2022 will go down as a challenging year for almost every small business, but we’re pleased to have come out the other end with another positive end-of-year review.
Part of starting and growing any small business is doing the ‘hard yards,’ and there were many of those in 2022. With the backdrop of geopolitical instability, runaway inflation, increased living costs, supply chain chaos and soaring energy bills, Catipilla still managed to maintain momentum with strong sales growth, soaring customer growth and the first signs that the brand is moving from ‘disruptive upstart’ to ‘mainstream player’.
In an increasingly recessionary environment with diminishing consumer spending, Catipilla’s growth of circa 30% during the year speaks volumes of the strength of our offering and the value we deliver to our customer base.
In the main, pet owners care about their pets’ health and wellbeing so our acute focus on offering products that help cats lead happier, healthier lives will always cut through the noise. It is also interesting that in challenging times, when consumers are more conscious with their money, the demand for quality rises which is another core component of Catipilla’s consumer proposition.
The encouraging growth in sales was tempered slightly with a growing squeeze on margins throughout the year, the inevitable result arising from the rising cost of materials, transportation and associated operational costs. Where possible, we shielded our customers from these cost increases whilst finding ways to reduce the cost burden across the business. We faced some tough decisions but ones that we were prepared to meet head on.
Towards the end of 2022, we were pleased to finally launch the latest Catipilla product – the CatWalk range. Bringing new products to market is never easy but doing so during a global pandemic added another layer of complexity. However, the hard work has paid off and the CatWalk is fast becoming one of our best-selling products. There is more in the product pipeline as well, with another exciting product just passing through our testing phase for launch later in 2023. We are also exploring some exciting new, sustainable materials for future product development whilst maintaining our commitment to recyclability of components and local manufacture (UK) wherever possible.
So, what’s in the pipeline for 2023? With the hard yards of 2022 successfully navigated, 2023 is all about accelerated growth into new channels and new markets. With over 30% of sales already coming from international markets, the opportunity to spread our wings far and wide is a real focus for the business moving forward. We will also be forging new partnerships with like-minded firms in the pet industry and increasing the visibility of our brand through digital, social and more traditional avenues.
Whilst immediate challenges remain, it is still an exciting time for all Catipilla stakeholders as the business matures and builds on the solid foundations that are now in place.
Bring on 2023.