Forthglade produce a natural range of cat and dog food, producing high quality foods with natural ingredients and no junk or fillers. At the time of the study, cat food represented 1% of Forthglade’s business, with opportunity for growth. Unlike more mainstream brands such as Whiskas and Felix, Forthglade cat food does not contain any sugar derivatives or caramel flavouring. With cats being somewhat fussy eaters, and in some cases finding the move to a natural pet food challenging, research was required to look into how palatability could be addressed by pet owner communication or otherwise.
- Establish motivations for purchasing Forthglade cat food and user group typologies
- Investigate natural vs more processed cat food palatability issues
- Explore the customer journey transitioning to Forthglade cat food including hints and tips
- Ascertain where Forthglade can improve communication
Turquoise used a database of contacts provided by the client to conduct 20 telephone interviews with customers. Each interview was 45 minutes long and was conducted with both repeat and lapsed Forthglade customers.
Forthglade brand awareness for cat owners came via multiple channels and we established a definite opportunity to cross-sell cat food earlier in the consumer journey to existing dog food customers. The majority had come to the brand via purchasing dog food and attitudes towards Forthglade were generally very positive which in turn, created a high expectation for the cat food. We were able to ascertain typologies between both lapsed and current customers and which group were more likely to be sensitive to the aesthetics of the food or to create fussiness in their cat by the way they ‘humanised’ their pet. Most people interviewed occupied the middle ground when it came to knowledge of cat food ingredients which highlighted a need for some further education relating to the differences between mainstream and natural cat food to aide the transition.
Turquoise provided a number of recommendations relating to various communication touch points along the customer journey, for both online and retail customers. These included ‘how to’ guides for transitioning cats to their new food and pack inserts. An animated explainer video was also created for the client to bring the market research results to life in order to better engage with key stakeholders across the business.