The petcare category is growing at 3.4%* – that’s almost three times faster than total FMCG (1.5%) – and is worth an incredible £2.3bn, representing a huge opportunity for retailers. The bond between owners and their pets is a strong one and is reflected in consumer purchasing habits as they look for the best products on the market from the brands they know and trust. We know that premiumisation and care and treats are set to fuel growth further in the categories as we head into 2016, says Stephanie Case, Category and Customer Marketing Director, Mars Petcare UK.
“There is no doubt that care and treats are fast becoming the number one must-stock item for retailers; unlocking greater basket spend and encouraging those all-important impulse purchases. Treats exchanged between owners and their pets can enhance the strong emotional bond between them, as well as providing functional health benefits. Our figures show cat treat sales at £121m and dog treat sales at £381m**, up 8.9%.
“At Mars Petcare, we’ve introduced several new and exciting products to the category in recent months which have been designed to meet the needs of pets and their owners, enhance the relationship between the two, and are all based on our expert understanding and insight.
These include PEDIGREE® DentaFlex, a longer lasting chew that helps reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar. We’ve also brought innovations to our range of main meal products, such as the best ever WHISKAS® pouch recipe and pack redesign across both wet and dry formats. With the small dog population continuing to grow, Mars Petcare also launched PEDIGREE® Small Dog in 2015, catering to the specific nutritional needs of small dogs.
“Through our 80 years of heritage in the petcare market we know how to drive the category and we continue to do this by striking the right balance between our strong core range and great innovation. As a business, we use our insight to innovate, providing new and exciting products that are based on our understanding of pets, their owners and the special relationships between them.”
In order to raise awareness and increase those all-important impulse purchases in convenience stores, retailers must ensure they make use of Price Marked Packs. We know that retailers not only see Price Marked Packs as better value for themselves and their customers, but also as a key footfall driver – attracting more shoppers to store and ultimately generating sales growth. Price Marked Packs are proven to be a strong promotional mechanic, especially used alongside standard non-Price Marked Packs in store, allowing retailers to offer a great value for money proposition.
Merchandising Pet Food
We know that the care and treats category is an impulsive one, so secondary sites in store play a vital role in unlocking greater basket spend and encouraging last minute purchasing decisions. Popular and effective secondary sites include placing treats at the checkout, and using clip-strips and counter top units to create points of interruption in store.
Other top tips for merchandising pet food in store include:
1. As pet food shoppers are loyal to key brands they know and trust, make sure you stock the top bestselling brands and de-list the poor performers.
2. Shout out about Mars Petcare’s NPD and upcoming deals.
3. Ensure basic merchandising rules are adhered for easy shopper navigation:
a. Stock a variety of pack formats and sizes, including singles and multipacks, to satisfy all your customers’ needs.
b. Position low penetration subcategories e.g. Cat Treats next to highly penetrated sub-categories e.g. Every Day Single Serve to drive trial.
4. To make shoppers aware that your independent store sells pet food, use a variety of POS materials to raise awareness and create interest in store. Mars Petcare has a range of POS, which retailers can use around store and by the petcare aisle.
5. When merchandising pouch lines, core favourites such as WHISKAS® should be displayed in a prime location, for example, at eye level on a wall display.
6. Pricing is important – Price Marked Packs give consumers confidence that they are receiving good value for money, so it’s important these are prominently displayed in store.
7. Remove barriers to incremental purchase by stocking a range of products in store, secondary siting and using navigation/ education tools.
PEDIGREE® Feed, Care, Play PEDIGREE® Feed Range The PEDIGREE® main meal range is complete and balanced, and is available in a variety of flavour combinations and formats that meet consumer needs and the nutritional requirements for all dog sizes and life stages, from puppy to adult. It is available in single and multipack cans, pouches and a wide range of dry food pack sizes:
PEDIGREE® Pouch 4-Pack – RRP £1.29
PEDIGREE® Cans Single & 6-Pack – RRP 70p & £3.69
PEDIGREE® Complete Dry Food 1kg – RRP £2.59
Focus on: PEDIGREE® Dry Small Dog Food:
The small dog population is rapidly expanding in the UK. Here at Mars Petcare, we know that these dogs have different needs to larger dogs – they have a longer lifespan and are more prone to oral health and urinary tract problems. Also known to be very fussy eaters, they demand greater variety in their meals.
PEDIGREE® Small Dog caters to the specific nutritional needs of small dogs and is available in both adult and puppy formats. The adult PEDIGREE® Small Dog dry food comes in Chicken and Vegetables in 900g, RRP £2.59.
PEDIGREE® Care Range
Focus on: PEDIGREE® DentaStix:
Gum disease is one of the most common complaints in adult dogs. With a unique X-shape, mildly abrasive texture and active ingredients, PEDIGREE® DentaStix is specially designed to help control the accumulation of dental plaque.
Just one PEDIGREE® DentaStix a day is scientifically proven to help reduce tartar build-up by up to 80%.
PEDIGREE® DentaStix is available in packs of seven, with an RRP of £2.19.
Focus on: PEDIGREE® DentaFlex: Functional oral treats continue to be the fastest growing sector within the dog care & treats category.
Launched in July 2014, PEDIGREE® DentaFlex was developed by oral care science and technology experts at PEDIGREE®, with significant input from leading veterinary dentists. It is a completely unique dental chew.
The combination of active ingredients and its revolutionary spongy texture that flexes around the tooth enables it to clean close to the gum line. DentaFlex is available with an RRP from £1.25. POS is also available to help drive sales in store.
CESAR® Tray provides the variety and convenience consumers want for their dogs. Single Trays come in a wide selection of flavours with an RRP of 80p. Some packs are also marked: 2 for £1.20.
SHEBA’s® great performance has been driven by our continued focus on meeting consumer demand for variety and quality. We will continue to update our range as market trends towards premium products show no signs of slowing down.
SHEBA® Fresh Choice
The delicious SHEBA® Fresh Choice range is designed for smaller meals spread throughout the day. SHEBA’s® delicate Fresh Choice 50g pouches equate to one meal, each designed so that cats can have a fresh meal from a new packet every time. Available at an RRP of £1.99, each pack contains six pouches in a variety of flavours, offering complete, balanced meals that give owners and their cats greater variety at meal times.
WHISKAS® offers 100% complete and balanced meals with no artificial flavourings and preservatives, giving cats the meat they need in the taste and textures they love at every stage of their lives. With a great succulent taste, WHISKAS® contains all the protein, vitamins and minerals cats needs to stay happy and healthy. The life stage based messaging, which begins at 2-12 months for a kitten, 1+ for adults and 7+ for older cats, is clearly displayed on pack to ensure owners are making the right decisions when it comes to feeding and treating their cats.
Packs of 12 wet food pouches are available in: Poultry Selection, Meat Selection, Fish & Meat Selection, and Fish Selection, with the RRP £4.21.
Packs are also available with Price Marked Pack £3.29.
WHISKAS® dry food has also recently launched a new recipe and pack redesign, available in 340g and 835g pack sizes. Retailers will also have the opportunity to stock up on the range of £1 Price Marked Packs on its range of 340g packs, with a new, clearer Price Marked Pack flash on pack.
WHISKAS® dry has been reformulated to provide great new recipes that include the addition of tasty POCKETS – crunchy parcels with a soft and creamy filling, in a variety of kibble shapes and textures that cats will be sure to love.
In 2016, the launch of the new WHISKAS® dry range will be supported by £10 million investment into in-store activations, additional POS materials, and TV advertising throughout the year.
DREAMIES™ is a distinctive and fun product, focused on enjoyment and aimed at cat lovers who seek variety to surprise their cats. The DREAMIES™ brand is going from strength to strength, which highlights the huge opportunities for growth in the cat care & treats category.
DREAMIES™, the range of treats designed especially for cats by Mars Petcare, has launched a complete pack redesign across the entire range for 2016. Designed to stand out in store, the all-new DREAMIES™ packs will be available in a range of distinctive colours to drive impulse purchases and create even more pop on the shelf.
The crunchy squares filled with delicious soft centres are available in packs of 60g at an RRP of £1.51.
* To March 2014, Neilsen
** Neilsen, MAT 2014