Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Global Pet Expo Insights

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Dog Paint:
 A Highly-Visible New Product
I'm home from the largest pet products show in the world. Over 900 exhibitors sharing the space of many football fields, it was nothing short of awe-inspiring. More than 2500 booths included everything from dog treats to dog houses, chicken coups to aprons for your pet cockadoodle-doo, and you just wouldn't believe what they are doing with cat trees nowadays. Finally, don't even get me started on the paint for dog fur. 

Today I simply want to share a few observations. As I walked the floors for three solid days, I found myself forming comparisons to last year's selection of products. With the continuation of a depressed economy, the companies represented here were, as expected, largely sharing their more necessary items. Dog food was in abundance, particularly in the green and natural section of the show where Castor and Pollux was located. I enjoyed an educational meeting with my contacts there, learning about new products and changes in packaging, all with the goal of improving their products and their sustainability. You'll be impressed!

Bamboo Pet Beds
Sustainability is on the minds of more companies, exemplified by the noticeable increase in products made of Bamboo. From litter pans to cat trees, pet beds to filling, Bamboo fibers also make a soft and durable bedding cover.

Of course not all of the booths sported necessities, as was proven by the last booth I visited before departing with sore feet and a feeling of accomplishment. Rhinestone studded collars could not have been more glamorous than at this last booth where the entire collar was embellished with sparkly gemstones for the pampered pet. Don't worry; Oliver won't be wearing one of these. He is, after all, a boy!

Among the most astonishing products I found were aprons and diapers for pet chickens, being modeled by two adorable and well-fed family members of the owner. The idea of a chicken dinner was not on her list of topics up for discussion!

Weight management for our spoiled American pets appears to be on the minds of many a product maker, and I'll be sharing some of their solutions, as well as my own DIY thoughts throughout the year. While regular walks and a properly-portioned meal control device are all you really need, the pet products industry is looking for ways to add weight management features to many products, including higher fiber, lower fat treats and new ways to exercise indoors.

Dog cleanup was high on the list of priorities for many companies, where I saw a number of new organic and all-natural shampoos that advertised paraben-free ingredients and less-perfumed scents, a more natural bouquet for our fidos. 

Poop bags for dogs are popping up in a multitude of new materials for better biodegradability. The sad fact is that if they are sent to the landfill, that biodegradability is diminished markedly. Landfills are lined with materials to prevent leakage into the aquifers--a necessary evil--that has the unfortunate side effect of not allowing the in-ground microorganisms to assist with the job they do so well.

Before I wrap up this preview, I'd like to mention that you'll be seeing more Twitter Parties in the coming year with some wonderful products and fun themes. If you enjoyed the #RedCarpetCat, hosted by my partner,, you'll no doubt enjoy it's cousin that will be appearing for another awards event this year. Event Barkers is alive and well with many plans in the works. You can watch our event news and participant postings by subscribing to the Event Barkers newsletter at this link. You'll also find up-to-date information at our Facebook page and of course, on Twitter. Feel free to join in the conversation at both.

As I take you on a continuing adventure into the new products that will be appearing on your pet suppliers' shelves throughout the coming months, you may wish to subscribe to All Things Dog Blog, if you have not yet done so. This will assure you won't miss a single post. Simply click the "Subscribe" button in the doghouse below, or anytime you wish in my sidebar.


Jen said...

Sounds like a lot of work but a lot of fun!

Diapers for chickens....who would have thought?

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

You're right Jen! And very worthwhile :)

Anonymous said...

I like your website, I love shows for dog it’s very entertaining and I want to see purebred german shepherd puppies. I enjoy watching dogs. Thanks for sharing!

Dawn said...

One of these years I am going to have to make it to the Global Pet Expo. It looks like a lot of fun and a great place to find new products for my spoiled babies.

heyitsjethere said...

Hey, it's Jet here. Mom and I thank you for the great rundown of what you found at the Expo... we enjoy many products in the "green" area, so, we look forward to your upcoming info...

Alan young said...

Just want to say your article is astounding. The clarity in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this field.Thanks a million and please keep up the fabulous work.

Chicken Coops and Runs

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