Manufacturers Respond to New SuperZoo 2019 Show Dates
BY JENNIFER BONCY
Pet product manufacturers are prais- ing World Pet Association’s (WPA) decision to move the SuperZoo trade
show, held annually at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Convention Center, from its original 2019 dates in June to Aug. 20-22, with
the retailer education portion kicking off
on the 19th.
WPA, the show’s organizer, announced
the change in August, and explained that
it was a result of industry feedback.
“After several conversations and in-
depth post-show research analysis, we
realized that hosting SuperZoo in August
more efficiently matches the business
goals and priorities of both brands and
retailers,” said Jacinthe Moreau, WPA
president. “Armed with that information,
With this date shift, SuperZoo is well
aligned with holiday product launches
and seasonal buying cycles, giving retail-
ers the opportunity to be the first to see,
touch and buy emerging trending prod-
ucts, said WPA officials.
Many manufacturers fervently support
the new August dates for several reasons,
particularly the extra time it gives them to
refresh their product and service offerings
during the year.
“This is great news for vendors, attendees and the industry as a whole,”
said Damian Hall, senior marketing manager at the Mansfield, Mass.-based Hagen
Group, a longtime exhibitor at SuperZoo.
“Pushing it back until August puts us in a
better position to debut and launch new
products at the show. The more new prod-
ucts launching at the show, the more our
retail partners are excited to come see us
in Vegas, and it is attendees that make the
Heather Hickey, vice president of sales
for Ziwi USA, based in Overland Park,
Kan., said the new SuperZoo dates will
be much better for exhibitors as well as
attendees, pointing out that the adjusted
timing gives exhibitors breathing room be-
tween the two biggest shows of the year—
SuperZoo and Global Pet Expo, which is
held in the first quarter of the year in Or-
“Moving the show to August makes it
more feasible for retailers to attend both
shows,” Hickey said, adding that the Au-
gust dates make the show ideal for buyers
gearing up for end-of-the-year sales. “It’s
also better for manufacturers planning
multiple product launches during the
year, especially if they want to launch new
products in time for the holiday season.”
Another benefit of the new dates, ac-
cording to Beth Sommers, president and
chief merchandising officer for Pura Nat-
urals Pet in Ardsley, N.Y., is that due to
SuperZoo’s timing later in the year, it con-
tinues to be a must-attend event for people
on or near the East Coast of the U.S.
“This will hopefully allow buyers from
both coasts to see the value of each show
and not have to make a choice between
them,” Sommers said.
And perhaps most important for exhibitors, she added: “It will also allow exhibitors to show last-minute fourth-quarter merchandise that might have not been
ready for a June show.”
AMAZON’S PET PRODUCT SALES
SURGE IN FIRST HALF OF 2018
Consumers in the U. S. dropped nearly $800 million
on pet products on Amazon in the first half of 2018,
representing a growth of more than 30 percent
compared to the same period in 2017, according to
a new report from One Click Retail, an e-commerce
analytics firm. Total spending on pet products in
Q1 and Q2 of 2018 were $780 million.
Several pet product categories were a hit with
Amazon customers during this time, the report
found, with pet food and supplies leading the
charge with estimated sales at $360 million, a 34
percent increase year-over-year. On Amazon, the
pet food category makes up nearly half of total pet
product sales—in the total domestic market, food
makes up approximately two-thirds of the sector.
Mike Corry, the report’s author, noted that convenience factored into which pet food products
were the most popular with pet owners. According to the report, 30-pound bags of dry dog food
remain the biggest hit among Amazon’s pet products—and the online retailer experienced similar
success with the May launch of its Wag brand of
food. Wag dry dog food had the most initial success with its 30-pound bags, which is consistent
with other leading dog food brands on Amazon.
Habitats and supplies earned the No. 2 spot as
Amazon’s most sought-after pet categories with
an estimated $130 million in sales, a 27 percent increase over the same period last year.
Habitats and supplies has benefited over the
past year from the growth of cat trees, both from
leading brand Go Pet as well as from the private
label AmazonBasics, according to Corry. Cat trees
benefited from a major promotional lift during
Prime Day 2017 and have continued to grow in
popularity on Amazon, especially during Q2 2018,
Health care ranked as the No. 3 best-selling
category on Amazon, with estimated sales at $110
million, a 70 percent increase year-over-year.
Four out of the five best-selling pet products
during Q2 2018 were health care products. The top
three items were variations of the Seresto flea and
tick collar (two for dogs and one for cats), and the
No. 5 item was a topical flea treatment for cats from
Bayer (the manufacturer of Seresto).
Rounding out the top five pet product categories were litter and odor products at No. 4, with an
estimated $55 million in sales (a 48 percent increase
year-over-year), and training and behavior products at No. 5, with an estimated $35 million in sales.
PET PRODUCT PURCHASERS REPRESENT “GROWTH ENGINE” FOR WALMART, REPORTS PACKAGED FACTS
Two-thirds of pet-owning households do any type of shopping at Walmart or Sam’s Club, with Walmart
alone claiming 43 million of 67 million pet-owning households in its customer base, according to data published in U.S. Pet Market Focus: Walmart as Competitor, the third report in a four-part series on Walmart by
market research firm Packaged Facts.
By comparison, Walmart’s pet-owning customer base is significantly larger than other leading mass marketers Target, Costco and Kroger. These three retailers combined have a customer base of about 35 million
pet-owning U.S. households, according to the report.
Packaged Facts found that when choosing a preferred pet products provider, consumers are most apt to
weigh factors related to pricing, but factors related to convenience and brands/selection are also important.
Less relevant are factors related to retailer staff and in-store services. And while the ability to order online is relevant, other factors related to emerging online ordering trends make
less of an impact. In short, Walmart satisfies much of what pet owners seek in a retail experience, the report found.
The growth is evident among Walmart shoppers as Packaged Facts estimates that more than a third of Walmart pet product purchasers report buying more pet products
from Walmart than a few years ago, while less than 10 percent report buying less, and almost half are buying about the same amount. By demographic, adults in the influential
and increasingly powerful gen Z and millennial age bracket ( 18-34 years old) are especially likely to report buying more products from Walmart than they did a few years ago.
CATCON 2018 SETS CAT
CatCon 2018, which was
held Aug. 4-5 in Pasadena,
Calif., drew a record 16,400
attendees, flocking from 45
states and 11 countries.
The event featured meet
and greets with an expanded and influential feline and
human talent roster including celebrity cat Lil Bub, actor Ian Somerhalder, Georgia Hardstark and Moshow the Cat
Rapper. More than 170 exhibitors, including brands like 9Lives
Cat Food, World’s Best Cat Litter and Kat Von D Beauty, were
on-hand during the show.
The convention’s most popular panel this year was the “Cats
and Cannabis: What You Need to Know Meow” conversation.
The seminar “Men and Cats: A Love Story” concluded the weekend’s programming and ended with the surprise onstage wedding of a couple that got engaged at CatCon 2015. The wedding
featured Lil Bub as a bridesmaid and Moshow the Cat Rapper
as best man.
This year, 159 cats were adopted in the CatCon Adoption Village, presented in partnership with 9Lives Cat Food and World’s
Best Cat Litter. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) signed up 180 volunteers for its foster
program during the course of the weekend.
Beneficiaries of this year’s event included the Ian Somerhalder
Foundation, Lil Bub’s Big Fund, Kitten Rescue LA and Milo’s
Sanctuary. More than $40,000 was raised this year at CatCon to
benefit cats in need.