A dog's breakfast is now a business idea
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry on May 31 approved a request from pet healthcare start-up Allfin to run a customized pet food business in a regulatory sandbox.
The regulatory sandbox program allows new businesses or technologies to be exempt from related regulations for a minimum of two years to encourage innovation.
Pet food companies will now be permitted to cook and sell bespoke pet food, adjusting the carbohydrates, vitamins or calcium depending on health conditions of the pet.
The approval limits the service to takeout and delivery. Pets will not be allowed to dine in.
Until recently, the business was almost impossible as Korea’s Control of Livestock and Fish Feed Act specifies that “any person who intends to file for the registration of a manufacturing business shall have manufacturing facilities meeting the standards.”
The business is only available in Seoul for now, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and there are seven available food options: steak, burgers, pizza, samgyetang, gomtang beef soup, fried rice and salad.
Allfin plans to open three restaurants in Seoul by 2023, with first branch in Gwangjin District, eastern Seoul. Customers can input information about their pets, like their ages and health conditions, via an app, and Allfin will make the food accordingly.
More Koreans keep pets now and are showing interest in purchasing healthy and quality food for their pets or finding high-end services for them. This phenomenon has led to the creation of a new word, “petfam,” describing people who regard their pets as family.
In Korea, three out of 10 households, or some 6.04 million households, have pets.
According to market research firm Euromonitor, the size of Korea’s pet-care market is about $1.95 billion this year, a 7.6 percent increase from last year. The pet-care market globally is growing at about 5 percent a year.
The “pet tech” market is likely to grow further. The buzzword combines pet and technology and refers to devices equipped with top-notch technology that help owners look after their pets more easily.
Many services have been introduced in the market, including a service that translates a pet’s feelings and a healthcare service that tracks an animal’s health condition.
The size of world’s pet-tech market, which was valued at $4.5 billion in 2018, is expected to exceed $20 billion by 2025, according to KB Financial Group Research Institute.
“The pet-tech market will grow more with the spread of pet humanization, which refers to people who consider pets as humans and family,” KB Financial Group Research Institute wrote in a report.
Software companies are scrambling to come up with various technology services targeting pet owners.
Petplus, a dog collar developed by Rwave, won an innovation award at CES 2021. The device detects, tracks and analyzes five emotional states of a dog – happy, anxious, angry, sad or relaxed, according to the company. It helps dog owners better understand and manage their dog’s emotional and physical well-being.
Sparkpet is working with Shinsegae International, Amorepacific, Hanwha General Insurance and VIP Animal Medical Center. They formed a group with the goal of collecting data on pets.
BY CHOI SUN-WOOK, KWEN YU-JIN AND CHEA SARAH [email@example.com]