Purina has recently launched its Fancy Feast Appetizers for cats, according to a news report. Purina claims it took a team of 40 about three-and-a-half years to develop a cat food and introduce it to the US$17 billion US petfood industry. The company is launching a national ad campaign beginning next month to market the product as a premium brand.
In early 2007, Purina hosted a focus group in St. Louis, to identify what consumers wanted for their cats. That was when the idea of an appetizer came up. The company then worked on packaging prototypes and eight varieties of appetizers, including "tender Tongol tuna," "white meat chicken" and "steamed Tilapia."
Despite the recession, petfood sales registered 5.5% growth last year compared with 2007, according to Packaged Facts. The US pet cat population grew to an estimated 83 million last year.