owners are showing increased interest in supporting the health and special needs of their pets through nutrition,” Haataja said. “Products of Alvar Pet are developed under our veterinarian's guidance, and Kivuton offers the most extensive range of special diets in the country. Together, we aim to make individual and responsible premium pet foods more accessible to pet owners across the Nordics.”

In acquiring Kivuton, Alvar Pet aims to expand its mission of offering pet parents a wide range of veterinarian-developed pet products and nutrition. Combined, Alvar Pet’s and Kivuton’s annual sales are over €10 million ($10.86 million USD), according to the companies. 

“We are excited to combine expertise with Kivuton,” Haataja said. “Originally a veterinary clinic, Kivuton has a deep-rooted focus on pet health. By joining forces, we can offer unique nutritional expertise and an extensive range of specialty diets for pet owners who value the well-being of their pets.

“The partnership and investment enable us to take the next step in our journey,” he added. “Our cooperation has been excellent from the beginning, and we share the vision of the company’s strategic development towards a leading company focused on sustainable pet wellbeing in Europe.”

The acquisition follows Juuri Partners, a Finnish growth investor, joining Alvar Pet to support its growth. 

“We have closely followed the development of the pet market and see interesting growth opportunities, especially in the online segment,” said Anita Ojala, partner at Juuri. “By combining a strong brand in pet wellbeing with an online store specialized in veterinary pet diets, we’re creating a unique player in the market that caters to pet health comprehensively. We are excited to be part of this fantastic growth story together with the entrepreneurs.”

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