The Good Honest Food campaign represents the biggest relaunch in Pedigree's 49-year history and the range will roll out this week. The updated recipes will contain meat that can be traced back to the farm of origin, an initiative that Mark Johnson, UK general manager for Mars Petcare, said no other petfood manufacturer had been able to achieve.
Ensuring traceability had required a sizeable investment but Johnson said it was a necessary means of reassuring pet owners of the improved quality of the product. "The health and nutrition trends in the human food market invariably follow in petcare, so investing in ensuring the traceability of the meat, and investing in the recipes themselves, is a means of guaranteeing quality."
Despite the higher input costs, Johnson said the price of Pedigree products would not increase.
Other recipe improvements include the removal of artificial colourings and preservatives as "dogs don't care about that kind of thing as much as humans", said Johnson.
The packaging across the portfolio of wet and dry food has also been redesigned to look more simple and uncluttered. A bigger image of a dog and a bolder logo have been introduced to improve shelf standout.
Meanwhile, the £7m marketing campaign will kick off next week with new TV adverts, a press campaign and new website.
Despite the pressures of the recession, Johnson claimed the petfood category had grown about 5% year-on-year in sales and had become a "fundamental" category for retailers, and one supported by an especially valuable kind of shopper.
"We have been working with retailers to discover that shoppers who have a pet have a bigger basket spend than other shoppers," said Johnson. "We relaunched the products with the understanding that dogs are an extension of the family."