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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, Brazil, India, New Zealand and the United States. 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. 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. 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.
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