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Pet Product News
Vice President/Editor-in-Chief Ellyce Rothrock
Senior Editor Carrie Brenner
Contributing Editors Barry Berman, Lizett Bond,
Sandy Chebat, Hilary Daninhirsch,
Stacy Hackett, B.C. Henschen,
David Lass, Keith Loria, Audrey Pavia
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Vice President/Publisher Desireé Lynch
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Eastern/Great Lakes Regional Manager Trish Rodriguez
Territory Manager Erwin Laner
RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD 2015-2016
Pussy & Pooch
Pethouse and Pawbar
The Woodlands, Texas
Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies
Traverse City, Mich.
DOG Pet Boutique
West Hollywood, Calif.
Jungle Bob’s Reptile World
Centereach, N. Y.
Salisbury Super Pet
Anaheim Feed & Pet Supply
Paws Natural Pet Emporium
Retailer of the Year Jusak Yang Bernhard, Jeffrey Allen Manley TailsSpin Pet Food & Accessories
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Vol. 70 No. 5
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More people share their love with pets and care about their
health, well-being and quality of life more than ever, if a record
$60.28 billion in overall pet industry spending is a measure of
love. It’s mind-boggling, in the best kind of way, for the entire pet
industry, but such a staggering number truly makes one wonder
where it all can go from here.
The future of the industry is going to be an interesting juggling act for retailers, who must cater to seniors, boomers and
much-analyzed millennials, all of whom hold varied buying power, shop favored retail channels, and display disparate shopping
behaviors and product preferences. Think of the gear-shifting
sales and marketing approaches retailers will have to employ in
order to appeal to everyone without alienating anyone.
Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, claims
millennials now account for 31 percent of all pet owners, boasting
43 million pet owners in the 18- to 34-year-old age group; global research firm GfK claims 35.2 percent, making millennials the
largest group of pet owners in the U.S. Drilling down further into
the demographic, Packaged Facts reported that the number of
millennial pet owners grew 25 percent between 2007 and 2015,
and most of this 25 percent growth is with multicultural millennials—Latinos, in particular, are a key pet owner segment.
Where do those numbers take us? Well, the number of
pet-owning millennials is expected to increase by 2.6 million between 2015 and 2020, and as recently as 2014, households headed by millennial consumers spent almost $11 billion on their pets,
according to Packaged Facts.
“Millennials are more likely than other pet owners to both
expect to spend and to actually spend more on higher-priced pet
products and pet-care services,” said David Sprinkle, research
director for Packaged Facts.
But what about the second and equally important half of the
“future” question: the millennials who will manufacture product,
operate independent pet retail stores and service businesses,
and be the trendsetters?
At Global Pet Expo, I had the chance to interact with this
very group of youthful and eager adults and ponder what the
pet industry is doing to ensure their success.
TailsSpin Pet Food & Accessories, which has three stores
in Georgia and is co-owned by Jusak Yang Bernhard and Jeffrey
Allen Manley, won Pet Product News’ 2015-2016 Retailer of the
Year Award in July of last year. As the head of our Retail Advisory
Board, I (and our staff and writers) lean on TailsSpin and the
other board retail partners pretty heavily to provide feedback on
industry and product trends. So when Jusak and Jeffrey asked
me if I would spend some time with them and some of their
young team members at Global Pet Expo and share my industry
knowledge and insights, I eagerly replied, “Of course!” I shelved
my typical self-deprecating comments and acknowledged this
opportunity as the mutual learning opportunity it posed.
For the greater part of an hour, Jusak and Jeffrey asked me
(hard) questions to answer for the staff the pair had brought
with them to Global, which included Rose Casesi, COO, Kristen
Watson, district manager, Tom Kenkel, marketing director, Jennie Battle, Savannah store manager, Tess Jakubiec, Whitemarsh
Island store manager, Aimee Dansky, Pooler store manager, and
William Lucas, administrative assistant. All of them, except Jusak, Jeffrey and me, were millennials.
I answered their queries and offered opinions about Pet Prod-
uct News’ considerations for developing content to share with
readers, why folks should attend trade shows such as Global and
SuperZoo and how to get the most out of them, how to recognize
and address industry trends as they unfold, and much more. I felt
like I resembled a professor holding a lecture (as my colleagues
who witnessed the event in our booth joked) and hoped our ex-
change provided the group with useful, on-point and meaningful
takeaways, but Jusak and Jeffrey wouldn’t have asked if we didn’t
share great mutual respect and enjoy such a strong relationship,
and I was happy to do it.
It struck me that as researchers tally and analyze pet industry demographics, spending and projections, TailsSpin’s millennial
staff in front of me—the future of the pet industry—was set on
ensuring the future success of their livelihoods. What a perfect
opportunity for me to learn from them; after all, more young adults
in the industry are reading Pet Product News, and it’s our mission
to ensure that all readers are getting the news, data and commentary they need to run a profitable if not fulfilling and promising
enterprise. Just as the industry will adapt to accommodate millennials, so, too, will our content.
I took everyone’s business cards and threatened to lean on
them heavily in the future for insights, opinions and feedback,
all with the goal of enveloping a new generation of readers and
participants—pet retailers, manufacturers and service providers—into the greater Pet Product News conversation.
Sometimes at pet industry trade shows one never knows
what might happen. My time well spent with TailsSpin was
one such experience.
I so thoroughly enjoy Global Pet Expo, SuperZoo and all the
other industry events I attend during the year, but when I find
myself in a situation that places me in a new comfort zone and
puts me on the spot, I feel an abundance of renewal, invigoration
and exhilaration at what’s to come.
So here’s to the future of the pet industry! May all its numbers continue to grow.
By the Numbers
Another Global Pet Expo is a wrap, so what have we learned?
Millennial team members of TailsSpin Pet Food & Accessories
getting involved in, asking important questions about and
providing vital lessons to the pet industry at Global Pet Expo