Review of Operations
Basic business strategy
Aging is a growing issue for pets, as well as people. To increase healthy life expectancy and create a cohesive society where pets and people can live long and rich lives together, we will work to create new markets and develop products that support all aspects of pets’ lives.
We supply a wide range of high value-added pet food and pet toiletry products incorporating Unicharm technologies from Japan, helping to improve health and hygiene for people living with pets.
Revitalizing the market by reinforcing our brands and launching high value-added products
Our goal is to create a cohesive society where people and their pets can live long and rich lives. To realize this goal, we are creating new markets and developing new products that provide support for all aspects of pets’ lives, from hygiene through to food. Despite weak growth in the number of pets in Japan, sales increased roughly 6% year on year and Unicharm retained the leading domestic share in the pet food and pet toiletries market.
In pet food, we are offering more healthy pet food choices for specific segments based on requirements such as breed, age and health condition. In particular, as pets become older, we are expanding our lineup of products aimed at pets aged 15 years and older. In pet toiletry products, we are using the nonwoven fabric and absorbent material processing and molding technologies developed since the early days of Unicharm to actively develop new markets, aiming to create clean and hygienic environments for owners and their pets whenever and wherever they need them. To realize our vision of cohesive societies where pets and people live in harmony, we have developed Manner Wear pet toilet care products with clothing-style designs, so that owners can always take their pets with them when they go out. We also sell a cat toilet system called Deotoilet that makes it easier to hygienically care for cats indoors.
To address growing demand for nursing care for aging and immobile pets, we launched Unicharm Pet Pro, Japan’s first pet nursing care system* aimed at veterinary hospitals. This product fits with our broader range of pet care products designed to reduce the burden on both pets and their owners.
Going forward, we will continue to use technologies developed since the first days of Unicharm to develop new products with unique functionality, giving pleasure to owners by extending the healthy lives of their pets.
*In major pet nursing care product categories in Japan (Unicharm research, October 2016)
Targeting business expansion with products incorporating Japanese technology
Since acquiring The Hartz Mountain Corporation in 2011, Unicharm has achieved stable growth in the US by launching products that incorporate technologies developed since the first days of the Company. Key products include flea and tick control products, toilet sheets for dogs incorporating Japanese technology and wet-type snacks for cats – a new concept in the US market that we brought over from Japan. Sales of those products are growing, supporting Unicharm’s leading share in the US. Also, in recent years we have shifted our sales focus to high value-added products, which account for a rising share of sales and are driving profit growth.
Going forward, we will continue to improve profitability and expand our pet care business in the US by combining our technical and product development capabilities in pet toiletry and pet food products with the brand power, marketing expertise and selling power of Hartz.
Using strengths built up in Japan to accelerate overseas expansion
The pet care market continues to expand worldwide. We forecast continued growth in advanced economies, as well as in emerging markets in South America and Asia, particularly China, where rising incomes and aging populations are likely to drive market expansion. Leveraging our leading position in the domestic pet food and pet toiletry markets, we plan to step up the pace of overseas expansion to support further growth in the pet care business.
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