Mars Petcare is celebrating its premium cat food brand Sheba’s performance after a strong first year for its latest product launch. The three-strong Sheba Fine Flakes in Gravy range – Succulent, Poultry and Fish Selection – delivered £2.5m retail sales value in 20201, as a raft of new pet owners have helped drive category growth.

Launched in January 2020, Sheba expanded its pouch offering to combine its best-selling flavours with its best-selling texture. Sheba Fine Flakes in Gravy has won over both shoppers and their cats, with the brand as a whole experiencing value growth of +1.8%[1]. Having benefitted from the ongoing trend for premium options that offer pets the highest quality meals, the brand is well-known for carrying these credentials and Sheba Fine Flakes in Gravy has only furthered this, winning at the Product of the Year Awards 2021 in the Cat Food category[2].

Arthur Renault, Marketing Portfolio Director at Mars Petcare comments: “As a premium brand, it’s important we continue to innovate to encourage shoppers to trade up, choosing from a variety of quality products. Pet food purchases are highly planned, often shoppers visit the fixture on ‘autopilot’, picking up their usual product and moving on, so standing out via new products is key. We know that pet owners will pay more for products that are inspired by human culinary trends, an insight that Sheba is built upon. Sheba Fine Flakes in Gravy has helped us capitalise on this further, and with 78% of pet parents say the quality of the food they give their animals is as important as the food they eat themselves[3], it has played a key role in driving premium pet food sales.

“At a time when we are seeing new pet parents rapidly entering the category as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown and people spending more time at home, premium options have continued to perform well. Demand is high and shopper purchasing habits have steered towards bulk packs as customers do larger, more infrequent shops. Sheba Fine Flakes in Gravy is available in multipacks of 12, with 40-packs available across our wider range, so that we are offering shoppers choice from Sheba.”

Effective merchandising is essential for luxury pet products, premium segments should make a big impact with high visibility, clear blocking and strong ranging to maximise the chances of shoppers trading up. Sheba Fine Flakes in Gravy is available across the grocery, convenience and pet specialist channels, in multipacks of 12 x 85g.

[1] Nielsen RMS Cat Main Meals, Total Coverage, Value Sales WE 20.03.21.

[2] Winner Cat Food Category. Survey of 9,865 people by Kantar

[3] Mars Pet ownership study, 2017, UK Market

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