Connect with us

Dog Food

‘New’ Natural Balance’s first moves may offer market clues| PetfoodIndustry.com

Published

on

When JM Smucker announced in December 2020 that it was selling its Natural Balance pet food business to investment firm Nexus Capital Management, I suspected (I’m sure it’s a super premium, traditionally animal specialty brand) didn’t quite match Smucker’s others Pet food brands featured on many channels.

In a recent interview with my colleague Tim Wall, Brian Connolly, now CEO of Natural Balance, confirmed this impression. “We’re targeting the pet specialty channel,” Connolly said. “That species got a little lost when it was owned by a large consumer goods company that was used to having brands that were widely used. Natural Balance in the Smucker portfolio was a bit orphaned in that sense. ”

Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of Connolly’s comments was, “We have absolutely no intention of going into the masses with this brand. This is a specialty brand for pets, and this is where we will continue to put our investments and energies. ”

Given how pet food distribution channels have changed and blurred over the past five to ten years, it is remarkable for an established brand to plant its flag and focus primarily on one channel, particularly one that traditionally is the The core or even the only home of Superpremium was pet food brands. Are there any indications of a possible resurgence of this channel, as well as other directions the pet food market could head?

The stationary pet specialty still has strong potential

Like most consumer goods companies, Natural Balance responded to the pandemic herd of many consumers on e-commerce and was successful in that channel too. In another interview with Dean Best of just-food.com, Connolly estimated that e-commerce now accounts for 25% to 30% of the company’s sales.

Nevertheless, the company also sees a robust future in the stationary pet specialty. To that end, Connolly’s new leadership team includes industry veterans with significant experience who work for retailers like Petco, PetSmart and Chewy, he said.

Connolly is a seasoned industry veteran himself. He founded Castor & Pollux, one of the first organic pet food lines in the world, and was a member of the board of directors of Merrick Pet Care after the acquisition of Castor & Pollux. Previously, he also held executive positions at Darford and Iams. So he knows the evolution of the industry and its brands and retail channels, which probably helps to gain insight into how the market will evolve further.

Connolly told Best that he believes pet food e-commerce “will continue on a structurally higher level than it would have without COVID-19,” but does not see the same level of online sales growth after the pandemic ahead. In-store shopping will be back in effect when life returns to normal (whatever that will be). “People who like to go out and shop and see different products and talk to the experts in pet stores will do that again,” said Connolly.

Hot pet food trends: herbal products

The new team at Natural Balance wasted no time introducing new products and launched a new Targeted Nutrition line for dog and cat food in early April 2021. The line consists of four formulations and meets many current trends and issues in pet food and functional ingredients. including prebiotics, joint and bone health, and overweight / obesity in pets. Connolly told Best that the company still has “ownership” of limited ingredient diets and identified Natural Balance as a pioneer in this category.

And in potentially another leadership position, Connolly said the company “has in mind the growing interest of dog and cat owners in plant-based foods.” In fact, Natural Balance has long had a vegetarian formulation for dogs, and Connolly said Best that when he and Nexus considered acquiring the company, they were surprised that sales were among the company’s highest for the three sizes of this product.

On that foundation and increasing customer focus, he said Natural Balance wanted to expand in this segment and join other pet food brands in order to stay ahead in a potential emerging segment.

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

Continue Reading

Dog Food

How to build loyalty in the new consumer landscape

Published

on

how to build loyalty in the new consumer landscape

The massive economic disruption in 2020 resulted in some significant changes in how consumers treat brands, not just in terms of product purchase, but also in terms of research, communication, and yes, loyalty. The good news is that all of these changes give brands an opportunity to rethink and optimize their strategies for the future.

“The truly unique opportunity we have as brands is being in an environment where anything is possible,” said Amy Wills, vice president of marketing effectiveness at global research firm GfK. “As marketers, we know that sometimes it’s incredibly difficult to disrupt a market. This is a situation where we had a major disruption and it opened the door for a lot of innovative thinking to create and develop your product offering. “Wills spoke at a GfK webinar in April 2021:” How brands can gain consumer confidence in the new market. “

Customization and Recovery: Know Your Consumers Now

The return to the “normal” is an instinct that brands have to fight against, according to Eric Wagatha, head of GfK Consumer Life (NA), who also spoke during the webinar.

“If your discussion is,” How do we get back to normal? “You miss the point,” said Wagatha.

According to GfK, different population groups are recovering from the current global crisis at different times. While 57% of consumers overall said they would be cautious about going out (and likely resuming personal shopping), there are differences in the way younger and older populations currently live. Slightly more than half of consumers said they lived normally, with the younger population group tending more towards this answer, while a little less than half said they lived very differently, with the older population group tending more in this direction.

“When we have crises like this, there is an adjustment phase and a recovery phase,” said Wagatha. It is important for brands to understand what stage consumers are in and what those stages mean for different people.

The 18-35 Year Olds: Win Them Today to Keep Them Tomorrow

The 18- to 35-year-olds are the age group in which brand loyalty is low, but openness to new products is high. This group is at a time in their life when they are experimenting with brands and trying to figure out what will suit them best so that they know what to spend their money on as they settle into a household routine.

“We cannot ignore that the future is that cohort, in size and in purchasing power,” Wagatha said.

It is not surprising that, according to GfK, this population group is more likely to deviate from a favorite brand than the average, but interestingly, they are less likely to buy anything that is convenient or cheaper. Additionally, when it comes to loyalty traits like secure data usage, excellent customer service, and money saving, they are below average.

All of this is certainly enough to keep brands busy.

“It’s not about focusing on one, two or three aspects, but realizing that loyalty has more dimensions,” said Wagatha.

If you want your branding strategy to succeed in the current climate, it’s time to look ahead.

“Don’t just scroll back and try to replicate what used to work. Expand your lens and see how you can move forward, ”Wills said.

Solid advice for brands and solid advice in general.

Source * www.petfoodindustry.com – * Source link

Continue Reading

Dog Food

Animal populations exceeded the S&P500 by 48% in 2020. Freshpet up 127%

Published

on

animal populations exceeded the s&p500 by 48% in 2020. freshpet

The listed pet food companies outperformed the S&P500 stock index in 2020. The investment bank Cascadia Capital follows an index of listed stocks in the pet industry. The core group of the Cascadia Index outperformed the S&P 500 by 48% in 2020. The growth of the pet food industry accelerated in the second half of 2020 and increased gradually by 18% in the first half. Cascadia market analysts reviewed the performance of these pet food manufacturers and retailers in their report, Pet Industry Overview: Spring 2021.

According to Cascadia’s analysis, not all pet food companies achieved the same earnings per share. Emerging, high-growth pet food stocks that reflect the value of growth in public markets relative to earnings.

Pet food company with strong equity growth in 2020:

Adjusted earnings for pet food companies on the Cascadia Index have doubled over the past two years, while value for money has increased 28%. Most of the companies in the index saw their share price appreciate positively, reflecting the persistence of the sector during the ongoing pandemic.

Overall, 2020 was the strongest year for Cascadia’s pet food industry index after the great recession. Adjusted earnings increased 77.7% in 2020 compared to 27.6% in 2019. Revenue increased 10.0% in 2020 compared to 7.7% in 2019, representing a growth of 13.2% in the second half of 2020.

Two examples of pet food companies in 2020

The history of the growth of the pet food industry has been more complex than its simple general expansion. In the reports, Cascadia presented the examples of Nestle Purina PetCare, FreshPet and JM Smucker. Purina recorded organic growth of 10.2% in 2020. This contributed to an annual CAGR of 6.2% over the past four years. Growth in international markets drove this increase, while in the US Purina’s market share in all pet food and treat categories declined, with dog food declining 181 basis points and cat food 116 basis points
and handles 57 bps.

By comparison, the JM Smucker pet food division grew 4.1% in the period ended January 31, 2021, although profitability increased 0.1%, largely driven by a legal settlement. Smucker pet profitability declined 8.1% in the second half of 2020, after rising 9.4% in the first half. During the pandemic, Smucker cat food gained market share while dog food lost ground.

Chilled dog and cat food maker Freshpet saw sales grow 30% in 2020. E-commerce became more important for the company. Online sales now total 4.9%. These online sales were broken down into 55% click and collect, 34% last mile delivery, and 11% online delivery.

Source * www.petfoodindustry.com – * Source link

Continue Reading

Dog Food

Cats Are “Underserved”: Will the Pet Food Industry Fix This?

Published

on

cats are "underserved": will the pet food industry fix this?

At the recent pet retail trade shows that I attended in person before the world changed (i.e., the pandemic hit), I couldn’t help but notice the growing number of new cat food products entering the market. A notable example was Purina Pro Plan’s LiveClear, which was developed to help people with allergies to cats better tolerate living with them. This was just one of many new cat product launches over the past few years, including new companies and brands exclusively focused on cat food.

This is a positive response to consumer demand as research of Packaged Facts, also conducted before the pandemic (Summer 2019), showed that 44-51% of U.S. cat owners agreed that product manufacturers and various retail channels allowed cats to be second class citizens treated.

Or, as it says in a new report by the investment firm Cascadia Capital: “Cats are underserved.”

This made sense from a business and market perspective, as dog ownership has increased over the past decade compared to a flat growth in cat ownership. and dog owners tended to spend more on their pets. While cats are essentially all roughly the same size, dog sizes vary much more, with some larger breeds approaching the size of miniature horses. These dogs eat a lot more than cats. Additionally, dogs are much more likely to accompany their owners outside of the home, creating a larger market for leashes and collars, portable food and water containers, and even portable consumables like treats and dog food bars.

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey 2019-2020, dog owners, on average, spend more than 50% more on products and services for their pets annually than cat owners.

But will that all change?

The growth of the cat food market follows the growth of the cat population

The APPA data was cited by Bryan Jaffe, Managing Director of Cascadia Capital, in his report “Pet Industry Overview: Spring 2021”. His comments seemed to suggest that cats (and their owners) are getting more love from the pet industry. “Marketers have increased their focus on cats as the cat population grows over time and has longer lifespans,” he wrote.

Jaffe also shared data from IRI showing that in most U.S. retail channels, the number of cat food and treat brands increased from 2013 in 2018 to 249 years in 2021. This includes dry cat food, wet food, and treats. “The growing opportunity and increased focus on cats has led brands to move into the category,” the report said.

Such growth, and the increase in the persistence of the cat population mentioned by Jaffe, is due in part to the increased adoption of pets in the US and other developed markets caused by pandemics. In the US, the increase in adopted pets in current households who own pets was almost evenly split between cats and dogs: 19% of those households adopted cats in the last 12 months, according to a February 2021 survey by Packaged Facts, during 23% % of households added dogs. In terms of pet population growth in all U.S. households, cat ownership increased 5.1% in 2020.

Similar growth in pet ownership, including cat ownership, has been seen in other markets around the world. In some European countries, cats are more popular than dogs. In Germany, for example, cats make up 52% ​​of the domestic animal population, with 15.7 million cats living in 26% of all German households. This is based on data published in April 2021 by the WZF, the organizers of Interzoo. This corresponds to 10.7 million dogs in 21% of households.

As a result, cat food holds the largest share of the German pet food market and also recorded the highest growth in 2020 at 5.3%. According to WZF, the segment of cat treatments rose by 9.4%, followed by wet cat food with 5% and dry with 2.7%.

Wet cat food on the rise

As in Germany and other markets, wet cat food is also increasing in the US, with the segment’s share of the total cat food category increasing since 2018, according to data from IRI, which was quoted by Jaffe. In fact, as of April 2021, wet food took the top spot among cat food types at 42.6%, compared with 41.3% for dry food. Treats now make up 16.1% of the cat consumables category.

While wet pet food has grown in popularity and sales overall, the segment appears to offer a particularly strong opportunity for innovation in cats. They often prefer wet food (with the exception of my resident furry lunatic who doesn’t touch it); and because it is high in water, the format provides a way to ensure cats are well hydrated. This high moisture content also helps with satiety and helps control intake in overweight or obese cats.

Traditionally, the downside of wet food (for any type) is that many owners find metal cans inconvenient and messy to open and refrigerate. Innovations in this category are also addressing this problem as more brands are offering wet cat food in convenient plastic trays, often in single serving sizes, or in resealable tubs that can be warmed to room temperature, which many cats prefer.

Such an innovation should keep the wet cat food and cat food category in general thriving.

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

Source * www.petfoodindustry.com – * Source link

Continue Reading

Trending