With many pets taking pride of place as treasured members of Irish families, it's not surprising that many pet owners are highly loyal to their preferred brand. In fact, if a particular product is not available, 73% of pet owners will leave a store without purchasing an alternative. This is an apt demonstration of the importance of ensuring you consistently stock up on the category bestsellers, writes Gillian Hamill
11 June 2014
AT A GLANCE: PET CARE
- The dog care and treats sector is in growth by 2%*
- Pedigree at 60% value market share is delivering value and volume growth of 3%, out-performing the market*
- Brandy is the number one Irish made dog food brand and the second largest branded dog food in the Irish market
- Four out of five dogs over the age of three have gum disease, caused by the build-up of plaque and tartar
- There are 400,000 dogs in Ireland, which equates to nearly one million meals per day
- Pet owners are loyal to their preferred brand, flavour and format. If a product is unavailable, 73% will leave the store without an alternative, potentially taking the rest of their basket spend with them
- 70% of wet pet food is sold as chunks in jelly/gravy
*(Source: AC Nielsen MAT value sales growth W/E 26 Mar 2014)
Despite the fact that pet owners have faced diminished finances in recent years, Ireland’s pet foods sector continues to record growth. In fact, the dog care and treats sector is currently in growth by 2%, according to recent Nielsen statistics. This can be attributed to a mindset prevalent amongst many pet owners, which considers their pet to be a beloved addition to the family. Understandably, they would therefore be extremely reluctant to compromise in any way on the quality of foods they buy for their consumption. Opportunities still exist for further growth market growth moreover, particularly for innovative products that target particular requirements, such as dental care.
100% Irish meat…100% family
Brandy has a strong local heritage dating back to 1971. Brandy is made using only 100% Irish meat sourced from across the island of Ireland. The use of 100% Irish meat is unique to the brand. Brandy is also fully traceable from farm to can. Irish consumers are concerned about the provenance and quality of the product they feed their dogs and they have really embraced the fact that Brandy uses only 100% Irish meat and has full traceability. Dog owners view their dog as a key member of the family so they want to feed them the best. Consumers are also looking for value and Brandy offers customers high quality products at a value price.
Since its hugely successful re-launch, Brandy has grown from strength to strength and continues to remain the number one Irish made dog food brand and the second largest branded dog food in the Irish market.
Brandy’s two promotional variety three packs, Brandy Variety Traditional Loaf and Brandy Variety Chunks in Jelly, both price marked at €2, offer the customer value for money while offering the retailer strong margin. Both packs continue to perform exceptionally well and have proven to be key selling lines particularly for the convenience sector, due to their keen €2 value price message.
Following on from the hugely successful launch of Brandy Variety Chunks in Jelly six and three packs, Brandy has just launched a new Variety Chunks in Jelly 12 pack, which is available to order now. The new Brandy Variety Chunks in Jelly 12 pack will complement the current Brandy Variety Loaf 12 pack. The new pack is a mixed poultry selection and is available in four tasty varieties, Chicken, Chicken & Duck, Chicken & Turkey and Duck & Turkey.
This summer Brandy six packs present an exciting new promotional on-pack offer, not to be missed by retailers and customers alike. While the consumer’s dog enjoys their Brandy dinner, by collecting two tokens from the promotional Brandy six pack range (Loaf, Chucks in Jelly and Chunks in Gravy) customers can collect a cute Brandy cuddly toy for themselves. This promotion runs on-pack throughout the summer and will be supported by an all-Ireland radio advertising campaign and a strong digital campaign.
Throughout 2014 Brandy will continue to be supported by strong promotional activity and an extensive advertising campaign. For more information, visit facebook.com/brandydogfood.
Scientifically proven results
Pedigree, Ireland’s number one selling dog food brand is launching a revolutionary new oral care product for dogs called Pedigree DentaFlex, adding to its already hugely successful Dentastix range. New DentaFlex is an x-shaped dental chew that is scientifically proven to reduce plaque and tartar build-up at the gum line. It has a unique "self-healing" texture that flexes around teeth to clean to the gum line. It offers a deep clean from just two chews a week. Developed in association with specialist vet dentists it contains active ingredients, is starch based, low in fat and is a great tasting chicken flavour. Designed for adult dogs over four months, DentaFlex is available from mid-June in most major stockists. A new heavyweight media campaign supporting DentaFlex launches in September to support the NPD.
Pedigree Ireland is continuing to invest behind TV, PR and digital campaigns to highlight the serious issue of gum disease in dogs (four out of five dogs over the age of three have gum disease, caused by the build-up of plaque and tartar). The current "Doggie dentures" TV campaign highlights the importance of oral health care in dogs.
Pedigree Tasty Bites unlocks an additional penetration growth opportunity in the dog care and treats market by entering a new bite size segment. Dogs love to be rewarded – Pedigree Tasty Bites are a range of scrumptiously tasty and meaty treats. Made with added vitamins, minerals and Omega 3, new Pedigree Tasty Bites come in four varieties of bite size treats: Chewy cubes, Cheesy Nibbles, Crunchy pockets and Chewy slices. These new treats contain a minimum of 40 treats, are fresh every time due to re-sealable packs and are a perfect complement to the current Pedigree treat range offering more bonding and reward occasions. As 30% of dog care and treats are purchased on impulse, this range offers the perfect opportunity to tempt shoppers both in the pet care aisle and away from it.
Tasty Bites are available from mid-June in most major stockists. A new heavyweight media campaign supporting the launch starts in the autumn.
Overall, the dog care and treats sector is in growth by 2%* and this represents a huge opportunity to recruit new and impulse buyers into the category, particularly if retailers carry a range of Pedigree oral care and treats, according to the brand. Pedigree at 60% value market share is delivering value and volume growth of 3%, out-performing the market.
*(Source: AC Nielsen MAT value sales growth W/E 26 Mar 2014)
As Good as it Looks
Pet owners don’t want to cut back on the quality of the food that they give their pets and will only do so as a last resort especially as there is a risk that cheaper foods won’t get eaten by the pet. Nestlé Purina country category manager Kieran Conroy, says: "There are 400,000 dogs in Ireland, that’s nearly one million meals per day! Pet owners are particular about the food they buy and incredibly loyal to their preferred brand, flavour and format. If a product is unavailable, 73% will leave the store without an alternative, potentially taking the rest of their basket spend with them."
Bakers, the top selling complete dry dog food brand is well known for bringing excitement to the category with many ‘category firsts’ delighting both dogs and their owners.
With Bakers As Good as it Looks, Bakers extends its portfolio into the wet dog food segment. The new product is the result of more than 5,000 hours of research and development, to make sure it delivers beyond the most demanding shopper expectations.
Bakers As Good as it Looks is launching into the total market from June 2014 and is a range of wholesome meals, which smell and look like hearty home cooked food.
The range combines succulent meaty chunks with country vegetables and tasty gravy to provide the great taste and texture that dogs just can’t resist. Packed full of high quality nutritious ingredients, all recipes are complete, balanced and have no artificial colourings. Conroy adds: "Bakers As Good as it Looks has been packed in transparent tubs so dog owners can see the wholesome meaty and vegetable pieces for themselves. Each tub is also re-sealable, so it is convenient, easy-to-use and helps keep food fresher for longer. It’s like no dog food dogs have ever seen before."
The launch of Bakers As Good as it Looks is also being supported by a multimedia campaign with a TV advert running throughout the month of June.
Q & A with…
Gwen Rafferty, sales & marketing manager, Mackle Petfoods
Following on from the successful launch of Brandy Chunks in Jelly six and three packs, why did you decide to launch a new Brandy Variety Chunks in Jelly 12 pack?
Following on from our very successful launch of our Brandy Chunks in Jelly six and three packs, we have just launched our new Brandy Variety Chunks in Jelly 12 pack. 70% of wet pet food is sold as chunks in jelly/gravy and as more customers trade up to larger multi-packs it was a natural progression to introduce our new Brandy Jelly 12 pack. Over the past year we have also had a lot of requests from both customers and retailers to introduce a jelly 12 pack option. Our new pack is a mixed variety poultry selection and is available in four tasty recipes, Chicken, Chicken & Duck, Chicken & Turkey and Duck & Turkey. Made using only 100% Irish meat sourced from across the island of Ireland and fully traceable from farm to can, Brandy is a very popular choice with customers. This pack is available to order now.
What marketing campaigns do you believe have been successful for the brand over the past year?
Brandy was successfully re-launched in 2012, with the key brand message that dogs are not just a pet but an important member of the family and so we only want to feed them the best – ‘Brandy because they’re 100% family’. This marketing strategy was further developed and brought forward into 2013. We endeavoured not only to achieve a short-term impact within the duration of the campaign itself but also to develop a brand message that is fully integrated, sustainable and can continue into the future. Three key elements of Brandy’s marketing strategy for 2013 included, our on-pack Stena Line Competition which generated a great response from our customers and was very well supported by our retailers, our radio campaign and our digital campaign. We developed Brandy Facebook in 2013 which has been very successful with almost 2,000 likes to date. Why not visit us at Facebook/brandydogfood?
Do you have any plans to grow the brand over the coming year?
We have developed our Brandy marketing strategy further in 2014. We are about to launch a very exciting on-pack consumer offer, which will feature on our Brandy six pack range including Loaf, Chunks in Jelly and Chunks in Gravy six packs. By collecting two tokens from our promotional Brandy six pack range, customers can collect a cute Brandy cuddly toy for themselves. This promotion runs on-pack throughout the summer and will be supported by an all-Ireland radio campaign and a strong digital campaign.
Are there plans for any new products in the pipeline?
Not to forget our feline friends, we are currently working on plans for our Cat Club brand which we hope to have completed soon – so watch this space!