Pedigree Petfoods

Pedigree Petfoods

company_name = Pedigree Petfoods (Masterfoods)
company_type =
company_slogan =
foundation = 1957
location = Melton Mowbray UK
key_people =
num_employees = c 1,200
industry = Animal Food Manufacturing
products = Whiskas
homepage = [ Pedigree Petfoods]

Pedigree Petfoods is a company that manufactures pet food located at Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England with another factory in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Pedigree comes from a French phrase meaning birds feet, representing the shape of family trees. Pedigree Petfoods is also sold in Australia.

Pet food market

43% of the UK population owns a pet having seven million dogs and seven million cats, with the pet food market being worth £1.7bn in 2007. The majority of dogs are pedigree breeds in the UK, but only a small percentage of cats are.



In 1934, Mars Confections, a large chocolate confectionery company that had been based in Slough since 1932, acquired Chappel Brothers in Manchester. This company sold offcuts of meat for canned petfood as "Chappie"; meat which is unfit for human consumption. Virtually as much is spent on packaging as the raw materials of the food.


In 1935 production was moved to Slough. In 1939, the company became known as Chappie Ltd. During the Second World War production was hampered and after the war, raw materials for metal cans was severely limited.

Melton Mowbray

In 1951, annual sales reached £1m, and the company moved to Melton Mowbray. In 1953, the company operated seven days a week, twenty four hours a day on a shift system. A continuous sterilisation process was introduced instead of batch processing. Due to making more than the "Chappie" product, the company name changed to Petfoods Ltd. In 1972, this became Pedigree Petfoods Ltd. A new factory on "Shrewsbury Avenue" in Woodston, Peterborough opened in October 1974 which originally produced semi-moist products such as "Bounce". In March 1975 it became the Pedigree Petfoods division of Mars Ltd. During the 1970s, around 2,500 workers were at Melton and 200 at Peterborough and produced around 400,000 tonnes of animal food a year and virtually doubled production. The raw materials came from the Oakleigh Manufacturing company in Ascot. Around 3 million cans were used per day at the Melton plant; cans were delivered every 30 minutes, to limit storage space, from the Metal Box company (which became Novar plc). At this time, "Whiskas" was the company's biggest product by sales closely followed by "Pedigree Chum", although more in volume was sold of Pedigree Chum. Whiskas sold four times as much as Kitekat, although only half as much was spent on advertising Kitekat than Whiskas.

Towards the late 1980s and in the 1990s, the company came under much more competition from what became Nestlé Purina PetCare. A new £22m pouch production line opened in November 2007. The company is a member of the [ Pet Food Manufacturers' Association] .

Mars Inc

It is now a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. The UK division of Mars Inc. has been called Masterfoods since January 2002. Previously it was Pedigree Masterfoods and Mars Confectionery (a division, making the Mars Bar, is based in Slough).


The company makes the market leaders Pedigree (dog food) and Whiskas (cat food), as well as Kitekat (cat food) and Pal (dog food). The slogan used for many years for Pedigree dog food is "Top breeders recommend it" with a current slogan of "we're for dogs". For Whiskas' the old slogan was "8 out of 10 owners say their cat prefers it" and for Pal it is "Prolongs Active Life".


Masterfoods, until recently, sponsored the Burghley Horse Trials, near Stamford in Lincolnshire, now sponsored by another country sport stalwart, Land Rover. It currently sponsors the [ Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic] (East Midlands International).

Pedigree sponsors the #18 of Kyle Busch in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In the past they have sponsored drivers David Gilliland, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Elliott Sadler, and Ernie Irvan.

Centre for Pet Nutrition

The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, formerly known as the Animal Studies Centre, also mentioned in TV advertisements for dog food, is based on "Freeby Lane" at Waltham-on-the-Wolds near Melton Mowbray. There are 250 dogs, and 600 cats who get fed there every day. It is publicised as conducting the most advanced research on dog and cat food in Europe, if not the world. Around 200 researchers work for the company at Waltham and Melton. Work is also done with UK universities.

External links

* [ Pedigree Australia]
* [ Pedigree Petfoods UK]
* [ Masterfoods UK]
* [ Pedigree Petfoods Canada]
* [ Pedigree Netherlands]

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