Here are Packaged Facts’ 10 key pet product trends:
National pride is worth the price: While frequently associated with pet food and treats, “Made in the U.S.A.” also carries huge appeal in the durable petcare products market, especially in the collars, harnesses, and leashes category. Several companies offer products made in the U.S., including Coastal Pet Products, 2 Hounds Design, Up Country, Lupine and Wolfgang USA. All of Cycle Dog’s products are made in the U.S.A. as well, and its new Stars & Stripes collar, leash and other accessories take patriotism to a new level.
“Functional” a sought-after buzz word when purchasing pet beds: Features including easy to clean, durable and comfortable are now more or less de rigueur in the pet bedding market, so products focusing on function now typically offer additional appeals. In particular, specialty beds with comfort features can reduce pain while the animal attempts to fall asleep, helping the pet sleep better and reducing discomfort throughout the day. For example, memory foam and gel mattresses have become a mainstay in orthopedic beds for humans, so it should come as little surprise that similar products have carved out a solid niche in the pet market, especially for senior dogs.
Designer brand apparel for cats: In general, most pet apparel is geared towards dogs, which tend to be a lot more amenable to getting dressed up. Taking humanization to the extreme, one of the biggest ways cats have been impacting apparel markets is via human clothing. High-end designers such as Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson have incorporated cats into their recent collections.
Bowl designed to improve digestion, reduce neck strain: Many of the new, innovative designs in the bowl, feeder and waterer market tackle specific problems that pet owners have with their current feeding options. This includes products designed to reduce pets’ neck strain, improve digestion and maximize comfort and convenience while adding a sleek and stylish look to pet owners’ homes.
Fashionable pet carriers are in fashion: The importance of fashion and style cannot be overestimated since many pet owners seek out carriers that serve as a fashion accessory. Available in a vast range of materials, colors, styles, and patterns—with trims ranging from fine leather and faux fur to rhinestones and silver findings—pet carriers that look more like handbags also allow owners to sneak their pets into places that may not be dog-friendly. Accordingly, designer purse-type pet carriers, like those offered by Michael Kors and Chanel, are popular, with many manufacturers operating more like fashion designers As a result, many companies that started out with more basic models have been trending up to better compete with the growing ranks of marketers that focus exclusively on fashion-forward options.
Pet collar marketers capitalize on the “maximum visibility = safety” formula: For most pet owners, safety is a given when it comes to collars, leashes and harnesses, but marketers of these products continue to find ways to make these products even safer for both pets and humans. Coastal Pet Products, for example, recently updated the design of its Lazer Brite collars for maximized reflectivity, making the collar visible at up to 600 feet.
Pet feeders getting “Smarter”: The recent proliferation of high-tech products in the feeding and watering category may leave some pet owners overwhelmed with the array of choices. “Smart” feeders and waterers allow pet owners to set feeding schedules, control portion sizes, and even customize feedings for multiple pets. As a result, pet owners’ involvement in the feeding process is no longer tied to the bowl itself; in fact, with some of the new technology-based feeders, everything can be controlled remotely via a smart phone.
Customers favor customization, personalization: Pet owners enjoy products they can adapt to their own specific needs, including those they can personalize via appearance or function. German-made flexi offers a wide variety of flexible leashes that allow owners to do both, ranging from functional to luxurious. Its Comfort line offers the option to customize the leash with the company’s Multi Box or LED Lighting System options, attached via a fastener system, giving owners the ability to carry extra snacks and waste bags or light the way when it gets dark out.
Tiny pooches and cuddly kitties spurring pet stroller sales: More and more, owners of small dogs and cats want their pets to be able to enjoy the great outdoors as much as their larger canine counterparts, driving up interest in pet strollers. Strollers offer a safe way to experience new outdoor environments and provide stimulation. One marketer cashing in on this trend is Pet Gear, with its new Jogger No-Zip Stroller designed for runners or joggers with a large three-wheel design.
Whisker-friendly designs: Cats are notoriously finicky when it comes to food, and this behavior can extend to their food bowls as well. A common problem: many cats don’t like their whiskers touching the sides of their bowls when eating. New products include bowls with slightly curved designs that allow gravity to focus the food in the center of the bowl rather than being pushed to the sides while feeding. Other bowls are made with materials such as plant fibers to provide cats with mottled mate textures instead of the extra shiny or gloss surfaces believed to be unfavorable to most cats.
The 2017 Global Pet Expo will take place March 22 to March 24, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The event is presented by the American Pet Products Association and Pet Industry Distributors Association. According to Global Pet Expo press release, the 2017 Show will feature 1,130 exhibitors (27 percent of which are international companies), 3,435 booths and 223 first-time exhibiting companies. With more than 3,000 new product launches, Global Pet Expo will showcase the latest products available for all types of pets including dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, small animals and horses. The show has also grown in recent years with added special sections including the “International Pavilions,” “Natural Pet,” “Boutique,” “Everything Aquatic,” and “What’s New!” Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers and other qualified media and professionals.
One of the more high-profile product launches at 2017’s Global Pet Expo is from Bissell, which is known for is cleaning solutions and floor care. BarkBath, which is the Bissell’s first dog-washing system and the company’s first portable bath system. According to a Bissell press release, the Bissell BarkBath allows pet parents to bathe their pet with virtually no mess—eliminating the inevitable clean-up that comes along with washing a four-legged family member. This all-in-one system can be used in any room of the house, anytime, with a minimal mess. The BarkBath works with any length of fur or hair and uses a no-rinse shampoo. Specially designed nozzles get beneath the fur and down to the skin to allow water and shampoo to wash the skin clean, while a soft suction pulls dirt and water away into a separate dirty water tank.
BarkBath uses less than 48 ounces of water to clean pets up to 80 pounds, compared to traditional bathing in a tub, which can use up to 19 gallons of water. The entire BarkBath system comes complete with no-rinse shampoo designed specifically for the BarkBath, a microfiber mat for the machine, a microfiber drying towel for faces and paws, and a storage bag to give pets a full grooming experience at home. Live demos of the BarkBath will take place at the Bisell booth at the Global Pet Expo. In addition, Dr. Marty Becker will be hosting a book signing copies of his new book “From Fearful to Fear Free: A Positive Program to Free Your Dog From Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias” at the Bissell booth from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on March 23.
Petmate, a leading company for pet products, also revealed in a press release what new items it will be showcasing at the event:
Calmz Petmate debuts Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs combining high-tech innovation with acupressure in a revolutionary new non-invasive, drug-free treatment that soothes common anxiety that often arises as a result of thunderstorms, fireworks, encounters with strangers, travel, separation, and loud noises.
This innovative system features an adjustable Comfort Fit Vest that holds the Calmz device over specific acupressure points on your dog’s spine. When the device is activated, the clinically proven NeuroSync Technology takes over. NeuroSync Technology combines a therapeutic medley of classical music and a specially calibrated tone to create a vibration. This multi-faceted approach eases anxiety in a completely new way.
The system employs vestibular (audible) and peripheral sensory (tactile) stimulations to achieve test-proven anxiety relief in dogs
Vestibular stimulation is the result of a low-frequency C-note tone that is blended with a modified version of the classical piece, Beethoven’s Für Elise
Peripheral sensory stimulation comes from the massaging sensation generated from the device when placed on acupressure calming points along the spine
Cat Play Petmate continues to expand its award-winning cat product line developed with renowned cat behavior expert and animal advocate Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell.” The Jackson Galaxy Collection by Petmate features captivating play products and expands into new categories including feeding and watering, litter, carriers, bedding and more. Each product speaks to natural cat behaviors – Hunt, Catch, Kill, Eat, Groom and Sleep. Highlighting this year’s collection:
The Butterfly in a Ball creates the ultimate in satisfying hunt play with its sensor-activated action that sets the butterfly fluttering within the ball when it is pushed by a stalking cat.
The Whisker-Stress Prevention Bowl and Less-Mess Bowl feature a unique concave design to help relieve whisker stress during meals and a smooth stainless steel surface to prevent cats from developing chin acne.
Brandon McMillan Training Products Petmate has teamed up with celebrity dog trainer Brandon McMillan, host of the Emmy-award winning Lucky Dog show on CBS TV, to debut a new line of dog training products featured in his new book, Lucky Dog Lessons.
Shake & Break is a training tool to help stop unwanted pet behavior. The noise made by shaking the tool breaks the dog’s focus and stops bad behavior in its tracks.
The new Lure Stick, is a treat reward training tool, designed to encourage dogs to heel, keep them from pulling on the leash and redirects their attention; it literally lures the dog back to the pet parent.
Dog Toys Petmate expands its popular Chuckit! toy line, offering More Ways to Play®outdoors:
Chuckit! Breathe Right® Fetch Ball is a high performance ball designed to facilitate breathing and airflow into dogs’ lungs while running and fetching and is compatible with all Chuckit! Launchers.
Always a favorite for play time, the JW Collection, known for its durability and multifunction action, expands with new dog toys that are designed with intelligent ideas and patented manufacturing. This year’s collection features an extra element of fun with mixed materials and a new take on the popular Hol-ee® toys:
Inspired by the best-selling Hol-ee Roller, the Hol-ee Gourmet line offers a variety of 2 in 1 treat toys that encourage dogs to play. Fill the rubber outer shell with harder larger treats and the inner nylon bone with soft spreadable treats. These fun toys are featured in the shapes of a peanut, turkey leg and steak.
K-9 Control Retractable Leash Petmate redefines the functionality of retractable leashes for more control and safety with the first-ever leash that can be retracted in the lock mode. This new technology represents the first functional change in retractable leashes since their introduction in 1971.
The K-9 Control Retractable Leash features the new patented Zero Slack Technology™ that keeps the leash taut while locked or in the temporary brake position. This gentle tension provides control and keeps the dog from moving forward. The owner can safely pull back the dog without worrying about excess slack.
Feeding Petmate puts a new twist on healthy eating with the new Diggin’ Diner 2 Cup Feeder.
This unique feeder is designed to slow pet’s intake of food with a strategic opening that allows dry food to fall out at a healthy pace while encouraging physical and mental stimulation.
Finally, Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Pet, Home & Garden will have interactive elements to the portfolio of products the company will showcase at the event. The Aquatics division will be represented by Tetra brand, Marineland and Instant Ocean. Its Companion Animal division will be represented by Nature’s Miracle, Healthy Hide, Pro·Sense, LitterMaid, Dingo, FURminator, Perfect Coat, Wild Harvest and eCOTRITION. Here are more details from a press release:
Innovating the Aquatic Experience
To whet the appetite for innovations in aquatics, the Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Pet, Home & Garden booth will feature engaging videos showing the latest technologies and aquatic mobile apps, introduce new products and marketing tools to support the retailers and showcase a recent scientific breakthrough through the University of Florida Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (UFTAL).
Celebrating Heritage, Innovating the Future of Fishkeeping Tetra and Marineland are celebrating years of aquatics industry heritage at our booth with a timeline showcasing how we have innovated and evolved. While we are rooted in history, the future of fishkeeping is a focus as well. Tetra and GloFish brands will showcase new programs designed to introduce potential hobbyists of all ages to fishkeeping with educational content, new GloFish® characters and Macaroni Kid events.
Experiencing a GloFish Gallery Pet retailers can Experience the Glo in a darkened room dedicated to GloFish Fluorescent Fish, offering a very unique aquatic experience. A live aquarium will be filled with brilliantly-colored tetras, barbs and danios and the latest GloFish line décor and accessories. Under the new GloFish Cycle Light, visitors will watch the environment transform before their eyes. The GloFish Color-Changing Background, Plants and Ornaments change colors as the lighting rotates through a cycle of blue LED, black LED and white light.
Innovating Aquatics with Tetra Brand My Aquarium App The video for Tetra brand My Aquarium App will show the latest innovations that aquatic retailers can offer customers to keep them organized and makes maintenance simpler so they have more time on their hands to enjoy their fish. To demonstrate the My Aquarium App experience, a station of tablets will be available to show its features including instant recommendations as well as custom notifications for food dispensing, water changes, water testing, filtration, etc. Additionally, visitors can watch the YouTube video campaign, featuring The Bergmans, a big and busy family who uses the My Aquarium App to make aquarium maintenance easier and have fishkeeping expertise at their fingertips to maintain their beautiful, healthy aquarium.
Instant Ocean Features UFTAL’s breakthrough culturing First Pacific Blue Tang in captivity Instant Ocean® will feature presentations from members of the team of scientists from the University of Florida’sTropical Aquaculture Laboratory (UFTAL) who were the first to breed Pacific Blue Tangs (Paracanthurus hepatus) in captivity in an aquatic environment using Instant Ocean®. Assistant Professor Dr. Matthew DiMaggio and Assistant Extension Scientist Eric Cassiano will present from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 22 and March 23, 2017, which will also be streamed live on Facebook. They will share their perspectives on this historic achievement. Attendees will have direct access to ask questions, see photos and footage, and learn insights on how captive propagation could affect commercial production protocols and conservation efforts in the future.
Improving the Pet Owner Experience
Because dogs, cats, birds, and small animals are all big parts of the personal and professional lives of Global Pet Expo attendees, the Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Pet, Home & Garden booth will also host attractive, interactive displays that introduce new Companion Animal packaging and formulations. The theme of the Companion Animal displays is interaction, so the booth will have sensory stations for our Nature’s Miracle, LitterMaid, Pro·Sense, Healthy Hide and Digest-eeze brands.
Promoting a Balance Between Pet Parenting and Home Ownership To continue its “Trust the Miracle” campaign, Nature’s Miracle® will demonstrate how “Pet Parents Can Have Nice Things.” The beautiful white lounge of the Nature’s Miracle® area announces new formulas for long-term odor elimination, as well as new delivery systems for cleaning carpet. As a long-standing cornerstone product, Nature’s Miracle® will proudly debut its new packaging to give visitors a glimpse at the evolving design of the brand.
Catering to Cat Lovers Because every cat has different litter box needs, LitterMaid and Nature’s Miracle are highlighting the range of litter products available for consumers to deal with the toughest litter box odors. The area also details the ways pet retailers can educate their consumers on proper usage of litter.
Treating Dogs Right Healthy Hide and Digest-eeze have teamed up to bring pet retailers up close and personal with their lines of gourmet dog treats. This area focuses on digestive health and lists each product’s number of ingredients, recommended age for feeding, chew time, digestibility and added benefits. Under this display, visitors will be able to examine and interact with each line’s products and packaging.
Providing Affordable Care Products for Pets Expanding on the interaction theme of Companion Animal, Pro·Sense is bringing its dental, itch and joint health solutions out for display. Visitors will get to check out a video and the new look of each product. This area promotes the idea that pet owners can use Pro·Sense products to care for their pets the same way they take care of themselves.
Solving the Pet Hair Problem Education is the most important part in the fight against pet hair. That’s why the FURminator area details the grooming tasks pet parents should perform daily, weekly and monthly. Each activity is tied to FURminator products, so visitors will know the proper grooming regimen and solutions to recommend to consumers. To help pet retailers understand FURminator consumers even better, this area profiles the “FURminator ProSumer,” the individual most likely to seek out pet grooming products and education.
Making Pets Jump for Joy The lively Dingo display wastes no time showing why the right assortment and selection of rawhide dog bones, dog chews and dog treats can increase sales. This area shows off the new look of Dingo packaging for its flavored/standard rawhide, rawhide alternative, benefit added, and its soft, chewy and crunchy varieties. Visitors will also learn consumer statistics they can use to strategize their store’s product offerings.
Purina Farms Visitor Center in Gray Summit, Missouri, is re-opening for the 2017 season on March 18. The center is located about 40 miles west of downtown St. Louis. Here is more information from a Purina press release:
New for the 2017 season is a fresh paint job at the Visitor Center to incorporate Purina’s iconic Checkerboard red, along with a new main entrance.
The Purina Farms Visitor Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday in the spring and fall (Tuesday through Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day) and includes the following guest offerings:
Interactive Better with Pets exhibit, where pet lovers of all ages can celebrate the powerful relationship people and pets share and learn about responsible pet care. Guests can help trigger a donation to the Petfinder Foundation in support of homeless pets* simply by turning in the pet I.D. card they receive at the beginning of the experience. The Petfinder Foundation provides grants to shelters and rescue groups around the U.S. to help them in their life-saving work to place homeless pets in loving homes. Learn more about all the exhibit has to offer here.
Incredible Dog Arena, where the Purina® Pro Plan® Performance Team dogs demonstrate their amazing skills in flying disc, diving dog and agility during three shows daily
Pet Center, which features a 20-foot, multi-level home for cats and an opportunity to meet the dogs who perform in our shows
Barn and play area, which houses domestic farm animals and also features rope swings, tunnels and pedal tractors.
There’s also a theatre, a concession area, gift shop, and information center.
In addition to daily activities at the Visitor Center, Purina Farms hosts events year-round, including the popular Springtime Village March 29-April 15. Purina Farms also hosts some of the most prestigious dog and cat shows in the country at the Purina Event Center, including national all-breed dog shows like the Dalmatian Club of America, Poodle Club of America and the German Shepherd Dog Club of America.
Purina Pro Plan has launched New Prime Plus Adult 7+ to help cats ages 7 and older live long and healthy lives. Here is an excerpt from a Purina press release with more details:
Backed by a pioneering nine-year study, the nutrient blend, found in the new Purina Pro Plan Prime Plus Adult 7+, was shown to improve and extend the life of cats seven and older. Findings were based on cats exclusively fed a complete diet with the proprietary blend vs. cats fed the complete and balanced diet alone. Prime Plus Adult 7+ is another life-changing innovation in the Pro Plan healthy aging product portfolio, alongside the breakthrough Bright Mind Adult 7+ formulas that support brain health in senior dogs.
To help introduce Prime Plus Adult 7+ and educate pet owners about the importance of healthy aging in their pets and the role nutrition can play, Purina Pro Plan is partnering with pet aging expert and co-founder of the University of Washington’s Dog Aging Project, Matt Kaeberlein, Ph.D. Dr. Kaeberlein’s groundbreaking research has led to a deeper understanding of the mechanism of aging in pets, and how science and preventative care can be used to intervene in the aging process.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) has announced the 10 most popular cat breeds in the U.S. for 2016. For the third year in a row, the exotic was No. 1. CFA compiles the list based on its cat registry.
The same cat breeds that were in the Top 10 in 2015 were in the Top 10 in 2016, except the Orienta dropped out of the Top 10 spot and was replaced at No. 10 by the Devon Rex, which jumped from the No. 11 spot that it held the previous year. Other breeds that made the Top 10 in 2016 with a higher ranking than the previous year are the Ragdoll, which jumped from No. 4 to No. 2 ; the British shorthair, which went from No. 5 to No. 3; and the Sphync, which rose from No. 10 to No.. 8. Three breeds in the Top 10 had a lower ranking in 2016 compared to the previous year: the Persian dropped from No. 2 to No. 4; the Maine Coone fell from No. 3 to No. 5; and the Abyssinian went from No. 8 to No. 9.
Here are CFA’s Top 10 cat breeds in the U.S. for 2016:
“Kitten Bowl” is an annual feline “catstravaganza” that airs on Super Bowl Sunday and is presented in association with North Shore Animal League America (the nation’s largest no-kill shelter and animal adoption organization) and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation. Hosted by Beth Stern, a TV personality and national spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America, “Kitten Bowl” is a star-studded lineup that includes legendary New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling and referee Chuck Nice. Hallmark Channel aired the fourth annual “Kitten Bowl” in the U.S. on February 5, 2017. Here are videos and photos from the event.
(All photos by Marc Lemoine/Crown Media United States, LLC)
People who love cats are invited to attend the inaugural Cat Camp, a fan convention/adoption event which takes place March 11 and March 12, 2017, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. The event is co-founded by Christina Ha, owner of Meow Parlour, New York’s City first cat cafe, which opened in 2014.
The event will feature cat adoptions, panel discussions, meet-and-greets and vendors selling cat-related items, merchandise and services. The Petco Foundation is the presenting sponsor.
Cat expert Jackson Galaxy, the host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell,” will be the keynote speaker and will do a meet-and-greet. Celebrity cat Lil Bub and her owner Mike Bridavsky will also be in attendance. Guest speakers/panelists are well-known cat enthusiasts involved in cat rescuing, spaying/neutering and adoptions, including:
Hannah Shaw, also known as The Kitten Lady, a Washington, D.C.-based kitten rescuer/foster parent who has become a star on social media
Kate Benjamin, founder of Hauspanther, an online magazine for cat-oriented designs
Adam Myatt, founder of the CatTown in Oakland, California, the first permanent cat cafe in the United States
Dr. Jennifer Conrad of The Paw Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to banning feline declawing and educating the public about the dangers of declawing.
Although this is an event for cat enthusiasts, the only cats allowed at the event are those that have been pre-approved for adoptions or guest appearances. In other words, people have to leave their pet cats at home (for legal and health reasons, obviously), and this policy will be strictly enforced, say event organizers.
The following is a press release from Hallmark Channel:
Hallmark Channel, the exclusive home of kitten sports and the highly rated “Kitten Bowl” franchise , announces the network’s latest pet-centric programming buzzer beater , “Meow Madness ,” a Hallmark Channel Original Special Event, will premiere at 8 p.m. ET on April 3 , 2017.
“Meow Madness” features author and animal advocate Beth Stern as host and Peabody Award-winning reporter Mary Carillo as commentator. The special will showcase adoptable kittens in the most competitive tournament the basketball world has ever seen. Hallmark Channel enjoys home court advantage for the inaugural “Meow Madness” special as 100 adorable, adoptable “cat-letes” purr-fect an unstoppable zone defense while taking shots from the “flea throw” zone as each team claw s its way to “The Final Fur.”
“Meow Madness” is produced by 3 Ball Entertainment. Executive Producers are Todd A. Nelson, Ross Weintraub, DJ Nurre and Jeff Altrockm, with Kathy Sutula serving as co-executive producer. 3 Ball Entertainment credits include “Extreme Weight Loss” (ABC), “Bar Rescue” (Spike) and “My Cat From Hell” (Animal Planet), among others.