Pets are big in Brazil. There are currently about 54.2 million dogs and 23.9 million cats in the country – making Brazil home to the second-largest cat and dog population in the world.
And it’s a trend that is set to grow. Research indicates that Brazil’s cat and dog population could reach around 101 million by 2030.
Taking these statistics into account, it is not surprising that Brazil was chosen as the location for the launch of our first-ever pet care brand. Cafuné offers owners a complete range of products aimed at keeping their four-footed companions healthy and happy.
Pet care is not a new concept in Brazil, but Cafuné’s approach is different. Unlike many pet care brands in Brazil, Cafuné does not attempt to humanise pets, focusing instead on products that are tailor-made to meet the needs of animals.
“Having studied this market in depth, we discovered the need to offer something rare in the pet care market in Brazil, products that respect the essence of the animals. We want to give care a new meaning, ensuring the utmost comfort for these animals without humanising them,” says Eduardo Campanella, Marketing VP for Unilever.
A new approach to pet care
The result is an entirely Brazilian range of products, with a very Brazilian name.“Cafuné is a Brazilian word that expresses a kind gesture of affection, something you would say to your children,” says Teo Figueiredo, New Business Director for Unilever. “The name was chosen to reflect the brand’s focus on care.”
Including four types of pet shampoo, two conditioners, wipes, kitty litter and training pads for dogs, as well as home disinfectants and cleaning products, the Cafuné range is recommended by vets and carries the PETA-approved logo, certifying that the brand does not test on animals.
“Our brand is reaching out to all pet parents who prioritise the care and wellbeing of their pets; to those who plan to adopt and wish to offer the best care; and also to professionals who care for dogs and cats every day,” adds Teo.
A new generation of caring pet care products
The emphasis on care is found in every aspect of the brand, from manufacturing to the 24-hour customer support service for emergency cases. All Cafuné formulations are gentle but effective, while the grooming products are based on natural extracts and free from parabens, dyes, silicones or any other ingredient that could have adverse effects on animals.
“We know that animals’ cleaning instinct is to lick themselves. Which is why it is important for the market to provide products that do not generate risks for the animal’s health in the case of direct contact with the skin. And the skin of pets is very sensitive. Inappropriate hygiene and cleaning products have the potential to cause allergies and itchiness,” explains Brazilian animal dermatologist and lecturer Dr Ronaldo Lucas, highlighting how animal behaviour has been central to the development of the pet care products.
Keeping homes clean the pet-friendly way
The same attention to care and animal sensitivities lies behind the carefully created range of home hygiene products.
Animals use their sense of smell to interact with their environment and communicate with each other. If this smell is masked, it can become very disorientating and distressing for the animal.
“Because animals explore and discover the world through smell, products with very strong fragrances are not recommended, since they may interfere with this very important sense, in addition to causing respiratory problems and harming the pet’s health,” Dr Lucas explains. “It is for this reason that it is extremely important to take the animal’s needs into account when choosing hygiene and cleaning products.”
Sensitive to this, all Cafuné home hygiene products, from floor cleaners and disinfectants to fragrance-free detergents for washing feeding bowls, are carefully balanced in order to keep homes sanitised without overloading pets with unnecessary and potentially upsetting fragrances.
Good for pets and the planet
In addition to being sensitive to the needs of its four-footed end-users, Cafuné also strives to be gentle on the planet. Determined to leave as light a carbon footprint as possible, the brand prides itself on continually looking for sustainable solutions.
Currently, all Cafuné 300ml bottles are made from recycled plastic and are recyclable themselves, while its cat litter is made from 100% natural, renewable and compostable ingredients and is packaged in a patented green sugarcane-based plastic, known as I´m greenTM, from Braskem®.
Eyes on the future
Barely a few months old, the Cafuné brand is currently focusing on its home ground – but that is not to say that this most Brazilian of brands might not look to widen its horizons in the future.
“Our current goal really is to win over Brazilian consumers with Cafuné and learn as much as we can with this launch,” says Teo. “After that, we can replicate the business model abroad.”