Mars is reportedly looking to invest in pet-food manufacturing in China.

According to multiple reports in China, the US group is planning to build a new pet-food factory in the northern municipality of Tianjin.

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A launch ceremony for the plant was reportedly held before Christmas.

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported Mars plans to invest more than US$100m in the facility, which will cover around 110,000 square metres. At full capacity, the factory’s annual output will be more than 250,000 tonnes, the news outlet said.

just-food approached Mars officials in the US and China for comment but the company had not responded at the time of writing.

In May, Nestlé, one of Mars’ principal global rivals in the pet-food sector, announced plans to expand its existing pet-food factory in Tianjin. The company said pet ownership was on the rise in China, adding its investment would see new production lines installed at the factory for products including wet cat food.