UK Purina pet food canning line closure due to pouches

The pet food manufacturing plant is in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England.

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(Andrea Gantz)
(Andrea Gantz)

Nestle Purina PetCare plans to close the canning line of one of their facilities in the United Kingdom, reported the Wisbech Standard. The pet food manufacturing plant is in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England. The plant employs more than 600 people, and it’s unknown if any will lose their jobs. Purina purchased the facility in 1998. It now produces brands including Felix, Winalot, Gourmet, Bakers and Friskies.

Pet owners increasingly want wet dog and cat food packaged in pouches, as opposed to cans. This changing pet owner demand trend led Purina to plan for the closure of the Wisbech canning line, a company representative told the Wisbech Standard.

Growing popularity of pouches for wet pet food

The trend towards pouches for wet pet food extends beyond the UK. While cans still predominate, pouches lead a pack of alternatives that include trays and tubs.

In 2017, wet pet food packaging accounted for 28 percent of the market, according to Packaged Facts’ report “Pet Product Packaging Innovation.” Cans were the most common form of wet pet food packaging. Pouches were the second most common style. Plastic trays have been slowly growing in market share. Plastic tubs and cartons have become more common, especially for use with raw and refrigerated pet foods.

Pouches offer a sense of luxury for premium pet foods, according to Packaged Facts analysts. So, as premiumization continues, pouches may become more common for wet dog and cat foods. This trend toward pouches and other plastic packages has crossed into superpremium dry pet food too. Paper bags may even be eclipsed

While people increasingly buy more superpremium pet food, they are also buying less of it as urban pet owners opt for smaller dogs or cats. This too means there are more opportunities for pouches of superpremium pet food, which are easier to lug up to city apartment than large bags.

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