Pet Product News International March 2017 104
BY WENDY BEDWELL-WILSON
Agrowing number of pets are hitting the open road with their owners, and product designers have responded with an ex- panding array of travel- and outdoor-centered merchandise.
Encompassing everything from strollers, carriers and booster seats
to harnesses, seatbelts, car seat covers, backpacks, booties and bowls,
the travel and outdoor category is a relatively new one, industry insiders reported, but it’s gaining momentum.
“More and more pet parents are opting to take their pets along
when they travel, which is driving the demand for pet products that
make traveling safer and more convenient for both the pet and the
owner,” said John Sandiford, president of Gen7Pets in Elverson, Pa.
“For many, pets are viewed as their No. 1 companion or like a child.
It’s no longer unusual to see people shopping, working or traveling
with their favorite furry friend by their side.”
Millennials—those born between 1982 and 2000—represent the biggest demographic behind this trend, said Gordon Spater, chief business officer and co-founder of ;urgo in ;alisbury, ;ass.
“People are bringing their dogs a lot more places than they did
before,” he said. “That’s especially true with millennials, who are
now a bigger part of the overall pet category than they were before.
They’re taking their dogs with them, spending quality time with their
dogs, and when you do that, you have needs for travel and outdoor
In fact, the American Pet Product Association’s (APPA) recent
study, National Pet Owner Survey: Generational Report, revealed
that millennials intend to travel more frequently with their pets, and
they’re willing to spend more money on their furry pals than previous
“Products that previous generations have found as discretionary
millennials are finding as necessary,; said ;ob ;etere, president and
CEO of APPA. “Millennials show more money allocated for their
dog’s carriers, toys and other supplies than any other group of owners. They also take their pets with them more.”
WHAT THEY WANT
Not surprisingly, however, pet owners of all ages want stylish, quality
products that work well, Spater said.
“They’re looking for quality, they’re looking for functionality,
Hitting the Road In Style
they’re looking for a brand they can trust, and they’re looking for
color and design,” he said. “Dogs really are a member of the family,
in some ways the child, and they’re getting treated like that.”
Today’s shoppers are also looking for items that make traveling
with their pets easier, said Patrick Hoffman, owner and president of
Solvit Products in Arlington, Texas.
The newest travel and outdoor gear focuses on quality, functionality and
safety, as well as meeting the needs of ever-more-mobile pet owners.
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A growing number of pets are hitting the open road with their owners,
and product designers have responded with an
expanding array of travel- and outdoor-centered merchandise.
every pet a