P&G to extend Iams with wet food range

Procter & Gamble is stepping up its fight against pet food rivals Masterfoods and Nestle Purina by expanding its premium Iams brand into the 'wet' category for the first time in the UK.

Iams is to launch its Select Bites cat food pouch, which is already sold in the US, in UK supermarkets from January.

The range will be available in beef and chicken variants and will be sold across Iams' three age groups: kitten/junior, adult and active mature.

The brand is also launching a 'gravy' product for dogs, which consumers will be able to mix with dry food.

Meanwhile, Masterfoods is planning a revamp of its Cesar dog food brand that will include the introduction of pouches. Cesar is currently available in single-serve trays with a peel-off lid.

The raft of product development marks the latest phase of growth in the premium pet food market.

A rise in premium pet food sales has been boosted by the introduction of convenient serving formats, as consumers seek time-saving products.

Pouches have posted some of the highest growth in the wet food market for dogs and cats.

Mintel has forecast that the pet food market will grow by 8% over the next five years.

Pet food sales rose by 2.9% this year to just over £1.2bn, according to TNS Superpanel (Marketing, 24 August). Much of this increase was due to consumers buying higher-value products, not greater volume sales, indicating a rise in the number of consumers trading up to premium-category products.

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