Inspired Pet Nutrition (formerly known as Wagg Foods) – the UK’s largest independent producer of dry pet food – has officially opened its new 100,000 sq ft distribution centre and offices near to its existing facilities at Dalton Airfield in North Yorkshire.
The firm has invested some £7 million in building and fitting out the new automated site which currently has the capacity to store around 11,500 pallets with room to add a further 5,000 spaces if required. Using a technique called ‘one shot loading’, full pallets are automatically loaded on to a specially commissioned truck which delivers them to the new DC where they are automatically unloaded, racked and sorted into individual SKUs ready for order picking.
Some 30 office staff will also move to the new building with production personnel taking over their current office space which will be used for meeting rooms and improved canteen facilities.
The investment is in addition to the £20 million the business has spent over the past five years on automating production in its existing two mills which are also on Dalton Airfield. A further £3 million is scheduled to be spent on the mills in the next two years.
Morrison’s supermarkets CEO David Potts performed the opening ceremony along with Inspired Pet Nutrition’s Managing Director Richard Page.
Explaining the reason for the name change Mr Page said: “Wagg is the volume market leader and Harringtons continues to be one of the fastest growing brands in dried dog food* and we will also have some exciting product launches this Summer under the Harringtons name. We believe that a clearer focus on these two main brands will be achieved by having a separate identity for the overall business.
“Our aim still remains the production of the highest quality pet food products at a competitive price through constant improvement in manufacturing processes and product innovation. This investment will further increase efficiency as the new site significantly boosts our stock holding capacity so longer production runs are possible.
Therefore equipment downtime associated with changing over product lines is reduced along with the associated packaging waste.”
IPN’s leading dog food brand – Wagg – has also invested in an integrated marketing campaign to drive awareness of its pet food products.
The campaign is largely based online and focuses on Wagg’s core product offering, food for dogs. It has been timed to amplify the launch of Wagg’s new website, aiming to drive traffic to the site and encourage sign ups to the customer database.
The pinnacle of the campaign is a piece of online content called Dogglebox, a parody of the popular TV show Gogglebox, which is what Wagg believes to be the first reality show with the cast made up entirely of dogs.
Wagg produced bespoke scripts, sets and conducted a rigorous audition process to cast the appropriate dogs for the show, working with a high profile animal talent agency, ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare were met.
Wagg also involved its loyal online community within the creation of the content, with one of the brand’s Facebook fans even winning a slot for their dog to appear in the show.
The result has been a huge success with video views well ahead of targets after going viral and being picked up by numerous media outlets and bloggers alike.
Dan Reeves, marketing manager at Wagg Foods said: “This campaign has been devised to show our consumers more of our brand’s personality and really celebrate what it means to be a dog owner.
“We think that Dogglebox is the perfect way to launch our new website, invite consumers into our world and grab their attention. It is a fun, quirky piece of content which will appeal to dog owners and other animal lovers alike. I hope current and new fans of the brand will enjoy watching Dogglebox as much as we enjoyed making it!”
The launch of Dogglebox and the website is being supported by a fully integrated PR, social media and digital campaign, including the launch of a brand new eCRM programme, to encourage and reward consumer loyalty.
To view Dogglebox and find out more about Wagg’s campaign, visit www.facebook.com/waggfood
*Nielsen 52weeks to 26th March 2016
Tel: 01485 578111