Perspective: Felines in the Family

Over decades, Friskies’ advertising has changed how we look at cats

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In 1930, the Carnation brand, struggling to sell condensed milk at a time Americans were buying refrigerators, decided to diversify. Its new product was called Friskies—a dog food. It sold well. After WWII, the company elected to take another gamble. If people would pay for a dry dog food that came in a box, what about a similar food for felines? In 1956, Carnation introduced Little Friskies for cats. That stuff sold really well. Four years later, Carnation dropped the dogs and Friskies became a cats-only brand.

Carnation’s corporate experience proved that change is essential to survival, so it’s fitting the company soon found itself at the center of another kind of transformation: Friskies ended up elevating the social standing of house cats themselves.



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