Global Pet Expo 2017: Four Key Trends and Observations
With a record number of exhibitors and attendees again this year, the Thirteenth Annual Global Pet Expo in Orlando was another prime example of the continued growth within the pet industry. We attended the event, presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), and met with several business owners and operators of pet companies. Through these conversations and our observations from the tradeshow, we were able to identify several deepening trends, as well as numerous innovative, new products.
Four notable trends and observations from Global Pet Expo were:
Less-processed food: Air-dried (dehydrated) and freeze-dried foods are booming as companies try to introduce the idea of uncooked or raw products to pet parents that have been hesitant to experiment with it in the past. In addition to stand alone freeze-dried products, pet food manufacturers are introducing more kibble plus products, which come in the form of dry food combined with freeze-dried meat or kibble that is coated in raw meat. These products can encourage pet parents to “try out” the trend at a lower price point than a full raw diet.
Coconut oil: Coconut-based products have become remarkably popular in human diets and personal care products. While some pet food manufacturers have been using them for many years, now they are highlighting them in packaging. Other manufacturers are using coconut oil as a key ingredient in new products and lines.
Focus on cats: Perhaps some believe that the market is overrun with dog products, or maybe it’s the growth of cat owners in the millennial population, but either way, we noticed original, ingenious and frankly, more attractive products for the cat owner/parent.
New products: Here’s a snapshot of some of the more original and cutting-edge product introductions we viewed:
High tech pet feeders that measure how much food a pet eats or that make food available to the pet at a pre-set time
Calming, anxiety relieving collars and vests that utilize technology and techniques such as acupressure
Cooling vests and blankets to ensure that pets don’t overheat