With the value of the petcare industry set to balloon to more than US$200 billion, Mars Petcare is looking to use its 80+ years of expertise to own the future of the category by partnering with start-ups.

According to Leonid Sudakov, President of Kinship – a new Mars Petcare-owned venture fund and accelerator aimed at exploring innovation in the category – there is a huge opportunity for Mars to move beyond its traditional pet food production and distribution model and connect with a new generation of pet owners.

So far, areas of focus for the accelerator have included:

  • Connected devices for dogs, and predictive health care.
  • Direct to consumer business models.
  • Alternative approaches to pet nutrition, including non-meat options.

Why disrupt your own category?

Mars Petcare has long been the market leader in petcare, with business amounting to around $20 billion. But as the category faces disruption by new customers with different expectations, innovation has to be proactive rather than reactive.