MPM Products has reported a 400% sales growth in Japan this year, following a “hunger for high-quality pet food” in the country.
The Manchester business sold £1m worth of products in the country this year, and predicts a 500% increase in sales over the next five years, with sales reaching £5m.
Founded in 2002, Making Pet Food Matters (MPM) produces food that uses 100% natural ingredients, and its range of brands, including Applaws and Encore, currently sell in 49 countries around the world. Significant markets for MPM brands also include Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Taiwan, and China.
The company launched in Japan last year through distributor AEONPet, and has been supported by the Department for International Trade (DIT) since 2014.
The UK business has worked “extensively” with DIT’s overseas advisers to establish itself in new markets including the US, where sales have doubled year-on-year.
MPM Products’ chief operating officer, James Bracewell, said: “We previously found Japan a difficult market to obtain new business in due to the strict legislative framework and high expectations on quality. However, with the help of the Department for International Trade and others, we have recently won new business with our Applaws brand.
“Applaws’ premium cat and dog food provide real health benefits for pets and strong growth is anticipated as the roll-out across Japan continues.”
Exports minister Graham Stuart said: “MPM Products’ heart-warming success illustrates the export opportunities on offer for small businesses all across the UK as a result of the UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement.
“There is strong demand in Japan for our high-quality goods and services, and North-West businesses like MPM are well placed to benefit from the deal’s tariff reductions and enhancements in areas such as digital and data.”
He added: “We overtook France last year to become the world’s fifth largest exporter: with more FTAs and companies like MPM there is no reason that in future we can’t do better still.”