Reigning cats and dogs!

Ireland's pet food and snack sector has been in robust health in recent years. Based on provisional estimates, dog food is set to see growth of 3% during 2016, with value sales of €84m.


Brand Central

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16 June 2016

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Interestingly, growth is expected to be strongest in luxury and economy dog foods, while midpriced ranges continue to struggle*. Mars Ireland led the dog food sector in 2015, with a 44% value share; its nearest competitor was Nestlé Purina PetCare Ireland Ltd with a 13% value share in 2015. This is expected to continue growing in 2016. S ales of dog food are expected to reach €90m by 2021. This rapid growth is partially due to continued economic growth that will make consumers likely to add a pet to their household. Furthermore, disposable income is likely to promote the choice of a specific breed, along with loyalty to a specific 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, which is why it is vital for retailers to stock the top sellers and popular snacks so as not to miss out on picky dog and catloving custom.

*Source: Euromonitor, June 2016

**Source: Nielsen MAT value sales growth W/E 26 Mar 2014)

***Source: Nielsen MAT Data to 17 May

Local heritage

2016 has been a very busy sales year to date for local pet food manufacturer Mackle Petfoods, with both its flagship brands Brandy and Cat Club performing extremely well, while its new super premium dog food brand Naturo gains traction in retailers across Ireland.

Brandy has a strong local heritage dating back to 1971. It is made using only 100% Irish meat sourced from across the country. This 100% Irish sourcing is unique to this brand. Brandy is also fully traceable “from farm to bowl”, which will be of comfort to Irish consumers concerned about the provenance and quality of the product they feed their dogs. Dog owners view their pets as key members of the family, after all, and only want to feed them the best.

A fun competition invites family dogs to grace Brandy's packaging

A fun competition invites family dogs to grace Brandy’s packaging

Consumers are also – as always – looking for value, and Brandy offers customers high quality products at a competitive price. Brandy’s two promotional variety three packs, Brandy Variety Traditional Loaf and Brandy Variety Chunks in Jelly – both price-marked at €2.20 – offer the customer value for money while providing the retailer strong margin. Brandy six pack is available in three variety options: Loaf, Chunks in Jelly and Chunks in Gravy. The Brandy Variety 12 Pack range, meanwhile, enables consumers to trade up to larger multipacks.

On-pack competition

This summer, on exciting on-pack competition will be taking place on Brandy Six Packs. Brandy plans to celebrate all four-legged family members, and is offering customers the chance to appear on Brandy packs. To win, customers must explain what makes their dog 100% family, and share a photo of their dog demonstrating their role in the family. The winning pup will star on packaging, have their own photoshoot and a supply of Brandy dog food. As an added incentive, the first 100 entries will also receive a cuddly toy.

The competition runs until 5 August on all Brandy Six Packs including Traditional Loaf, Chunks in Jelly and Chunks in Gravy, and will be supported by an all-Ireland radio advertising campaign and strong digital campaign.  Customers will be able to enter at or on

Natural is Best

Naturo offers innovation in packaging, ingredients and tasteNaturo is Mackle Pet Foods’ super premium wet dog food offering, made with 100% natural ingredients. Naturo was created in 2010 to build upon established success in canned pet food, and was a new departure for Mackle Petfoods as well as a new product concept in the pet food market.  Naturo’s plastic tray with foil lid and cardboard sleeve provides more convenient packaging for consumers – what the company calls a “rip and tip” concept. These innovations and attractions are helping Naturo gain traction among retailers and build incremental sales throughout Ireland.

More and more, consumers are looking for high-quality product that support the health and well-being of their dogs, and also contain a high percentage of meat and are 100% natural. Naturo contains all of these elements, along with essential proteins, fibres and carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, fats and oils to create a natural and nutritious meal for dogs. With 60% meat and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, consumers can be confident their dog will love the taste.

The range is available in a 400g tray in the following varieties: Lamb & Rice with Vegetables, Chicken, Lamb & Rice with Vegetables, Salmon & Rice with Vegetables, Duck & Rice with Vegetables and Senior Turkey & Rice with Vegetables. Grain Free 400g dog food recipes are available in Chicken & Potato with Vegetables and Salmon & Potato with Vegetables. To cater for smaller dogs, 150g pack sizes are also available.

Naturo also plans to extend the range over the coming months to include Grain Free Duck and Grain Free Turkey 400g packs along with a Grain Free 400g multipack. For further information visit

Cool for Cats

Mackle Pet Foods prides itself on being fully traceableMackle hasn’t forgotten its feline friends too! Cat Club is continuing to experience sales growth. Everyone knows cats can be fussy, so product quality and palatability is key for their food. Prepared using high quality Irish meat, Cat Club – like other Mackle Petfoods products – is fully traceable “from farm to bowl”. Its carefully prepared, natural, meaty chunks in appetising Jelly and Gravy have all the nourishment and essential vitamins and minerals to ensure all-round good health and lively energy. Consumers can be confident they’re feeding their cats a tasty, nutritious meal they will love.

Sales of Cat Club have been driven by the brand’s Variety Chunks in Jelly and Chunks in Gravy 3 Packs, Price Marked at €2.20. These high-quality, value for money offerings have been roundly embraced by Irish consumers. Both packs are ideal for the convenience trade and offer the retailer strong margin. Cat Club is also available in Variety Chunks in Jelly and Gravy 6 Packs and a Chunks in Jelly 12 Pack.

For more, visit Cat Club at

Feel the difference

Cat owners are spending more and more on their feline friends, with cat food value up 3.4% YTD*. Single-serve wet food for cats is also experiencing growth at +7.4% YTD v. YAGO*.

The As Good As It Looks range recreates home-made look and tasteDelving into the specifics of this growth, Felix is the fastest-growing pet food brand in value growth, making it the number one pouch brand on the market, growing at 19.9% YTD*. Felix proudly owns some of the best-selling SKUs in the category**, namely the Felix’s As Good As It Looks pouch. The Felix As Good As It Looks range is prepared with tender fish or meaty pieces in a succulent jelly, to provide tasty meals that taste and look homemade. The Felix range is driving category and brand growth by 19.9% year-on-year, demonstrating a demand for premiumisation.

TreatsFelix has a 28.5% share* within cat food, and the popularity of treats in the category has contributed to this growth. Cat owners are increasingly willing to reward their pets and Felix’s Crispies, Twists and Goody Bag Treats provide the perfect bite-sized snack to meet this need. The growth of this snack range is illustrated by the growth of Felix’s Treats portfolio by 67% in the past year*.

FXPAW_Paw(620)Shoppers who purchase pet food spend more in-store than the average shopper. As the number one bestselling pouch brand in Ireland with a 28.5% market share, consumers can rely on Felix to deliver sales. This number one position is being supported throughout 2016 with TV advertising, in-store activations and digital campaigns.

*Source: Nielsen Total Market inc. Dunnes Stores, 15 May 2016)

**(Source: Dunnhumby Tracker Data w/e 15 May 2016





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