Future 50: Aviform shows strong growth as pandemic boosts pet ownership
- Credit: Aviform
Animal and human health supplement producer’s direct-sales model pays dividends.
Wymondham-based Aviform has grown by almost 30% in the past year. “We're continuing in the same frame, so in some respects COVID has been pretty kind to us,” says director Robin Rodger.
The Future 50 business manufactures animal health and sports nutrition supplements. “There was a huge uptake in people getting dogs, for instance, during lockdown. We were set up to supply direct anyway and people were shopping online because they couldn't go out. So that worked very much in our favour,” Mr Rodger explains.
The business was started in 1978, producing products for birds. There are still extensive ranges for cage and aviary birds, poultry and racing pigeons, but Aviform now also has supplements for horses, dogs, cats and humans – all manufactured at its 9,000sq ft Norfolk HQ.
While the pandemic may have helped UK sales, it also definitely brought challenges. “Some of our raw materials originate from China,” Mr Rodger explains. “Back in September 2019 one of our suppliers said, 'We're having a few problems getting stuff out of China, there's this strange virus out there...’ We were able to buy-in ahead of it, to a degree, but we have thousands of raw materials so it was difficult to get it all.”
Having weathered that initial storm, the challenge now is less about supply but more around cost. “Raw material pricing is incredibly volatile at the moment. Some products we can't get hold of. Others have increased in price,” says Mr Rodger.
“We don’t have much flexibility to change our formulations, because of the regulatory declarations and how the supplements work,” he adds. “One of our core values is efficacy and we formulate our products for efficacy, not the price point.
“We are transparent about what our products contain so customers can make an informed choice, compared to our competitors’ products - and our customers appreciate that,” he concludes.
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For further information, see www.aviform.co.uk