There are a number of reasons why the 94 million cats in U.S. households are finding more wet food in their dish these days.
First off, cat parents are learning about the health benefits of feeding cats wet food, as it ensures the cat is well-hydrated and also provides high-quality protein to support lean muscles. Secondly, cats naturally crave a range of flavors and textures, many of which are closer to how their ancestors ate in nature.
All of these factors lead to 62 percent of the 45 million cat food buyers adding wet cat food to their shopping lists.
So why should grocers care?
Wet cat food is currently the third fastest-growing segment within the pet food category, and it’s expected to grow nearly seven percent over each of the next three years. And according to Nielsen, sales tend to be incremental, with 54 percent of shoppers purchasing both dry and wet cat food.
Wet cat households also make 12.6 trips and spend an average of $105 on wet cat food over the course of the year. That’s compared to 6.5 trips and $82 spent per year by dry cat food shoppers.
How can you feed incremental sales in the pet aisle?
- Much like the animals they care for, wet cat food shoppers are looking for variety. Cats instinctually crave variety, and with 82 percent of owners considering their cat an important member of their family, these pet parents are answering the call. Variety of inventory is actually the top consideration when wet cat shoppers choose a retailer, with one in five shoppers leaving the store if their retailer doesn’t offer the variety they are looking for. Wet cat food shoppers are not only looking for variety of flavors and forms, but also package size and price tiers. Currently, many wet cat food sections are only eight feet. Expanding to 12 feet allows retailers to dramatically increase their assortment and sheer presence in wet cat.
- Feed increased consumption through larger variety packs and multiples pricing. Ongoing promotion on larger wet cat variety packs and higher multiples pricing, i.e., 10 or 20 for are key. The larger the multiple, the higher potential purchase from your shoppers. With 46 percent of wet cat feeders wishing they could feed wet to their pets more often, larger variety packs in multiples of 32 or 40 count are up 3.6 percent and driving growth in the segment. Variety packs and multiples pricing drive more units per trip and ultimately move more units per year.
- Emphasize new opportunities for cat owners to feed wet. Feeding wet cat food is not only good for cats, but it allows owners to connect with their pets. There is a new trend toward wet cat compliments and treats, like Fancy Feast Broths and Filets, which provide new feeding occasions for cats and the people who love them. Consider featuring these products on an endcap as a basket builder.
With the increased consumer awareness around the benefits of wet cat food, and the strong bond between owners and their variety-seeking companions, the wet cat food market is primed for growth over the next several years.
What are you doing now to capitalize on this trend in your store? Are you featuring 12 feet of the wet cat food varieties your shoppers are demanding? Using these simple strategies can feed incremental sales in your pet aisle for years to come.