Queezibics, the ginger biscuit that helps pets and their owners with travel sickness
Starting from a simple idea, Queezibics has continued to grow since its pet-industry launch last year. The product, a ginger biscuit for travel sickness began life as an idea for humans, but quickly moved into the dog sector. Robert Catcher, managing director, explains: “About six years ago, I was lazing around in the south of France thinking of very little other than what I had thought about the previous day and the day before that when one of my daughters came to stay for a week or two, accompanied by a friend who was suffering from the early stages of morning sickness.”
“I remembered from publishing books for expectant mothers in association with the Royal College of Midwives and the BMA that ginger and ginger biscuits in particular were a recommended remedy but as luck would have it they are not easy to find in that part of France. So turning to my late mother’s ‘Mrs Beetons Cookery Book’ I decided to make some and with the aid of the internet I discovered that studies had been conducted in the USA and Australia which showed how much ginger was required to be effective. In fact it was considerably more than the amount contained in ginger biscuits on sale in supermarkets today.”
“Despite being the worst cook in Europe the biscuits eaten by my daughter’s friend had a hugely beneficial effect and a few days later she was feeling considerably better.”
Following his return to the UK Robert decided that there was potential to help other people with his biscuits and so began to create a company. “I decided to set up a business marketing a specially formulated biscuit for expectant mothers, we called them ‘Pregibics’. A short while later one of my grandchildren complained of feeling sick on the school coach so I suggested that she should try our pregnancy biscuit. It worked wonders so we decided to introduce a travel sickness product which wecalled ‘Queezibics’.”
The product itself became transferrable to other walks of life for Mr Catcher. Whilst he was travelling to and from France, he discovered that his golden retriever was struggling due to car sickness. Although not intentionally made for dogs, Mr Catcher gave one of his travel sickness biscuits to him, and it appeared to remedy the problem. “This ultimately lead to the introduction of ‘QueezibicsDF’ short for ‘Dog Formula’ which we launched at PATS in September last year.”
“We now have three products appealing to three distinct niche markets. From the moment I start work, till late in the evening, I am engaged in a variety of different management decisions all based on ensuring that our end customers, adults and children, puppies and dogs are receiving our remedies which are pure, safe and effective.”
“I well remember my late father saying that if building a business was easy everyone would do it and it is sentiments such as these shared I am sure by people reading this page that constantly spur me on to ensure that our business continues to go from strength to strength thus benefitting everyone connected with it.”
Although the idea for Queezibics was only created a few years ago, Mr Catcher has worked in marketing, advertising and sales since the age of 17. He explained, “I started work in my late father’s advertising agency at 17. Being the boss’s son, I didn’t think it would be long before I was running the place! My father had other ideas and I started wrapping parcels back in the days of sealing wax and string. This was followed by work experience in the field, serving customers in a grocers, chemists and a sweet shop. I became a St Ivel van salesman calling on grocers, a Farleys Infant Food rep’ and in the end I worked in most departments in his agency starting at a very junior level.”
“I gained work experience in advertising in the USA and ultimately finished up at 80 Charlotte Street being the then London home Garland Compton shortly to become Saatchi & Saatchi. By this time I was involved in the destiny of major national and international brands. In the early seventies I set up my own marketing agency – became a significant publisher of medical titles in association with the BMA eventually retiring to the south of France. Six years ago that changed with an idea which I have to say I wish had emerged forty years earlier!”
Customer feedback is important to any business. Mr Catcher claims that it’s one of the things he enjoys most about his job. “Without any shadow of a doubt the thing I most enjoy is reading and replying to the wonderful testimonials and customer reviews we receive almost daily. These are from people all over the country who have taken the trouble to tell us how much our products have helped them, their children or their dogs. It is a constant reminder that we are playing a part however small in the wellbeing of others.”
Although Mr Catcher is currently building his business, he hopes his family will take more of a leading role as time progresses. “If you take a close look at the picture you will see that I am no spring chicken!” he said. “I am therefore building an infrastructure calculated to ensure that the company continues to develop its interests in markets both here and abroad ably assisted by my two daughters one of whom works on QueezibicsDF and the other on Pregibics and Queezibics, the major difference being that I started with sealing wax and string and they haven’t!”
Ginger is a recommended remedy for the prevention of motion sickness. A Queezibics Travel Sickness biscuit is a specially formulated biscuit containing the right amount of ginger to be effective.
QueezibicsDF are available in cases of eight cartons each containing approximately 15 biscuits with an RRP of £6.99. QueezibicsDF are distributed by Hemmo & Co to their customers, are available from an ever growing list of wholesalers or direct from Queezibics Ltd.
Telephone: 01392 314048