Pet food customers name Blue Buffalo best brand for dogs, cats
By Jay Keller
Dog and cat owners care deeply about what their furry friends eat every day with many opting to cook for them occasionally, visit specialty stores or look for other alternatives to the well-known, prepackaged offerings.
In fact, over the past year, customers are moving from well-known pet-food companies and turning to an unfamiliar brand to feed Boots and Fido more often.
The study produces a Brand Equity score (familiarity, quality and purchase consideration) and Consumer Connection (trust, fit, emotion and performance) using data gathered in a series of product-related questions answered by thousands of consumers.
“Blue Buffalo is strong on all of these metrics,” Harris Interactive SVP Linda Schulz said in a recent company statement.
“While not the most Familiar pet food brand among those included in the study, Americans rate Blue Buffalo dog and cat food highly for Quality and Purchase Consideration which drive the brand to the top of the ranking in both categories,” Schulz said.
Regardless of whether pet food ads on TV are still effective or the success of word-of-mouth endorsements and social-media campaigns, there’s a new battle brewing over the heart of the pet owner, signaling a future price war that most often means more savings for the customer.
And, in the pet industry, that’s a big market share, especially since three in five Americans own a pet.
Estimates for 2013 from the American Pet Products Association predict that spending by pet owners will top $55.53 billion for food, supplies or over-the-counter meds, vet care, live animal purchases and pet services like grooming and boarding.
Of all the categories, spending on pet food alone comprises 38 percent of sales in the pet industry at $21.26 billion.
Despite economic tough times, the industry also shows signs of being recession-proof as it continues a 16-year trend of sales increases that has climbed from $17 billion in 1994 to $53.33 billion in 2012.
Meanwhile, the makers, and marketers, of dog food brands like Hills, Beneful and Pedigree, or cat food brands like Eukanuba, Friskies and 9 Lives, will continue to watch and evaluate the “relative newcomer.”