5 Insights from SuperZoo 2017
With about 1,100 exhibitors, hundreds of product debuts and dozens of educational opportunities, it’s easy to come away from SuperZoo overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information. After a few years covering the pet industry, I’ve learned that several overarching themes are always apparent throughout the show floor, but a deeper look reveals the latest innovations that are driving change and sparking new trends. Here are some of the key takeaways I gleaned from this year’s show:
#1. Get the Look
Revamped packaging showed up across the show floor, with manufacturers adding visual appeal and convenience. Bold, vibrant color schemes appeared on a variety of products, especially treats and food. The focus on sustainability was also apparent, with more companies switching to environmentally friendly options like Tetra Pak cartons. Several exhibitors also pointed out efforts to provide more convenient feeding options, with reclosable and single-serving containers for wet food.
#2. Unbreakable Bonds
SuperZoo’s ‘Better Together’ theme proved to be extremely apt given the wealth of products emphasizing the connection between people and their pets, both in a practical and emotional sense. The show floor featured a variety of matching accessories for people and pets, while options for products that make it easier to bring your pet with you everywhere you go continue to expand.
#3. Human-Grade Feeding
Dog and cat diets are increasingly moving toward the highest possible quality ingredients, and manufacturers are emphasizing the safety of their production facilities and processes. Additionally, pet food ingredient labels continue to mirror the human food world, with popular flavors and superfoods—from turmeric to quinoa to kale—appearing in more and more diets.
#4. Pets are People Too
Beyond food, the humanization trend is growing in almost every other pet product category as well. In wellness-focused products, filters similar to those for human water bottles have been adapted for pet bowls, and toy companies showcased plush versions of popular consumer goods. The popularity of botanical ingredients and certain scents, such as lavender, in human hair care products, showed a clear influence in new grooming products as well.
#5. Looking Forward
The change in dates for SuperZoo 2018 was a popular topic of discussion, with exhibitors speculating on what impact the show’s move to earlier in the calendar will have. Next year’s event will be held June 25-28, which the World Pet Association says will allow the show to add floor space to accommodate more exhibitors and provide easier access to hotel rooms, with 30 percent more availability at Mandalay Bay.