Eat, Play, Lounge
these items, but, as larger chains
begin to offer similar items at a
fraction of the price, it will become increasingly harder to compete. Foufoudog has shifted with
this change in the market, and
we’ve been rewarded by the loyalty of our customers.
ST: There always will be a customer who prefers fancy and
bling over the more traditional
and classic looks. From my experience, the trend definitely is leaning more toward classic, but fancy and bling will never go away.
JKM: There always will be that
niche. Luxury is not a trend—it’s
a lifestyle. I don’t see it going
anywhere anytime soon.
PPN: What factors have led to the consumer preferences you’ve witnessed?
TG: We hear over and over again
from consumers and our retailers how important it is that
products are manufactured in
the USA. Proudly made in the
USA matters to pet shoppers.
With many new retailers featuring made in the USA products,
it’s never been a better time for
American-made pet products.
Quality prevails at a good price.
CN: Consumer awareness. They’ve
become more educated about
quality and price as they notice
pet options outside the boutiques.
From pharmacies to grocery
stores to pet chain stores, the expansion of quality options available to consumers is undeniable.
GS: In terms of quality, customers
have become more demanding
due to companies like L.L.Bean
and Patagonia that have stood
by their products for many years.
Customers no longer are shy to
ask retailers and manufacturers
to rectify problems with quality
and service. This requires manufacturers to be more demanding
in their own design and manufacturing process, and we are seeing
that manufacturers also have to
back that insistence on quality
with policies that have teeth and
put the customer first. These same
consumers have a keen sense of
value, which allows them to understand that low prices usually
mean low quality. They don’t
mind paying more for a product
that they know will perform and
look great for years to come.
ST: Today we see looks trending
for people—popular styles appealing to a customer who has
a modern fashion sensibility interpreted in a fun but still classic and practical way—for pets.
Royal Animals has seen great
success with a fresh approach to
traditional fashion items for pets.
We base our decisions about
what goes into the line on what
is trending in the human market,
and then we evaluate what’s a
realistic and still fashion-forward
way to apply these trends to pets.
JKM: The economy always will be
at the forefront in regard to con-
sumer preferences. If the econ-
omy is doing well, so are the
luxury brands. Fashion also is an
influential factor in pretty much
everything décor related. If
Ralph Lauren is showing a lot of
menswear patterns, you will see
people wanting herringbones,
houndstooth and pinstripes.
SW: The latest great recession led
to a need for value. Not necessar-
ily low price, but long-term use
through durability and multiple
features within one toy to engage
the dog and human long-term. As
we are coming out of the reces-
sion, it seems like there are more
pet owners who really want to
treat their pets to new and unique
toys as the humans are working
more and not able to spend as
much time playing with their pets.
PPN: What is the trending color palette/
pattern scheme now?
TG: We closely follow the trends
in fashion when selecting our
patterns and colors for our line.
The color palette consists of
earthy neutrals and bold colors
found in nature, and the colors
definitely are unisex.
CN: You definitely will see a
red-brown wine color speckled
throughout collections. In addi-
tion, earthy tones are being paired
with bold colors in an effort to ex-
press fun while looking natural.
This boldness also will be seen in
the retro style patterns of the sea-
son, from bold 70s florals to Art
Deco geometric shapes.
GS: We will see a selection of muted
with complementary bolder colors
inspired by nature. General fashion trends also are showing that
both traditionally masculine and
feminine colors are being worn
across genders. Over the past
few years, we have seen customers increasingly attracted to pet
products that are similar to their
own fashion preferences. This
will continue, with pet customers
gravitating toward the natural
colors they see trending in human retail for their pet.
ST: The palette will be warm harvest colors. Shades of merlot, gold
and browns are trending. We also
are seeing smaller quilting. And,
as always, we balance practicality
with style, so we are incorporating reflective strips into a few key
looks moving forward.
JKM: I really like the peacock
blues and emerald greens. They
are strong and can serve as a pop
of color or an accent to a more
SW: The color palette we chose
(peacock, dandelion and currant) for our Zogoflex Air collection of play toys for active dogs
are colors that are really popular
in fashion and home décor.
PPN: What is your favorite new product?
TG: One of my favorite new
product lines is geared toward
larger and active breeds. With
choices of 1.5-inch widths along
with sleek aluminum buckles,
larger dogs can be as stylish as
the smaller breeds.
CN: I’m absolutely thrilled about
Foufoudog’s Rubber Dipped
Socks. I’ve fallen in love with
them. We’ve all seen dog socks
and the impracticality of them
being used anywhere but in-
doors. Our Rubber Dipped
Socks set themselves apart from
other socks in that the entire
base is “dipped” in a silicone
rubber. This creates a water-
proof barrier, which protects
paws from ice, snow, salt and
dirt. Because it’s rubber, it also
is easy to clean; a quick wipe is
all it takes. I use these socks on
my pup exclusively. I just adore
GS: We introduced a
foul- and cold-weather coat,
the North Country Coat, which
is a three-season coat that gives
customers versatility in just one
coat. Not only is it waterproof,
but it also has reflective features
to ensure dogs are seen in low
light. In addition to reflective
strips, it has a unique flashing
LED on the tail that adds extra
visibility. A fleece lining makes
it warm and comfortable for adventurous dogs that are on the
go no matter the weather.
ST: Our favorite new product is the
LED harness for pets, in which we
have innovatively merged fashion and technology. There is no
question that, for every pet owner, the issue of pet safety is top of
mind. So, as a team, we looked
ahead and developed a collection with rechargeable LEDs,
which visually alert the owner
to the immediate location of their
pet as they are incorporated into
fashion-forward dog apparel and
accessories. This new product line
truly is unique, because it is easy
to see in the dark, comfortable for
the pet and rechargeable, so there
is no need for extra investment
in batteries. Not only is it for-ward-trending in terms of merging fashion and tech, but it also is
a practical and economical choice.
JKM: I love our new collections of
pet bowls. All five are named after trendsetting tastemakers and
symbolic of beauty and bravery
in the world of design. We believe that our five new collections encompass just that.
SW: Our Zogoflex Air ball, Boz,
in size large, is a subtly squishy
yet durable dog ball that’s perfect for all sized dogs—from
Great Danes to puppies. They all
love this particular size ball. It’s
a unique size for our line, and
we’ve received great reviews. ■
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