Mars Petcare has launched two new cat soup products that it hopes will “revolutionise” the pet food category.
Aimed at latching on to the trend for premiumisation, Sheba Soups are available in Chicken, Tuna and Ocean Fish & Vegetable varieties. Whiskas Creamy Soup, meanwhile, is available in Poultry, Fish and Meat flavours, with packs of 12 at a recommended promotional price of £3.
Mars estimates that the range could hold a 15% share of the Whiskas brand business in three years’ time, while accounting for 10% of Sheba sales during the same period.
Arthur Renault, Sheba senior brand manager, said: “Sheba Classic Soups is the ultimate product for consumers looking to give their cats that something extra special. We know from our consumers that soups are fed for variety and indulgence, and that cats see it as something exciting and different to their day-to-day meals.
“The super-premium cat soup segment is a huge emerging space, and is directly behind accelerating value in the pet food category. We have seen fantastic performance in other markets and we are confident that the UK will see the same success.”
The launch of Sheba Classic soups will be supported by a £3m investment, including a new TV campaign and digital activations, as well as an in-store focus.
Katie Griffiths, Whiskas brand director, said: “Whiskas Creamy Soup offers something completely new for cats – and our own consumer research has shown excitement and demand for innovation like this in the cat single serve category.
“The launch of Whiskas soups is the perfect opportunity for retailers to boost sales in store. To help with this, Whiskas is supporting the launch with a £10m investment package that includes exciting in-store activations and display items to raise awareness and drive visits to the pet ood aisle.
“Whiskas will also offer widespread sampling and digital activations to support the launch. Nine million households will see a Whiskas TV advert every four weeks, and one million cat owners will receive a free sample every 12 weeks.”
Whiskas Soups “delivered significant brand growth” for the company in Russia, and Griffiths stated her belief that the soups are “guaranteed to grow the UK cat category as we head into the second half of 2016.”
Speaking at the launch of the cat soup products, the company said that it believes the convenience channel can drive the pet-food market, especially with the idea that consumers make more spontaneous purchases in c-stores, and are more open to buying treats there – a trend that can also extend to their pets.