Pet food and pet care products can play an important role in a typical c-store’s product range, adding more revenue in convenience outlets than some major grocery categories says the firm behind pet food’s biggest brands.
SCOTS and other Brits might be known as a nation of animal lovers but pet keeping and pet caring is probably more important economically than many realise.
Stephanie Case, category and customer marketing director at Mars Petcare UK used Kantar Worldpanel research findings to show not only how widely pets make their presence felt but also how the purchases of pet owners can be more important to c-stores than some traditionally important categories in grocery.
“In total, 51% of households in the UK own a pet and the petcare industry is worth an incredible £2.3bn,” she said.
“It is imperative that retailers stock a variety of petcare products, as it is now a category worth more than hot beverages and breakfast cereals within symbols.”
Mars Petcare says it works closely with its customers to create planograms that ensure pet care shelf space is optimised. The firm says store trials have shown that following such planograms can lead to pet care sales increases of up to 65%.
The firm argues pet owners look for brands they know and trust. And with space at a premium in c-stores the company argues that retailers should prioritise best-selling lines. In its own portfolio best-sellers include Pedigree, Whiskas, Cesar, Sheba, and Dreamies.
The firm’s top pet care merchandising tips include:
• Ensure your pet care fixture is positioned in a place with high footfall.
• Make sure you stock top brands and de-list poor performers.
• Stock a variety of options such as dry and wet foods, as well as treats.
• Improve sales by siting pet food products in a variety of places around your store.
• Many people don’t know that independent retailers sell pet food so use PoS and signs to make shoppers aware of your range. Mars Petcare has a range of PoS which retailers can use around their stores.
• Stock a variety of packs and sizes, including singles and multipacks, to meet various customer demands.
• Care and treats products attract impulse purchases and featuring them in secondary sites – at till points or by using clip-strips and counter-top units, for example – can help increase sales.
Recent developments in Mars Petcare’s main brands include the launch of Pedigree Dry Small Dog Food, designed to cater to the specific nutritional needs of small dogs and available for adult dogs and puppies.
Pedigree DentaFlex is a functional oral treat, part of a sub-category that’s said to be the fastest-growing part of dog care and treats. The combination of active ingredients and a spongy texture that flexes around the tooth enable it to clean close to the dog’s gum line. PoS materials are available for DentaFlex, which has an RRP of £1.25 for a single pack.
Mars Petcare introduced Pedigree Tasty Bites in 2014. Bitesize treats are now said to take 27% of the dog care and treats market and are growing faster than the category at 7.3%.
Tasty Bites have an RRP of £1.49.
Cesar single-serve dog food introduced new 100g pouches in January this year. The Cesar 100g Pouch range will be supported by a marketing campaign in 2015.
Cats tend to eat little and often and love variety, says the firm. Sheba Delicious Duo packs, launched in January this year, have two meats in each pouch. Packs of 12 x 85g pouches are intended to offer consumers value and convenience.