BY BRIT TANY KIMBLE
Upward of 10,000 people will meet to connect and explore the pet industry’s latest innovations at this year’s SuperZoo, which will be held June 26-28 at
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, with
education offerings taking place June 25-27. SuperZoo
2018, which is organized by the World Pet Association
(WPA), will offer more than 282,000 net square feet of
show floor space for attendees to shop, and a comprehensive education program is also on the agenda.
More than 80 education seminars are on the lineup,
totaling 85 hours’ worth of revenue generating-knowl-edge waiting to be absorbed by attendees. Forty expert
speakers will cover a multitude of topics within the four
main content areas of the show’s educational programming, which includes: retail, grooming, animal wellness
and the service industry.
The 2018 SuperZoo seminars are expertly picked out,
said Debra Spaulding, director of education and programming for WPA.
“We’ve learned a lot through our years of history
planning and organizing the shows’ education,” Spauld-
ing said. “We work hard to identify industry experts and
thought leaders to provide the industry with the most
leading-edge trend seminars and the latest insights and
businesses best practices that will help retailers grow
SuperZoo’s educational component will kick off on
Monday, June 25, with one full day devoted to education.
Lynn Switanowski of Creative Business Consulting Group
(CBCG) will present seven seminars throughout the show,
four of which will occur during the preshow education day.
“The key theme to all of our seminars this year [re-volves around] the independent pet community [being]
behind consumers, and we are trying to help teach them
how to use tools to put them online so they can connect
with the customers when the customer wants,” Switanowski said.
Switanowski’s seminars on Monday will cover different aspects of the pet business including a presentation
on inventory performance called “Learn to Manage Your
Inventory to Increase Profits,” which will be held from
9:30-10: 30 a.m. It aims to help pet stores improve their
inventory turnover and save money.
Switanowski’s next presentation focuses on “How to
Connect with the Digital Minded Shopper,” which will be
held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
“This is a key learning seminar since, in most cases,
independent pet retailers are behind customers in their
use of digital services,” Switanowski said.
“How to Increase Your Brick-and-Mortar Business in
an Online World,” which will be held from 1: 30-3 p.m.,
will help teach brick-and-mortar retailers how to position
their businesses digitally in front of their consumers and
adapt to the digital age. The seminar “Is Your Pet Business Social Enough for Your Customers?,” which will be
held from 3: 30-5 p.m., will focus on the social media marketing tactics available to retailers to improve their stores’
Switanowski will also offer a free workshop called
“Making SuperZoo Work for You” from 5: 30-6 p.m.
“As you can see, this day is all encompassing and will
be a great way to help pet retailers and manufacturers
walk away with specific learning to close the gap on their
digital knowledge to engage with customers more effec-
tively,” Switanowski said.
Switanowski will repeat the “How to Connect with
the Digital Minded Shopper” seminar from 8-10 a.m. on
Tuesday, June 26, because it contains critical content that
should be heard by every show attendee, she said.
“The entire theme of the seminars that CBCG is presenting on is focused on helping educate retailers with
tactics and tools that their customers are always using—
and making sure that the gap doesn’t continue to widen
and end up leading customers to businesses that are more
digital friendly,” Switanowski added.
Tammy Bond of The Team Optimizer said her seminars will address a different set of common challenges
that retailers face.
“When I talk to people at SuperZoo, and after, about
the challenges in their businesses today, I most often
hear, ‘My employees are my challenge,’” Bond said.
“Every one of my seminars surrounds the employee di-
lemma in one form or another. If you, as an attendee, are
reading this trying to decide what workshops to take,
come to the ones that will help solve the biggest pain
point you have. Show up with questions to engage in
the dialogue so you can get what you need to transform
the way your business operates.”
On Monday, June 25, Bond will present “Conflict:
Lessons to Be Learned
The Raw Question
More than 80 education seminars will be available to attendees at this year’s SuperZoo.
A recent European study found bacteria and parasites in raw pet diets, but what,
if anything, do the findings mean for U.S. raw pet food producers?
BY CLAY JACKSON
Add salmonella to death and taxes as one of life’s inevitabilities. “Pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella and listeria
in raw meat and poultry will always persist,” said Scott
Freeman, CEO and managing partner of Nature’s Logic, a
Lincoln, Neb.-based manufacturer of traditional and raw
pet foods. “It is the nature of the beast.”
A recent study bears this out, as researchers in the
Netherlands found a rogues’ gallery of bacteria and par-
asites (E. coli, listeria, salmonella, Sarcocystis spp. and
Toxoplasma gondii) among samples of 35 frozen raw pet
food products, representing eight local Dutch commer-
cial brands. Conducted by Utrecht University researchers,
the study, titled “Zoonotic bacteria and parasites found in
raw meat-based diets for cats and dogs,” was published
in the journal Veterinary Record.
“Canine stomachs can handle almost any parasite or
bacteria,” said Dave Sabey, CEO and founder of Raw
Wild, a Park City, Utah-based raw pet food company.
But it is a different story when these same pathogens
T. gondii, for example, can cause nervous system and
eye abnormalities as babies develop in utero, reports the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In January, two children became seriously ill with salmonella linked to pet food through DNA, according to a
Minnesota Department of Health bulletin.
“The CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets
to pets because of the risk of germs such as salmonella
and listeria that have been found in raw pet foods, even
the packaged ones sold in stores,” said Dr. Megin Nich-
ols, DVM, Dipl. ACVPM and CDC veterinarian. “These
germs can make pets and people sick.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) frowns
on raw feeding for pets, as well.
“There are inherent risks to raw pet food, regardless of
how well it is processed, handled and stored,” said Anne
Norris, an FDA spokesperson. “The FDA believes the best
way to keep pets and their owners safe is to cook raw
products or purchase a nonraw product.”
Still, the popularity of raw pet foods, hailed by many
manufacturers, retailers and pet nutritionists as being nu-
tritionally superior to traditional formats, is on the rise.
And as demand grows, so have the safety concerns sur-
rounding this category. Fortunately, U.S. pet food compa-
nies can learn from the Dutch study and take the neces-
sary measures to ensure the safety of their products—in
fact, many already are.
If a company is going to manufacture and sell un-
cooked pet food to consumers, Freeman said, it needs to
implement a “kill step.”
Nature’s Logic uses high pressure processing (HPP),
as does Primal Pet Foods, a manufacturer of raw frozen
and raw freeze-dried food for dogs and cats in Fairfield,
Calif. HPP kills bacteria, especially salmonella, by apply-
ing incredible pressure of up to 50,000 pounds per square
“SUPERZOO” CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
“RAW” CON TINUED ON PAGE 14