Whiskas’ 8m relaunch fails to rejuvenate brand

Sales of Pedigree Petfoods’ flagship catfood brand Whiskas are static three months after its 8m relaunch, according to figures obtained by Marketing Week.

Data from IRI InfoScan across all outlets shows volume sales of all Whiskas varieties at 24.4 per cent for the four weeks ending November 3, compared with 30.2 per cent for the four-week period ending October 6 and 24.8 per cent for the four weeks to September 8.

Value shares stand at 26.7 per cent for the most recent four-week period, and at 30.5 per cent and 26.9 per cent respectively for the other periods.

Industry sources say the big uplift in the four weeks to October 6 coincides with high incremental sales when Pedigree ran a Whiskas multi-save promotion and consumers could get five cans for the price of four.

In September, Pedigree Petfoods unveiled new Whiskas, dubbed a “complete transformation” of the original catfood with a new product range, new packaging and a new image, backed by heavyweight TV and poster advertising through M&C Saatchi.

The relaunch marked a fightback against Spillers’ Felix brand, which for the last four-week period to November 3 shows a lower value share against rival Whiskas of 26.5 per cent, but a higher volume share of 26.8 per cent.

Last week, Pedigree Petfoods released data showing sales increases for the four weeks to October 12, proving the relaunch a success with consumers and their cats, according to the company.

This week a Pedigree Petfoods spokesman says: “We are aware of the figures. This is a very sensitive market and you will get blips in share responding to promotional activity. But it is very early days. We have relaunched for long-term, sustainable growth. Consumer research shows tremendous feedback on the advertising and image of new Whiskas. This is an 18-month programme.”

See Feature, page 37

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