4 Pet Product Trends to Watch



Want to know what trends will be driving success in the retail pet business in the weeks and months ahead? Well, then, I hope you were at this year’s Global Pet Expo.


Because it is the industry’s largest annual trade show and perfectly positioned early in the year, Global Pet Expo has become the best place to see the latest and greatest developments in pet care products. With that in mind, here are four key trends that were generating a buzz at this year’s edition of the show.


1. Raw & Raw-Alternative Foods
Raw food, in all of its forms, continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of pet nutrition—a fact that was abundantly clear on this year’s show floor. In addition to frozen and refrigerated fare, a number of vendors showcased alternatives, such as freeze-dried, dehydrated and air dried diets, as well as hybrid products, such as raw-coated kibble. While the same could be said about previous editions of Global Pet Expo, what was particularly striking this year was how many “traditional” pet food companies are now adding raw or raw alternative options to their offerings. 


2. Hemp in High Gear
This trend should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the pet care market over the past couple of years, but hemp oil products—including CBD products—were out in full force in the aisles of Global Pet Expo 2019, reflecting the heat that is being generated by this still-emerging category. Of course, as one might expect, there was an explosion of young hemp companies exhibiting at the show. However, similar to what’s going on within the raw and raw alternative food categories, there were also many established companies either fortifying existing products with hemp oil or introducing brand new products into this space.


3. Saying “No” to GMOs
Given the waves it has made in the human food world, it was only a matter of time before the non-GMOs trend would make an impact on the pet industry. Well, if the aisles of Global Pet Expo were anything to go by, that time is now. Whether or not this trend has legs remains to be seen, but an increasing number of products—particularly food and treats, naturally—are now touting their GMO-free credentials prominently on their packaging. 


4. Packaging Appeal
Speaking of packaging, a wide variety of pet product manufacturers debuted revamped package designs at this year’s show. Sure, there are always companies debuting brand refreshes at Global Pet Expo, but the sheer number of vendors doing so this year was eye-catching. What was also eye-catching were the actual package designs themselves. It is clear that the pet industry has reached a new level of savvy when it comes to engaging consumers at the shelf with packaging that not only is aesthetically pleasing, but also effectively and efficiently conveys important selling points of the product within.


For more insights from this year’s Global Pet Expo, check out our post-show coverage in the May issue of Pet Business.


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