GLOBAL PET EXPO RECAP
Show Reveals Trends in
Toys and Consumables
BY LINDSEY WOJCIK
Tornado warnings, torrential rain and flight de- lays did not deter pet industry professionals from attending Global Pet Expo, which was held
in Orlando, Fla., March 21-23.
In fact, the show grew yet again this year, according to Andrew Darmohraj, executive vice president
and COO of the American Pet Products Association
(APPA), which organizes the show along with the Pet
Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). Darmohraj
reported that the show experienced approximately a
2 percent increase in booths and a 3 percent increase
Show attendance was also strong, according to
“Healthy attendance by pet specialty retailers, big
and small, made the show a success,” said John Hart,
president of Isle of Dogs in Germantown, Wis. “Traf-
fic was very robust, with engaged buyers from both
current as well as prospective accounts.”
Colleen McCracken, CEO of Planet Dog in West-
brook, Maine, agreed, noting that the show seemed
very well attended.
“Overall, walking around I got a great sense of
positivity and excitement,” she said. “We were very
excited to have so many customers visit our booth.
There were a lot of great new products being launched
at the show, and vendors were excited to talk about
them with retailers.”
Planet Dog introduced four dog toys at the show:
the Guru, a treat-dispensing interactive toy; the Strobe,
a light-up interactive toy; the Lil’ Dipper, a chew toy
for small dogs; and the Single-Color Orbee Ball.
“In talking with retailers, it is clear the interactive
category continues to present significant opportuni-
ties to engage pets both physically and mentally,”
McCracken said. “Additionally, the made in the USA
trend is not going away anytime soon.”
Innovative dog toys were top of mind for Sally
Trufant, general manager of B&B Pet Stop in Mobile,
Ala., as she walked the show floor.
“Ethical’s Spot brand showcased a push and pop
dog toy that moves around and a treat pops out, which
I thought was really cute,” Trufant said. “We’re already
talking about how we’re going to promote it in the
The Tether Tug, an interactive dog toy that keeps
dogs entertained through a game of tug-of-war, was
another toy that caught Trufant’s eye. “[Tether Tug]
offered a video display that could be used in-store,
and it was really cool because that sells it.”
Dog toys was not the only category in which new
trends popped up at the show. Kerissa Kelly-Slatten,
marketing and promotions manager at Cardinal Pet
Care in Azusa, Calif., said two trends stood out at this
year’s Global Pet Expo: the growth of the calming category and the continued success of organic products.
“To cater to distributors and retailers looking
to expand their calming section, Cardinal Pet Care
rolled out its Remedy+Recovery Lavender Mist and
E-Collar Kit—a first-of-its-kind product that makes it
easy to turn any E-collar into a calming collar,” she
said, adding that the kit consists of a 4-ounce bottle of
Calming Lavender Mist and a set of four replaceable
disks, which work with any recovery or E-collar.
The company also showcased its Crazy Dog Organic Train-Me! Treats, which are made with organic beef
and organic chicken, are animal welfare certified by Oregon Tilth, and come in 3-calorie and 1.7-calorie sizes.
Hart noted strong interest in the New Products
Showcase and the innovative new edible selections
that were launched at the show, adding that consumable products were the highlight at Isle of Dogs’ booth.
“We focused the majority of our strategy on our
Isle of Dogs Nourish air-dried pet food,” he said. “It
was originally soft-launched in September of 2017, so
this was the first opportunity for many retailers to see
the food and treat products in the line.”
The company also previewed its line of Everyday
Essentials functional treats, which will be launched
later this year in four formulas with nutrient-rich in-
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