New Products and Key Observations from Global Pet Expo

I recently had the opportunity to attend Global Pet Expo, one of the premier trades hows for the pet industry, held annually in Orlando. The American Pet Products Association (APPA), which hosts the show along with the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), reported that this year’s show featured 1,164 exhibitors (up 3% from 2017). Over 16,500 people attended the four-day show.

Based on my conversations with pet business owners and operators from across the industry and my time walking the exhibit hall, a number of trends and new products stood out to me:

Global Pet Expo 2018

Trends and New Products

  • Food and Drinks with Added Moisture: Dehydration is a serious issue for many pets, especially cats who are often picky about drinking water. To address this concern, companies are introducing new wet food and soups and stews or specifically calling out the benefits of their products. Examples include K9 Natural’s “Hydration Boosters,” soups from Wet Noses (Wag Soup) and Caru’s natural stews. DoggieWater has even developed dog sports drinks with electrolytes and vitamins that come in flavors such as steak and chicken.
  • Cat Litter Focus on Sustainable, Biodegradable: Zen Kitty introduced its tofu and bamboo cat litter, while Petfive Brands announced a cat litter manufactured from corn and cassava.
  • New Limited Ingredient Foods: Zignature, which currently manufacturers dog food with duck and kangaroo, introduced single protein products from goat and guinea fowl. Royal Canin added new products to its line of breed-specific foods for dogs and cats.
  • Novel Treats and Ingredients: Jiminy produces treats from crickets, and other companies are using ingredients such as chickpeas, salmon oil (Plato) and yak milk (American Hound).

A Common Concern at Global Pet Expo

With the recent news of pet food recalls spanning from pentobarbital found in several Smucker’s brands to concerns over Listeria and Salmonella in raw pet food, treats and chews, food safety and supply chain concerns were certainly top-of-mind among business owners at the event.

We will expand on this topic and its potential effects on the market in our next Deal Hound Quarterly Report, which will be published at the end of April.

About the Author:

Jodi Burrows
Jodi Burrows, Vice President, manages transaction advisory and private debt and equity financing. She also conducts business development efforts for SDR Ventures. Jodi joined SDR Ventures in 2015 and has her Series 79 securities license. Jodi leads SDR’s Pet Industry Team, including the authorship of SDR’s quarterly Pet Industry Reports. She has a deep understanding of pet industry trends and value drivers and hosts ongoing discussions with strategic companies and investors in the space.