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Mars Petcare UK


Describe your business, products and customers:

Mars Petcare has a portfolio of some of the UK’s best-loved petcare brands, such as Pedigree®, Whiskas® Cesar®, Sheba® and Dreamies®.

We have been manufacturing pet care products in the UK for 80 years and currently have over 1,000 employees (who we call Associates) across our UK sites in Melton Mowbray, Waltham on the Wolds, and Birstall, Yorkshire.

Our vision is to ‘Make a Better World for Pets™’. This is based on our belief that pets make our lives better, which is why they’re at the beating heart of our business. Providing great quality nutrition is an essential part of bringing this vision to life and our wide-ranging portfolio allows customers to care for and bond with their pets at every occasion.

Why do you want to supply A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd?

We supply, and have done for a number of years, A.F. Blakemore & Son with our branded pet food in order to have our brands present in one of the best convenience outlets – SPAR in the UK.

Describe your organisation’s partnership with A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd:

Over the last 12 months we have worked closely with A.F. Blakemore on their Petcare range to maximise sales across the category through initiatives such as running a local pet event and introducing WIGIG lines.

We are truly invested in the relationship and recently invited our buyer along with the other members of the SPAR team to our office to deepen the understanding we have of each other’s businesses and identify areas for continuing collaboration.

We love to support A.F. Blakemore tradeshows because they allow us to interact with retailers and gain feedback from them. This is invaluable. For instance, through a conversation with one of their independent retailers, Raj Aggarwal, we helped him to implement a range review within his stores.

What do you like about working with A.F. Blakemore?

The regular communication, whether it be face to face, phone or email is standout. This means that no opportunity is missed, and the day-to-day operations are managed smoothly.

We have worked with A.F. Blakemore for many years and they are certainly an exciting customer to work with as they look to continuously grow their business, challenge their suppliers and review their categories regularly.

In the last 12 months I feel like I have been able to build a relationship with my buyer that ensures that we collaborate and understand each other’s priorities whilst never underestimating the importance of communication.

Like Mars, A.F. Blakemore is a family-run business that looks to grow a profitable business whilst supporting the community, offering quality service and developing its staff.

What is your advice to small producers just starting out?

Always be open and honest about your commitments so you can manage expectations if unexpected events occur. The most important thing is to always follow through on your commitments; this will build your integrity and reputation.

Supporting A.F. Blakemore’s trade shows will be mutually beneficial; not only will you get the opportunity to meet retailers and other suppliers but it will show your level of support and commitment to Blakemore’s.

How do you see the future in relation to your partnership with A.F. Blakemore?

We are excited to continue to work together to drive mutual growth between our two businesses with an agreed joint business plan.

We will continue to support A.F. Blakemore with advice on how to grow the Petcare category as well as new products from established brands such as Whiskas® and Pedigree ®, alongside growth areas such as super premium and dog and cat care & treats.