Man’s best friend

Brandy Meal Times is a new launch for Mackle Pet Foods in 2009. Ideal for the convenience channel, the product is available as a variety three pack, offering three flavours: Chicken, Beef and Ocean Fish, all with garden vegetables in rich gravy, in one handy pack
Brandy Meal Times is a new launch for Mackle Pet Foods in 2009. Ideal for the convenience channel, the product is available as a variety three pack, offering three flavours: Chicken, Beef and Ocean Fish, all with garden vegetables in rich gravy, in one handy pack

Forget the recession, consumers are splashing out on their pets and forecasts predict the trend for humanising health and wellness-enhancing products will continue.

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Brand Central

10 June 2009 | 0

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At a glance: pet care

  • Ireland’s pet food and pet care products market is valued at around €199.7 million in 2009 and is set to be worth €205.4 million in 2010 and €211 million in 2011
  • In 2008 overall expenditure on pet food and pet care products increased
  • Human trends continue to cross over to the pet category, including organic, all-natural, premium, and different recipes
  • Pet health continues to be an important driver in the pet care market, with products aiming to deliver health benefits for obese and ageing pets particularly driving sales
  • Brandy maintains its position as the number one Irish dog food brand and the second largest branded dog food in the Irish market
  • Brandy Meal Times is a new launch from Mackle Pet Foods in 2009
  • As many as 37% of shoppers in other categories said they would be purchasing less branded products in the next 12 months
  • Only 10% of consumers said that they would buy less branded pet food in the year ahead
  • While consumers are not buying any less pet food, 34% of dog owners and 27% of cat owners now admit to looking out for more promotions within their favourite brands
  • Nestlé Purina’s key pet care brands continue to experience strong growth, with Bakers Complete Dry Dog Food growing 9% in the latest year, Gourmet up 3.5% and Felix As Good As It Looks up 68%
  • Go Cat Complete remains market leader within the complete dry cat sector with 53.6% share
  • PetEx 2009 is a two day trade event taking place in the RDS, Dublin on Sunday 6 and Monday 7 September 2009
  • Dog ownership in Ireland now stands at 1 in 4 families

According to market expert Euromonitor, the pet care market had another high value year in 2008: “Although overall expenditure on pet food and pet care products increased, value growth outstripped volume growth as consumers traded up to premium products and increased manufacturing costs began to filter through to unit prices,” reported the analyst this February.

Human trends continued to cross over to the pet category and accordingly, marketing was increasingly designed to appeal to owners’ senses than to animals. Consumers bought organic, all natural, healthy and premium products, mirroring trends in the human consumer foods sector, and new recipes and increasingly convenient formats such as the single serve pouch drove
value sales.

In the Irish market, the popularity of Mars’ Pedigree brand, Whiskas and Kitekat showed no sign of abating, while Mackle and Irish Dog Foods were the leading domestic companies within the pet food sector. Furthermore, the distribution of pet care products in Ireland has become more diversified, according to Euromonitor’s February 2009 report, with veterinary clinics, pet shops and other non-food stores becoming more popular among Irish consumers.

“Premium products are projected to experience strong growth over the forecast period as an increasing number of consumers become disenchanted with the quality of cheaper brands. Brands which are positioned as natural, organic or human grade are expected to experience the strongest growth rates,” said the analyst. Similarly, pet health has become an important driver and products aiming to deliver health benefits for obese and ageing pets will continue to drive value growth in the category. Likewise, nutritionally balanced options enriched with vitamins and minerals have also become popular with pet owners, who consider their pet part of the family.

Number one Irish brand

Established in 1972, Armagh-based Mackle Petfoods’ product portfolio includes Brandy, Brandy Complete, McGrath, Cat Club, Cat Club Complete and Jessie, which are produced between its two state of the art production facilities for wet and dry pet food.

With 37 years experience working within the Irish Pet Food market, Mackle Petfoods is aware of consumers’ needs for high quality products for their pets but at a competitive price. Moreover, despite its competitive pricing, Mackle Petfoods typically offers retailers high double digit margins compared to the single digit margins available on leading national brands.  

Brandy continues to maintain its position as the number one Irish dog food brand and the second largest branded dog food in the Irish market. “We attribute the brand’s continued success to the simple fact that dogs really do love the taste of Brandy and their owners recognise this, as well as appreciating the fact that Brandy is extremely competitively priced,” says the manufacturer.

A new departure for Brandy in 2009 is the launch of Brandy Meal Times, which sees Brandy move from a loaf product to chunks in gravy. Brandy Meal Times is an all-natural product which gives dogs all the goodness of a high protein diet combined with vitamins and nutrients from specially selected garden vegetables, all blended in a rich gravy. Made from 100% real meat chunks, Brandy Meal Times contains no artificial flavours or preservatives.  

Brandy Meal Times is available as a variety three pack, offering three flavours: Chicken, Beef and Ocean Fish, all with garden vegetables in rich gravy in one handy pack. This variety three pack option is an ideal pack for the convenience market. Each formulation has been extensively trialled against other leading brands and results from consumer research has provoked a very positive reaction, from dogs and owners alike. Brandy Meal Times will be supported by a TV Advertising Campaign, running 15 to 30 June.

Branded pet food continues to be resilient

In the current economic slowdown consumers are actively shopping around and looking for better value, with many switching spend into private label products. As many as 37% of shoppers in other categories said they would be purchasing less branded products in the next 12 months.

Evidence shows however that this is not the case for pet food with only 10% of consumers outlining that they would buy less branded pet food in the year ahead (Buckingham Research). And while consumers are not buying any less pet food, 34% of dog owners and 27% of cat owners now admit to looking out for more promotions within their favourite brands (Millward Brown).

Nestlé Purina’s key pet care brands continue to experience strong growth, with Bakers Complete Dry Dog Food growing 9% in the latest year, Gourmet growing 3.5%, and Felix As Good As It Looks up by a massive 68%. Go Cat Complete remains market leader within the complete dry cat sector with 53.6% share  (AC Nielsen MAT 19th April 2009).

Nestlé Purina Petcare will continue to invest heavily in these brands in 2009 with TV and press campaigns across Bakers, Go Cat, Purina One, Felix and Gourmet luxury cat food.

Ireland’s first trade pet event to harness high growth industry

Innovative Events will be staging and promoting Ireland’s first dedicated trade pet and aquatics exhibition, PetEx 2009, which will bring trade buyers and sellers together at one event solely dedicated to the pet and aquatics industry.

PetEx 2009 will be a two day trade event, taking place in the RDS, Dublin on Sunday 6 and Monday 7 September 2009. At the show trade professionals will find the biggest range of companies providing products and services for pets and can exchange experiences and ideas with other professionals at specialist conferences and seminars.

Ireland’s pet food and pet care products market is valued at around €199.7 million in 2009 and has been consistently growing, and is set to be worth €205.4 million in 2010 and €211 million in 2011 (Source Euromonitor Report “Pet Food and Pet Care Products” Ireland 2007).

PetEx is brought to the pet industry by the organisers of Pet Expo, Ireland’s only dedicated consumer pet event (successfully launched in 2007) and in its third year. Event director, Marie Murphy commented: “PetEx will give those involved in serving Ireland’s pet industry the opportunity to participate in an event that will attract buyers from all parts of Ireland, allow them to promote their products and services to this audience, meet new customers, develop relationships with those in the industry and benefit from shared experiences and industry knowledge.”

For further details on the event and exhibitors visit www.petex.ie. For sponsorship opportunities call Marie on 087 254 8110 or email marie@petex.ie.

For happy, healthy pets

Mars Ireland is reinforcing its commitment to the health and well-being of Irish pets, and maintains leadership of the Irish pet care sector, with 58% share (Source: ACNielsen April 2009).

According to Mars, Pedigree’s continued success is due to its quality range that caters for every dog, from puppy through to old age. The extensive Pedigree Complete range drives growth in the dry dog food market, and Pedigree is also driving growth within the premium pouch and snacks and treats segments.

The snacks and treats range includes DentaStix, which is the fastest growing functional treat, catering for the daily dental care needs of all size dogs. JointCare+ is another functional offering, designed to ease joint stiffness and keep dog’s joints healthy when fed daily.

Also from Mars Ireland, the Whiskas range offers high quality products across the pouch, dry complete, can and snacks and treats segments. Cat pouch is one of the fastest growing segments within the cat food sector, and Whiskas is driving growth in the premium plus segment of single serve with the Whiskas ‘Oh So’ range. The entire Whiskas wet and dry ranges have recently been upgraded and re-launched. New packaging now highlights the nutritional benefits of Whiskas food, and this re-launch is being heavily supported with new TV, outdoor and press advertising.

The Pedigree and Whiskas brands are both number one within their categories. Mars Ireland’s brand portfolio also includes: Cesar, Sheba, Pal, Kitekat, Catsan and Frolic. The company is driving growth in the market through continuous innovation, heavy weight advertising support and strong in-store promotions.

 

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