Mars Petcare Australia has decided to invest A$112.6m ($74.3m) in its Wodonga facility in Australia to expand its pet food production capabilities.

The news was confirmed by Mars Petcare Australia general manager Craig Sargeant in his recent LinkedIn post.

The post said that the investment will be used to support the development of a 7,800m² manufacturing facility.

The unit will specifically focus on manufacturing ‘Single Serve Pouches’, with an initial capacity of approximately 290 million cat food pouches.

It is expected to become operational in mid-2025.

Once operational, the site will help improve the process of sourcing and production of Mars Petcare’s offerings locally in Australia.

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The company’s portfolio of brands mainly includes Dine, Optimum, Advance and Whiskas.

According to a report by Manufacturers’ Monthly, the expanded facility will help create more than 60 new employment roles in the Victoria region of Australia.

The expanded site will address the demands of the Australian and New Zealand markets while contributing to the growth of the company’s current and new products.

Sargeant said: “This significant investment will allow us to respond to pet trends including the continued rise in cat ownership – growing at nearly 4% per year – more than twice as fast as our dog population.

“We are also seeing increased demand for convenience, with pouch products representing half of the Australian wet cat food market and growing at nearly 10% per year.”

The report claimed that this expansion effort of Mars Petcare Australia has also received financial support from the Victoria state government’s Regional Development Victoria.

Regional Development Victoria minister Harriet Shing said: “As pet ownership continues to increase there are enormous opportunities for businesses like Mars to expand.

“We are continuing to work with rural and regional producers to support investment in growth industries, to cement Mars Petcare’s long-term operations and workforce in Wodonga and its place in a strong market.”