For the love of pets

For the love of pets

Which products are in demand for our furry friends? Pet food suppliers shared their news with FMCG Business.

New Zealanders have a very high involvement with their pets and in particular cats and dogs. Did you know that our pet ownership statistics are one of the highest in the world? Over 48% of households own at least one cat and 20% own two or more. That is the highest cat ownership rate in the world and equates to more than a million cats!

About 30% of NZ households own a dog. Medium and large breeds are most popular, but there is a definite trend towards smaller breeds.

In the prepared petfood market, supermarkets dominate with 87% share of the market.

Made in NZ

Nick Antwis, Sales & Marketing Manager told FMCG Business: “We offer a range of quality products under the ‘SPCA Premium Pet Food’ brand. These products include dry cat and dog food, free range canned food and 100% natural free range beef treats. All these products are made in New Zealand to premium standards with proceeds supporting the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RNZSPCA). Since SPCA Premium Pet Food was launched in the NZ market in 2009 our goal has remained the same, which is to provide veterinary-level premium quality pet food at an affordable price. Like us humans, having a healthy diet is essential. It can also help to reduce those often costly visits to the vet and achieve greater quality of life for your pets.”

He adds: “While unfortunately we don’t have the substantial marketing budget of other brands in the category, a significant portion of revenue has been injected into product development. Our latest development has been making the change from Australian made product to having all products made in New Zealand. While a number of products have always been made in NZ we’re delighted to announce that the full product range is now sourced locally. Having product made in NZ is not only great for supporting the local industry, but is also provides fresher product on retail shelves resulting in greater palatability for our furry friends. Initial feedback regarding the NZ made product has been good, and we are currently looking at expanding the offering within the product range.”

rsz_jimbos_frozen_productsBombay Petfoods

Bombay Petfoods Limited produce chilled petfood under the Jimbo’s and Max Brands. Jimbo’s have leading chilled petfood brands in both cat and dog categories, says Cal McKelvie, Sales Manager. “Max Catfood in particular is complete and balanced and can be used as a sole diet. We have two 1kg dog skus, Jimbos’ Beef & Lamb 1kg and Hypoallergenic Lamb 1kg and these are all performing well.”

McKelvie attributes the growth of the dog products to two reasons; packaging type (both dog skus come in 1kg tubs that are easy to handle for the pet owner) and the proposition of the product “being raw”, which many consumers are starting to understand. “It’s a very subjective issue, but we simply believe that we are producing products that are helping pets to live longer, healthier, happier lives,” he says.

Innovation is a key to category growth and Jimbo’s has added new products to the category. Jimbo’s have recently launched Jimbo’s Frozen Range with Chicken Medallions, Lamb Medallions and Chicken Sausages. All products are preservative free, grain free and come in a convenient 1kg free-flow frozen bag.

McKelvie says: “Distribution is currently in the early stages, but retailers are seeing the benefits to listing our range, as many shoppers are looking to complete their total basket shop, and not go home to an unhappy pet. Similar products are sold in pet specialty stores, so it is a real growth opportunity for grocery at large.”

He adds: “No new product launches are scheduled for the foreseeable future, we are just really excited to bring more people into the sub-category of chilled petfood. However, we have had great success with our seasonal “Limited Release” Christmas sku Purrrfect Pressie – Turkey and Duck 500gm ($97K val over a short Christmas trading period and about 76% v YA).”


The award-winning, Lower Hutt based company Masterpet develops and distributes a wide range of products in New Zealand, including VitaPet, which can be found at supermarkets nationwide. VitaPet has been a consistent market leader in the Pet Accessories market with 64% $ share (Source: IRI-Aztec MarketEdge TKA Grocery – Pet Accessories – $ Share – MAT 15/2/15). Among their new product launches in the last 12 months is the VitaPet Morsomes Bulk Packs range (300g/350g).

Maria de Guzman, Brand Manager for VitaPet says: “Since the launch of VitaPet Morsomes dog treats in 300g/350g packs, this range has grown to be 7.5% of the dog snacks & treats category, showing that the launch has been incremental to the segment (Source: IRI-Aztec MarketEdge TKA Grocery – Morsomes 300/350 Range – MAT 15/2/15).”

She says: “Adding excitement to the range, the new VitaPet Chicken Wrapped Rawhide has also shown a positive result with a further $586K added to Dog Snacks & Treats, further accelerating the growth from 10% (on the MAT 16/2/14) to 13% growth (vs YA on the current MAT – Source: IRI-Aztec MarketEdge TKA Grocery – VP Chicken Wrapped Rawhide range/Total Dog Snacks & Treats – MAT 15/2/15).”

She also comments on the VitaPet Pet Milk range, which is available in bottles (380ml and 1L): “Pet Milk has returned to growth following the launch of the new bottle format, taking a 1.2% dollar decline (on the MAT 16/2/14) and turning it into a 7.5% growth in the latest MAT (Source: IRI-Aztec MarketEdge TKA Grocery – Pet Milk Bottle/Carton – $ Growth vs YA – MAT 15/2/15).”

Rising pet humanisation and premiumisation are among the key consumer trends in this category, finds de Guzman.

VitaPet is planning more exciting news soon, so watch this space!

The FMCG Business team endeavours to produce a monthly snapshot of category news and highlights, based on information from participating clients, plus a table of the freshest Nielsen data within the print magazine. If you wish to contribute news for upcoming category reports, please contact

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