>
Scents you and your pet will agree on

Innovation & Development

What pets want or need does not always necessarily match the wishes of their owners. This also applies to perfumes and smells in pet care as well in beauty and home care products. A joint project of the Symrise divisions Fragrance, Cosmetic Ingredients and Diana with its Pet Food Business Unit has taken a close look at this not infrequent conflict of objectives – and now serves a promising market.

Some dogs feel most comfortable and enjoy their own smell when they have been running around outside and rolling in puddles. Cats are cleaner creatures and love the scent of catnip and valerian. Unknown smells make them insecure. Pet owners, on the other hand, would prefer to hide the scents their pets sometimes bring home with them under fine shampoos. In the best case, these shampoos smell like human care products. One thing is clear: Preferences diverge widely. In addition, our four-legged friends are much more sensitive to odors than humans: “10 % of a dog’s brain is dedicated to olfaction, as compared to only 0.3 % in humans. Dogs have about 200 million olfactive neurons, cats have 67 million and humans only 15 million,” says Anne Cabotin, Senior Vice President of Consumer Fragrances. “We need to tailor fragrances that do not irritate dogs and also contribute to making them feel relaxed and happy.” Dogs also have much thinner skin with a higher pH value, which means they need more shampoos and creams specifically adapted to their sensitive skin.

For pet owners, animal care products should ideally smell like care products for people.

hundewaesche

The market for animal care products is huge. There are 830 million domestic dogs and cats around the world, and this number has risen by 40 % in the past ten years. “But this growth is far from over. We’re talking about a market for animal care products of around € 10 billion,” says Bertrand de Launay, President of Diana Pet Food, citing another concise figure that points to rising figures: According to studies, two-thirds of all millennials in the U.S. – those born between the early 1980 s and late 1990 s – already own a pet. “However, we are no longer talking about pet owners, but about pet parents. And because this humanization will progress even more, we see enormous potential in the beauty and home care industries as well.”

So how do you bring the needs of humans and animals together in pet care products? A team from the Pet Food business unit of Symrise’s Division Diana, has joined forces with researchers from the Consumer Fragrances business unit of Symrise’s Fragrance Division. The result are fragrances with a NeoFresh® technology inside that help suppressing odors without the animals perceiving the smell of the care product as unpleasant. Both sides brought their strengths to the development process. An example of this is the evaluation subjects: “We know the animals’ preferences very well because we have been working for years with more than 1,000 cats and dogs living in our Panelis centers in France, Brazil and the USA,” says Bertrand de Launay. Experts are also evaluating the products with 2,300 dogs and cats that live with families in the French region, who were brought together to form the Panelis in-home panel. The process also involved veterinarians and ethologists (animal behavior experts). The experts are additionally evaluating feedbacks from pet parents of Yummypets, a pioneering social media network for pets. Yummypets also belongs to Diana Pet Food. More than 1.3 million animal owners and their pets are already active on the network.

Numbers of olfactory nerve cells (in million)

humans

15

We’re talking about a market for animal care products of around € 10 billion.
Bertrand De launay
President of Diana Pet Food

Numbers of olfactory nerve cells (in million)

dogs

200

“We had been working on this topic for quite some time, and after Symrise took over Diana in 2015, we realized how big our synergy effects were,” reports Bertrand de Launay. Three customer groups were to be addressed: companies that already offer animal care products, beauty care companies that want to add beauty products for animals, and companies that sell animal food and want to expand their range. In developing the fragrances and also selling the products to the care product manufacturers, the project relied on the know-how of Symrise colleagues from the Cosmetic Ingredients Division, who are particularly well versed in products for sensitive skin and hair. “At Symrise, we want to increase health and well-being for the whole family, and that includes pets,” says Gabriele Vielhaber, Senior Vice President Global Accounts Cosmetic Ingredients. “At the same time, we recognize how large the markets in this segment are. This fits in well with our corporate strategy, according to which we want to generate a third of our sales in areas outside the traditional fragrance and flavor segments.” The coronavirus crisis has further intensified the development of the market. “Consumers are spending much more time at home with their cats and dogs, which has made them realize they can improve living conditions for their pets as well – not just with food, but with odors,” says Gabriele Vielhaber.

The entry of large and trendy cosmetics customers into the segment has also boosted business. “This is the ideal time to also expand our product range,” says Gabriele. “However, and this is particularly important, the products must be precisely adapted to the needs of the animals: In dogs, for example, this means that we use our gentlest ingredients and fragrances because of the higher skin pH, thinner epidermis and finer hair.” In addition, the products are vegan, mostly biodegradable and manufactured without controversial substances such as parabens.

The teams are also currently developing products for which they have advanced into another area: household cleaning products. “What does a pet have the most contact with?” Bertrand asks, and he answers immediately, saying, “The floor. Dogs and cats walk on carpets or hard floor coverings all day long, so it is only logical that we take a close look at this area as well.” “Pets and their parents are exposed to the same air care and cleaning products used for everyday home cleaning and freshing,” says Anne Cabotin. “Now pet parents will be able to buy their essential home products with the confidence that fragrances are well accepted by their pets.”

Numbers of olfactory nerve cells (in million)

cats

67

Further Stories >

card-image

Rebirth of a longstanding brand

The lauded French brand Maison Lautier has been a part of the Symrise portfolio since the mid-1990s.

Read more >
card-image

The farmers in focus

In a globalized world based on communication and cooperation, a company can only be as good as its partners.

Read more >
card-image

Growing together

With the acquisition of ADF, IDF and IsoNova, Symrise has further expanded its portfolio within its Nutrition segment.

Read more >
card-image

On the road to an eco-friendly factory

In Colombia, Diana Pet Food, one of Symrise Nutrition business units, was previously represented by a single sales office.

Read more >
card-image

Research inspired by 40,000 recipes

One of the major health problems globally is excess weight, which can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular illness, heart attacks or strokes.

Read more >
card-image

Six steps to success

Cosmetics originated in plant extracts. Even in prehistoric times, humans used botanicals for their effects on the skin and to increase their sense of well-being.

Read more >
card-image

Purely a matter of taste

For animals in aquaculture to be fed in a way that is healthy, nutritious, and tasty, their feed must have functional ingredients.

Read more >
card-image

A good nose

Consumers are increasingly placing value on products that are good for them and the environment.

Read more >
card-image

Our employees in focus

Four out of ten employees working from home, production facilities all over the world working around the clock, and on top of that the health concerns of our colleagues.

Read more >
card-image

Wide-ranging commitment

Symrise initiated many projects and campaigns that focus on sustainability, occupational health and safety, and social responsibility. Here are just a few.

Read more >
card-image

Every bit is useful

One of the UN’s most important goals is to aim for responsible consumption and production. A small contribution to this is made by using raw materials more fully – for example through upcycling.

Read more >
card-image

The power of holistic action

Symrise grew for the 15th time in 2020 – despite the coronavirus and the global economic slump triggered by the pandemic.

Read more >
card-image

2030: Climate-positive

Symrise places sustainability at the center of its business strategy throughout the entire value chain and aims to become climate-positive starting in 2030.

Read more >
card-image

Energy? Save it!

Symrise continuously increases its eco-effi­ciency by focusing on innovations and ideas. Two examples show how.

Read more >
card-image

Meatless meat

Meat and dairy products have traditionally been a part of diets around the world, but increasingly the products that end up on our plates no longer need to come from animals.

Read more >
card-image

Vitamin Bomb

Acerola cherries come from northeastern Brazil. Symrise is now using them for a very special product.

Read more >