|Petcare continues to grow|
Nutrition, value for money and treats are major trends in the Petcare category. Some of the key suppliers to NZ supermarkets shared their news and product launch plans with FMCG.
Petcare remains a large and exciting category, built on the love that consumers feel for their furry friends. As a result, it is no surprise that it continues to grow strongly, and in the latest MAT achieved value growth of 6.1%, says Oliver Downs, marketing manager – Petcare at Mars New Zealand.
He says: “Mars is the largest manufacturer in the Petcare category with a 27.7% share of the total category and is not only the largest, but one of the fastest growing with 12.4% MAT value growth. In fact Mars contributed 53% of the total value growth for Petcare in the latest MAT. This growth has been driven through a focus on fewer but more effective NPD launches. These launches are highly selective, built on strong category insights and have the backing of substantial investment to ensure success.”
Key Mars brands include Whiskas; Pedigree; Optimum; Dine; Schmackos; and My Dog.
Downs says: “Whiskas, Mars’ largest brand, is also the single largest brand within the Petfood category with a 16.1% share of total Petfood sales and growing strongly with 11.3% MAT growth. The Whiskas brand alone contributed over a quarter (28%) of all petfood MAT value growth, almost four times the value growth of the next fastest growing non Mars brand.”
He adds: “With the economy slowly recovering, we are seeing a slow but steady return to premiumisation within Petcare. This is a trend which took a knock when the global recession hit. Two of the premium brands in the Mars portfolio are leading this premiumisation.
“Dine Premium Catfood is growing at 31.6% MAT, more than four times faster than the rest of the premium wet catfood category which is growing at 7%. And My Dog, the Premium dogfood brand for Mars is also growing phenomenally well, with 72.9% growth. We see this return to premiumisation likely to strengthen and accelerate as the economy continues to recover.
“And with the increasingly important role that pets play in our lives, the last trend we are seeing already develop in NZ, is the growing role of treating. Pet Treats is already growing an impressive 19.5% for the year, with Mars growing almost twice as fast as the category at 35%. In fact Mars delivered 54% of the total value growth of Pet Treats for the latest MAT. With the emotional rewards that treating brings for consumers and their pets, we don’t see any slowdown in the growth of treats in the coming years,” says Downs.
*All data AZTEC to 26/02/12.
As a practising Australian veterinarian, Dr Marie Rowe (pictured) was often asked by pet owners to recommend a wholesome, healthy treat that they could reward their pets with. Knowing of nothing suitable in the market place that met Dr Rowe’s high standards of health and nutrition, she decided to develop her own.
That was in 1998 – and Love’em liver treats from the Show’em How Much You Love’em Company was born.
They are the healthy way for pet lovers to treat their pets. They are 100% natural and contain no additives or preservatives and are made only from certified, human-grade Australian grown beef, pork or chicken liver.
From the very beginning, the Love’em promise to pet owners was to develop treats that enhance both the health of their pets and the enjoyment of pet ownership.
Dr Rowe, managing director, says: “Pet owners are growing more aware of ingredient quality and country of origin than ever before. That’s why all Love’em packaging proudly displays our ‘100% Australian made and owned’ credentials and our ‘Developed, Recommended and Guaranteed by Dr Marie Rowe’ promise.”
Love’em currently offers the following products exclusive to Countdown supermarkets and pet speciality stores in
• Love’em Beef Liver Treats 100g
“In May 2012 we will be launching two new additions to our outstandingly successful Love’em Liver Cookies range for dogs with special dietary needs,” reveals Rowe.
These will feature a new Joint Care Complex Liver Cookie to help relieve arthritic pain and joint stiffness and Wheat Free Liver Cookies for dogs with food allergies.
Rowe adds: “In June 2012 we plan to launch the first Australian made, Australian developed Dental Chew. This is an exciting time for the Love’em brand.
“Since our introduction to the New Zealand market, Love’em branded products have been well received by consumers – our position as the third largest supplier in the market place is evidence of this. We have achieved double-digit growth in the New Zealand market over the past few years, and plan to continue this trend,” says Dr Rowe.
“The Heinz Wattie’s stable of Petfood brands includes Chef, New Zealand’s most trusted cat food brand that has been NZ cats’ favourite for over 40 years,” says Tracy Leach, marketing manager – Petfood.
Heinz Wattie’s also markets Gourmet in the premium cat food segment. In the ambient segment, all the Chef and Gourmet meat variants are made locally using New Zealand meat.
Heinz Wattie’s dog food brands include Nutri+Plus biscuits and the canned range includes Champ, Gourmet Dog and Fido. In chilled, the brands are Nutri+Plus; Champ; Bruno; Winna; and Claws ’n Paws.
Leach comments: “Two of our brands, Felix and Fido, date back to 1955!”
Among new products launched in the last 12 months are Chef Meat Lovers Slices, launched into cans in 2011 on top of the hugely successful Meat Lovers Slices in pouches, says Leach. “The launch was the first NPD in the ambient canned segment for a number of years, and again the range is made in Hastings using New Zealand meat,” she says.
Leach adds: “2011 also saw the relaunch of Gourmet cat food in the perfect sized 185gm and 385gm cans, continuing our commitment to the ambient segment. The launch was based on an extensive New Zealand research study in 2010, and what New Zealand cat owners told us they wanted in a premium cat food.”
Chef and Gourmet will continue to build on the New Zealand research project findings, delivering more great flavours researched, tested and manufactured in New Zealand for Kiwi cats, says Leach.
With respect to consumer trends in this category, Leach finds that:
• Petfood is continuing with the trend of humanisation – health and wellness and petfood products more in line with human meals.
Leach says: “Heinz Wattie’s is proud to continue to manufacture over 93% of its pet food business in New Zealand meaning that all of the great meat variants in canned, pouch and chilled Cat and Dog foods are made right here in New Zealand using New Zealand meat.”
Bombay Petfoods produces three brands of pet food for the New Zealand supermarket trade. The brands are:
• Jimbos fresh cat and dog food – 12 SKUs
Bill Birbeck, national sales manager Bombay Petfoods, says: “Currently the brands represent 7.3% of all cat food sold through supermarkets in NZ. Market penetration into NZ households for our brands is up 10% on the same period last year (Nielsen Data).”
He adds: “Our focus this year will be to drive the importance of having ‘fresh’ meat as part of the pet’s diet as we believe this is paramount for longevity in the life of animals. Additionally, continuing to create retail opportunities in the freezer section to meet the growing demand for high quality natural dog food, backed up with radio, social media and dedicated pet events to enforce this strategy.”
Whilst it is not a requirement for secondary pet food producers to have a risk management plan in place, Bombay Petfoods has made the commitment as it believes all products should be ‘safe’ for the consumer and manufacturers should be regularly audited and monitored.
Increasingly, the public are more aware of what they are feeding their animals and the natural petfood sector is growing strongly particularly in dog food as owners are looking for alternatives to traditional dog foods, explains Birbeck.
“We are finding that customers will change varieties just to give their pets a change in their menus and often call us to inform us of the change they have noticed in their pet after feeding both dry and fresh cat or dog food as a balanced diet. Because of this trend, we have found that there has been an increase of wet cat/dog food sales throughout all supermarkets.”
Customers are well aware of nutritional values for their pets and demand value for money, says Birbeck.
Nestlé’s petfood brands in NZ supermarkets include the following ranges.
• For cats: ONE; Cat Chow; Friskies; Fancy Feast.
New products launches in the last 12 months include Friskies Cans (canned catfood); Mighty Dog (canned dogfood); and Waggin Train new SKUs, says Ryan Bell, MDO manager. He says: “Friskies Cans have 6.9% Value Share of Mainstream Can/Pouch Cat and Mighty Dog has 2.8% Share of Total Can/Pouch Dog (Nielsen w/e 26/2/12).
“Consumer trends in this category include humanisation; convenience; health & wellness; social responsibility and smarter shopping,” says Bell.
“SPCA Petfood has recently launched Kitten and Puppy products into the market and these products are helping us to gain brand loyalty through
early trial,” says Katy Wackrow, business manager.
“We are currently moving our products over to new resealable packaging which is also proving to be a success.
“SPCA Petfood is not only supporting our animals but now supporting our economy with exports to China and other countries,” says Wackrow.
Medallion Petfoods is excited to announce a new addition to its range of dog rolls, specifically formulated for active dogs. ‘High Country’ is a 2.2kg high-energy shelf-stable roll initially trialled with the farming community.
“We identified a gap in the market for a top quality, high energy roll,” says plant manager Matt Bulled, “and the feedback from farmers has been extremely positive.”
He says the benefits of this roll are many:
• Highly nutritious roll with added vitamins, minerals and garlic.
Medallion Petfoods sold its catfood business in April 2011 to concentrate on its core business of producing dog rolls. The company is involved in roll processing for a number of organisations as well as producing its own brands of dog rolls. “These include ‘Perfect’, which offers great value and is available throughout Foodstuffs and other retail stores, while the higher protein ‘Stamina’ has been formulated for working dogs and is available mainly through farm merchandise stores,” says Bulled.
With the success of the new ‘High Country’ roll in the farming community, Medallion believes it is ideally suited for all active dogs. “We are now in the process of expanding production capacity to cope with the expected increase in demand as High Country gains a larger share of the market in the coming months,” says Bulled.
Butch Pet Foods
Butch Pet Foods (BPF) is a privately owned New Zealand company and the original manufacturer of chilled pet rolls, says Jeff Roby, sales and marketing director.
“BPF is currently ranked second in the Total Dog Food Market with a 20% share, ahead of Mars Petcare (18.4%) and Heinz Wattie’s (17.2%)*,” says Roby.
He says: “The value of the Total Chilled Pet Roll market is currently $45,020,196 with 1.7% value growth to 12/02/2012. Butch Pet Foods has a 56.1% share, with 6.5% value growth over the same period.”
He adds: “BPF currently holds the top six product rankings by value, with Hound Log 3kg and Bow Wow 2.6kg ranked first and second. Bow Wow 2.6kg has shown significant growth of 42.4%. Overall the Hound Log and Wag brands are the two highest ranking brands with 15.2% and 11.8% share respectively.”
BPF has nine brands available in New Zealand supermarkets: Butch Label; Golden Boy; Tasti Dinner; Meat’n Veg / Chick’n Rice; Wag; Hound Log; Bow Wow; Ginger Tom; and Porky Snacks.
Tasti Dinner is one of BPF’s original brands, well-established in the market for over 35 years. The newest addition is ‘Tasti Dinner Select Meats with Glucosamine’.
Its off-beat comic strips showing the quirky relationship between a cat and dog are already hitting the mark with sales and distribution expected to increase significantly in 2012, says Roby.
In addition to its Black, White and Blue Label premium range, BPF launched ‘Golden Boy’ in 2009.
“Consumers are continuing to become more aware of the health benefits of eating fresh, moisture rich food themselves and recognising that this is important for their pets as well,” says Roby.
He comments: “Despite being launched during a recession, Golden Boy has been a strong performer. Even during challenging times pets are still a very important part of Kiwi families.”
*Nielsen MAT to 11/09/11.
As a recognised Private Training Establishment (PTE) registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, AsureQuality provides industry training across the meat, food, dairy, horticulture, agriculture, biosecurity and apiary sectors. Courses focus on meeting national and international quality requirements, and are constantly updated in response to industry trends, customer issues and legislative requirements.
AsureQuality runs a number of specific courses designed to help processors and manufacturers meet the standards required for petfood production.
1. Ante and Post Mortem Petfood Inspection: These courses take participants through either the process of inspecting animals pre slaughter, or carcasses and viscera post slaughter. Course content is highly visual and is specifically tailored to the petfood industry. Upon successful completion of these courses and relevant assessments, attendees receive a National Certificate and registration with MAF as petfood inspectors.
2. Consequences of Unhygienic Behaviour: This course is a highly visual programme designed to provide petfood processing staff with the hard-hitting realities of bacterial growth, which results from poor hygiene practices right across an operation. It is easy to understand and gives attendees a clear appreciation of how their behaviour at work can directly affect product safety.
3. Process Control: This course is designed for all personnel with responsibilities for process control. It aims to give supervisors the confidence to handle audit situations and demonstrate the ability to audit and control their process. There is a practical calibration exercise to ensure all attendees are competent.
Other courses that are also relevant to petfood processing include HACCP (Introductory and Advanced), Auditing (Introductory, Advanced and ISO Lead Auditor) and Pest Control. Training can be tailored to meet individual company needs and be held in-house. NZITO funding may be available.
As an accredited provider of quality assurance and laboratory testing, AsureQuality can also offer the industry an extensive range of audit, inspection and testing services. Its purpose-built laboratories spread across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore provide a broad scope of analytical testing including microbiology, product safety and spoilage, shelf life, NIPs, chemical residues and contaminants. Certification services include both national and international standards and cover organics, BRC, SQF, Spotless, Aldi, Coles WQA and ISO 9001/14001/2200.
• For more information please visit asurequality.com or call Customer Services on 0508 00 11 22.