Nestlé Purina is aiming to turn around flagging sales of its Winalot dog food brand by introducing new packaging and a £10m spend.

The brand, which boasts a 76-year heritage under different owners, will get a fresh new look on-shelf from October.

A heavyweight round of advertising, including TV and press, will break next year.

The move follows a downturn in Winalot’s fortunes in recent times. Although the second best-selling brand in combined sales of wet and dry food, it has lost ground in the growth rate stakes to key rivals and has failed to make an impression against market leader Pedigree, owned by rival Masterfoods.

Nestlé puts sales of its Winalot dry and wet foods, both of
which come under the company’s flagship Friskies petfood banner, at around £58m to claim a 14% share of the total market.

However, The Grocer’s last Top Products Survey (December 14 2002) showed that sales of its wet foods suffered last year with Information Resources putting sales at less than £34m, down 5.5% [52 w/e October 6 2002].

Senior brand manager Sam Gutsell said the company was looking to regenerate interest in the trusted Winalot portfolio.

“We know we have some ground to make up and that we have been suffering over the last few years.

“Our research showed that people knew and trusted the brand, but some pet owners had stopped using, not necessarily for any specific reason.

“We want to rebuild our relationship with consumers and believe this will help us do that.”

One initiative will be competition tie-ups with The Sun newspaper and Take a Break magazine, both set to run shortly after the relaunch.