Mole Valley Farmers and its sister company Mole Country Stores sell a range of own label dog food predominantly in large 15kg sacks. It was thought that the existing pack design was getting dated and that either a modified or refined version of the current pack would be more in line with the market. Market research was therefore required to evaluate customer preference between the new designs, as well as gaining more information from the category purchasers.
The primary objective of the dog food packaging market research was to determine customer preference for two new designs of the MVF own label dry dog food. One has been described as an ‘evolution’ and the other a ‘revolution’.
- Determine existing and potential customer preference for two proposed pack designs
- Understand what features of the new pack design work well in relation to communicating features and benefits
- Establish if the new pack design deters or encourages current customers to continue with the brand
- Discover the make-up of a MVF pet food customer and what would improve their experience
An initial round of qualitative research was undertaken consisting of a 15 minute online survey with 331 customer interviews being completed. To further understand consumer preferences around each of the designs a follow-up qualitative study was conducted in the form of 11 in-depth telephone interviews which were recruited from survey respondents. Respondents were a demographic mix including some who currently purchased either MVF dog food, a mix of foods or other brands.
We were able to provide detailed analysis on the positive associations consumers stated for each of the pack designs including statements around how modern and distinctive the new design was and how recognisable it was as a Mole own label dog food. There were some useful insights into the type of customers who took part in the research, which included a broad range of dog breeds and sizes and all stated a very positive experience shopping at MFV/MCS. Our recommendation was that the revolutionary, photo-realistic design had the most potential for Mole with it being less breed specific, having a more premium feel, greater impact on the shelf, more modern and aspirational, and notably different to the current Mole own label packaging. This design incorporated the necessary visual cues that are desirable for generating a quick purchase and instant impact so as not to blend in with competitors. We felt that as long as there was no change in price (particularly as the new packaging has a more premium feel) and that the new pack roll-out was supported with eye-catching POS, that there should be no reason whey the new design shouldn’t be a great success.