With an annual production capacity of 20 thousand tons of pet food, the new VAFO factory in the Finnish city of Nokia is the largest of its kind in the local market. Together with the subsidiary company Prima Pet Premium OY, VAFO has thus further bolstered its dominant standing in Finland. The opening of the new factory has created new jobs in the region and provided a positive economic impulse. It has also marked the long-awaited return of the domestic brand Hau-Hau to the land of a thousand lakes and given rise to new opportunities in the segment of private labels, in which VAFO is experiencing steady growth.
The new factory in the Finnish city of Nokia has increased the company’s annual production output by 20 thousand tons of dry pet food. But this figure isn’t necessarily final, as capacity can be further expanded in the future to meet increasing demand. While the investment in the new production hall is significant for Finland as a whole, it is particularly important for the Pirkanmaa region. By 2025, when the new factory is scheduled to achieve full capacity, there will be twenty people employed here. The indirect impacts on employment numbers is even greater, since the new factory will rely heavily on domestic ingredients and suppliers.
The opening of the new factory is also good news for the popular traditional Finnish brand Hau-Hau, whose production operations have finally returned to their native country. Until March, the flagship product Hau-Hau Champion, which is 100% carbon neutral, was produced at VAFO Group factories in the Czech Republic. Local production brings other benefits as well. “With the new modern and ecological factory, we’re able to better meet consumers’ desire to have domestic, locally produced pet food. Merely “designed in Finland” is no longer enough. Being domestic and taking environmental issues into account is important to consumers and to us as well. It’s also great to be involved in influencing the regional economy and employment,” says Timo Pärssinen, CEO of Prima Pet Premium.
The Finnish pet care market is estimated to be worth approximately 650 million euros annually. Moreover, economic fluctuations and the global situation don’t have the same effect on demand for pet foods as in other industries. On the contrary, the number of pets in the world continues to grow, and there are more and more consumers who want to give their pets better and higher-quality food not just from traditional brands.
In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in private labels in the pet food market, and Finland is no exception. With the largest factory, Prima Pet Premium and VAFO Group can now offer unused production capacity to all interested parties with a guarantee that the foods will be produced in the most sustainable way using the latest technologies. “We’re definitely seeing an increase in demand from the side of online players as compared to the past. Because we’re ideally positioned in terms of capacity, we welcome this increased demand for new product development in the premium and superpremium segments,” says Michal Vinický, Private Label Manager, VAFO Praha.
Interested parties can receive more information about the new sustainable production and available capacities at the upcoming ZOOMARK International 2023, where VAFO will be showcasing new products from its portfolio, such as Brit Care with an innovative insect protein formula and Planet Pet Society, a 100% climate-neutral food using so-called second-chance ingredients. For the very first time, VAFO will also be presenting a vegetarian dog food under the traditional German brand Christopherus alongside the expanded Carnilove True Fresh line, whose content of fresh meat is a clear choice for people wanting to give their pets the most natural and evolution-tested ingredients. Visitors to ZOOMARK will find the VAFO Group booth at spot A50-55, where in addition to quality and sustainable pet foods they’ll also find good refreshments and a pleasant atmosphere among the entire VAFO Group family.