The 2018 Global Pet Expo is the industries largest event, representing more than 1100 vendors, 3500 booths, and 3,000 new product launches. Connecting buyers with suppliers and business owners with industry experts, we took a tour of the show for interesting new entries and emerging trends. Here’s what we saw:
1. Pet Care Through the Ages
One stand out theme this year was the increased and intentional focus on pet health through all life stages. Brands like ProSense and Canidae were among several brands offering targeted solutions for each stage of a pets life, as well as added-benefit products for individual pet needs (such as hip and joint, coat, etc.). Holistic pet health was also a dominant theme this year with pet care showing a lock-step resemblance to products for humans. Trueleafpet offer therapeutic oils for a pets mental well-being as well as physical. And what would a category be without a good bit of hemp disruption, like Reilly’s Hempvet, offering a range of Cannabis-based supplements and treats.
2. Beyond Kibble
Pet food has moved well into “pet cuisine” this year with a big presence of new pet forms. Companies like Blue Dog Bakery and Three Dog Bakery offering pastries and pet cookies for those “sweet tooth” moments. Hartz provided soups and chowders for cold and rainy days. CloudStar and Honest Kitchen, among others, offered “just add water” pet food, for the college-aged dog who’s sick of Ramen noodles.
3. Getting Better Grades
The conversation around sourcing and processing was in focus this year. Whether it was “Human Grade” from the Honest Kitchen, “Local” or “People Grade” from Plato Pet Treats, or Limited Ingredients from brands like Merrick, the how and where of pet food is becoming a key differentiator in the types of products we will buy for our pets.
4. Back to the Wild
In contrast to pets eating “like humans” we also saw a strong showing of brands and products going back to when our pets roamed wild. Brands like Crave, depicts our pets eating and acting like their wild cousins. Polka Dog offers regionally sourced fish and meats, while Sojos offers treats for pets made from free-range and wild-caught ingredients. Jiminy’s offers our pets the protein benefits of crickets. Finally, Ziwi Peak provides lamb, and mackerel straight from New Zealand.
For more information about our findings, please contact Chris Ertel.