An International Flair
Global Pet Expo’s International Pavilion continues to offer up an ever-expanding smorgasbord of pet product innovation from beyond U.S. borders and across the sea, reports Anne Ferrante, senior vice president of member relations and business development for the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
The International Pavilion has grown quite a bit in the six years since it has debuted. In what ways has it evolved, and what can that evolution tell us about the health of the pet industry in general?
Anne Ferrante: The 2016 International Pavilion has grown to 66 booths comprising 51 exhibiting companies representing 11 countries. The Pavilion features both new and established products from Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain and Taiwan.
The rapid and significant growth of the International Pavilion parallels the growing international interest in the U.S. pet products market. With this momentum, we are seeing a growing international APPA membership. Currently, over 20 percent of APPA membership represents 35 counties from outside the U.S. Many international exhibitors are entering the U.S. market via The International Pavilion and are returning to Global Pet Expo year after year, solidifying their position in the U.S. market. These companies are astute about the trends and demands of the U.S. market and are addressing them by providing quality, innovative designs. Broadening their offerings beyond basic market access, many of these companies offer U.S. customers multiple lines, including very desirable eco-friendly, high-end and luxury products. These are savvy companies with solid business strategies meeting the U.S. demand for innovative products and competitive pricing.
The increase in the international presence in APPA membership and at Global Pet Expo is also a testament to the strength of emerging pet markets, which are now vibrant enough to expand their territories, and to the steadfast growth of markets already solidly established.
What is new with the International Pavilion this year? Are there any new companies participating this year? Are there any countries that are going to be in attendance for the first time?
Ferrante: There are several new dynamics at play in the 2016 International Pavilion. New this year is the introduction of the Canadian delegation organized by PIJAC Canada, and the Italian delegation organized by Zoomark International. Together they feature 15 companies showcasing a variety of innovative and stylish products. In addition, we have with us 41 first-time exhibitors, as well as representation from the Netherlands and South Korea joining us for the first time.
What is the value of the International Pavilion to its exhibitors?
Ferrante: The International Pavilion offers exhibitors the opportunity to strengthen their presence at Global Pet Expo by exhibiting in association with other companies from their country. These delegations from Britain, Canada, China and Italy offer exhibitors support and resources to help them successfully navigate the nuances of international commerce. As part of this specialty section, exhibitors are offered a turn-key booth package, marketing tools and assistance, as well as access to APPA’s new Market Access Program, which includes a wealth of market access data, education and a Retail Market Tour in Orlando.
APPA debuts its Market Access Program this year, and while of particular interest to International exhibitors and attendees, it is available to all APPA members. The Retail Market Tour takes place on March 15th and will showcase American merchandising strategy in action.
What value does this section hold for visitors? Does it still have a lot to offer in terms of innovation and new products not seen before in the U.S. or North America?
Ferrante: The Pavilion exhibitors realize the importance of debuting their new products on the international scene at Global Pet Expo, so buyers will see many products that are entirely new to the North American market. Attendees will find a wide range of established brands, and unique products that are distinguished by their fresh ideas and international flair, combined with innovative styling and utility.
Moderna Products (Belgium, booth 4666) creates and manufactures a complete range of premium plastic pet supplies, offering both branded and private label. Mensforsan (Spain, booth 4477) offers a specialized range of super-premium hygiene, health and beauty products for dogs, cats, rodents, birds, ferrets and horses.
Armitage Pet Care (Britain, booth 4471) is famous for manufacturing dog-safe choc drops and Christmas confectionary for pets. In addition to lines for dogs and cats, they also manufacture Rotastak Home Zone small-animal housing. Spike’s World (Britain, booth 4469) produces a range of premium accessories for backyard chickens and is launching a pet hedgehog food this year.
Buddy Belts & Multi Collars (Canada, booth 4671) showcases a unique design that hugs your dog’s chest, keeping your pet safe, comfortable and stylish; while Hot Dogs All Dressed, Inc., (Canada, booth 4677) offers a beautifully handcrafted line of dog/cat collars, leads, muzzles and harnesses, with private label also available.
Have you noticed any particular trends in the types of products being shown or the countries represented in the International Pavilion this year?
Ferrante: Pavilion trends for 2016 include foods and confectionary with super-premium and human-grade ingredients, and foods formulated for specific dietary needs. Also prominent amongst the offerings are organic and sustainable product choices, stylish and hi-tech necessities and accessories, as well as smart, functional pet care and play products.
Where exactly is it located?
Ferrante: The International Pavilion will be launched officially with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in the 4400 aisle today at 11:00 a.m. The ceremony will include a media and buyer tour of The Pavilion exhibitors. Staff will be on hand to help buyers locate specific companies and product categories, or buyers may opt to shop The Pavilion on their own.
An International Pavilion directory will be distributed at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and will be available throughout the show to assist buyers in navigating the many booths and products in The Pavilion.