Breaking News from Day 2 at GPE
Oxbow Animal Health Awards 2015 Rescue Grants
Oxbow Animal Health (booth 3745) has named nine organizations as the recipients of its 2015 Rescue Grants. The winning organizations will receive funding totaling nearly $20,000 for a variety of projects and programs that benefit the welfare of small animals throughout North America.
The 2015 Oxbow Rescue Grant recipients are: The Bunny Bunch, Montclair, Calif.; House Rabbit Network, Woburn, Mass.; Oregon Humane Society, Portland, Ore.; Western PA Humane Society, Pittsburgh, Pa..; Cumberland County SPCA, Vineland, N.J.; North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary, Garland, Texas; Red Door, Chicago, Ill.; Baltimore Humane Society, Baltimore, Md.; and Missouri House Rabbit Society, St. Louis, Mo.
The winners were chosen for excellence in the areas of educational outreach, public awareness and project impact.
“On behalf of the entire Oxbow family, I would like to congratulate the 2015 Oxbow Rescue Grant recipients,” said John Miller, president and CEO of Oxbow Animal Health. “The ongoing work of small animal rescue organizations and wildlife rehabilitators is humbling. We are proud to support these organizations annually and we are so impressed by the work of this year’s recipients.”
Dog Gone Smart Unveils New Branding
Dog Gone Smart (booth 3875) has released a new logo design and tagline intended to represent the company’s high-quality, innovative brand identity and future goals.
With its brand presence expanding around the globe, Dog Gone Smart’s abbreviated D.GS logo is designed to assist in overcoming language and translation barriers that the words “Dog Gone Smart” could not universally convey. The new tagline, “Smarter by Design,” represents the solution-based product line offered by Dog Gone Smart.
The company’s marketing materials, packaging and online presence will be updated with the new logo and tagline over the next few months.
Vital Essentials (booth 446) has expanded its Vital Treats for Dogs line with Freeze-Dried Minnows. The treats are packed with vital nutrients and made with only fresh, whole, single-sourced USDA animal protein to provide essential nutrition for dogs. Convenient pouch packaging makes it easy to take the treats on the go.
Guardian Capital Partners Makes Control Investment in Hyper Pet
Guardian Capital Partners, a private investment firm, has acquired the assets of Hyper Pet (booth 3857), based in Wichita, Kan. Hyper Pet manufactures dog toys, pet collars, leashes and other pet products under the Hyper Pet brand, PetWear brand and private label.
Guardian structured and led the transaction, and brings a robust operating partner network, several new outside board members and other professional, customer and sourcing relationships to the company.
“We have had a successful 30-plus year run under the prior family-owned structure of the company,” said Randy Woods, CEO of Hyper Pet. “We are thrilled to partner with Guardian Capital Partners and to embark on the next chapter of growth for the benefit of the company and our valued consumers.”
Peter Haabestad, co-founder and managing partner of Guardian Capital Partners, said, “Hyper Pet is a category leading innovator in the pet products space; we look forward to partnering with the entire Hyper Pet executive management team and bringing the necessary resources, guidance and governance to further develop and accelerate the company’s growth strategy.”
Lucy Pet Foundation Receives Contract to Provide Spay and Neuter Services in L.A.
The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services has awarded The Lucy Pet Foundation (booth 5558) a $500,000 per year contract to provide free mobile spay and neuter services to pet owners in low-income areas of the city.
“We are grateful and excited about our partnership with Los Angeles Animal Services and look forward to performing our goal of 10,000 spay and neuter procedures throughout the city in the next two years,” said Dr. Karen Halligan, chief veterinary officer for The Lucy Pet Foundation. “We are committed to stopping the excessive influx of animals going into the shelters.”
The Lucy Pet Foundation’s mission is to reduce pet overpopulation and the euthanasia of dogs and cats. Supported in part by profits from Lucy Pet Products, the foundation pursues its mission through a fleet of mobile spay and neuter vans.
“I am thrilled to welcome The Lucy Pet Foundation to our team,” said Brenda Barnette, general manager of LA Animal Services. “As one of the fastest growing non-profit animal assistance organizations in our city, The Lucy Pet Foundation will bring the highest quality state-of-the-art spay and neuter services to our underserved areas. The organization has exemplified the kind of dedication and capability our department needs to assist and further our ongoing efforts to reduce unwanted pet births.”
Ready, Set, Wrestle
Petmate (booth 2935) has launched a WWE-themed collection of products for dogs. The WWE logo championship belt lounger bed features black glossy fabric on the outside and is available in a 24-in. by 20-in. size. The collection also includes buckle collars with custom Superstar charms featuring The Rock, John Cena and Stone Cold Steve Austin, while Diva collars feature leopard and metallic prints. The heavy duty canvas toys with squeakers modeled after wrestling superstars are ideal for rough and tumble play.
Poochie-Pets Reveals New Look and New Purpose
After 10 years in business, Poochie-Pets (booth 4244) has undergone a rebranding to reflect the company’s vision and presence in the pet industry. Along with its new look, purpose and philosophy, the company has a new logo, has updated its website, merchandising and informational materials and is creating new products.
“Since we first launched PoochieBells in 2005, we have been on a mission to establish a greater purpose as a company, beyond the typical day-to-day drive for immediate profits,” said Cheryl Pedersen, owner. “We are proud to have PoochieBells as a recognized and respected name in the marketplace. Through Poochie-Pets’ rebranding, we are representing our company as a whole, not just a singular product.”
Under the guidance of Dr. G. Cloitare Rapaille, the company’s chief marketing officer, Poochie-Pets’ new logo, focus and direction capture the bond between dog and owner. Poochie-Pets has also created an interactive area, POOCHIELIFE, on its website to allow others to contribute.
“With social media being a popular way for people to express themselves, this is a way dog owners can share their own personal reasons why,” Pedersen said. “It just makes you stop, think and come to the conclusion that many can relate to: my dog does make me a better person. We are taking what we have learned over the past ten years to make our company better.”
Formed in 2005 in Simsbury, Conn., Poochie-Pets is the originator of the housetraining dog doorbell, PoochieBells. This spring, to reflect its new direction, the company will launch a line of dog-themed products, which will be exhibited at Global Pet Expo.
Count On It
PoopBags.com (booth 3208) has launched a line of innovative, eco-friendly poop bags that notify users how many bags remain on the roll. PoopBags Count Down Rolls are individually numbered from 15 to 1, so users can avoid running out of bags. The bags are available as an 8-roll pack with 120 bags.
Best Pet Supplies (booth 1300) has unveiled a new line of cat toys designed for interactive play to strengthen the bond between cat and owner. Each of the toys provide either sound, scent stimulation or imaginary prey to bring out the natural hunting instinct in cats.
Jolly Pets (booth 2245) now offers four new characters in the popular stuffing-free Flathead dog toy range. The Animal Flatheads combine the chew, tug, squeak and crinkle features that dogs love and are safer compared to traditional rope toys. The heavy-duty stitching on these ballistic nylon toys makes the Flathead the perfect durable toy for tug-of-war, and the stretchy weave of the braided body is durable enough for chew time while helping to clean and floss teeth in the process.
Quiet on Command
Ethical Products (booth 2335) has partnered with Gigwi to launch Push To Mute dog toys. The toys are easy to use and made for interactive fun, with a button to turn off the squeaker and a nylon strap to pull out to turn the squeaker back on. They are available in six styles and three color options and are made with durable rubber for long-lasting fun.
The Softer Side
Dogs Love Kale (booth 2481) has launched three new “soft” flavors, with all of the nutritional benefits of the first eight flavors and the addition of the superfood moringa. Moringa contains 46 antioxidants and 90 nutrients that include high-quality protein and iron. It helps prevent arthritis. The new turkey and cranberry, chicken and sweet potato, and beef and apple flavors are all wheat and grain free. The soft treats are produced using a cold press process and cooked quickly at 40 to 75 degrees Celsius without high temperatures or steam, retaining natural enzymes, vitamins and fibers for a more nutritious product.
Mix and Match
Honest Kitchen (booth 521) has launched Proper Toppers, an innovative mix-in designed to enhance a kibble-based diet. It boosts taste and nutrition with healthy superfoods in an easy-to-serve form. Made with 90-percent real human-grade chicken meat and antioxidant-rich whole ingredients like pumpkin, apples, chard and blueberries. They are available in 5.5-oz. and 14-oz. bags.
Dine In Style
The Luxe Craft Collection by Indipets (booth 2847) features dog bowls and diners that combine durable, dishwasher safe stainless steel bowls with wooden and metal handcrafted frames and stands in a variety of styles and designs. The stainless steel interiors are bacteria resistant and easy to clean, while the elevated bowls minimize stress on dogs’ muscles, joints and backs and help ease digestive problems.
TikiPets (booth 935), maker of gourmet whole foods for cats, has launched Tiki Cats Born Carnivore, a baked dry food with more than 30 percent fresh meat. Born Carnivore is designed to offer more fresh meat and fewer carbohydrates than in an extruded kibble to provide the best possible nutrition for cats. The diet is available in Fish Luau, Chicken Luau and Chicken & Fish Luau flavors with small and large bag size options.
Dogs Love Kale Grows Global Presence with Pets Corner Partnership
Dogs Love Kale (booth 2841) has expanded its global distribution through a new retail partnership with Pets Corner in the U.K.
“We have been so excited by the positive response that Dogs Love Kale has received from bloggers, consumers and distributors in such a short amount of time,” said Dawn Ward, vice president of Healthy Treats, Inc., makers of the Dogs Love Kale products. “To be able to share our products internationally after launching less than two years ago is quite an honor. It’s further proof that the use of more natural human-grade ingredients are as important to retailers all around the world as they are to their customers.”
Steven Charman, purchasing director of Pets Corner, added, “We at Pets Corner are known for having unique and exceptional products, and this is because we use specialist suppliers who are often very small but have great innovative and market leading products. We want to help them grow and they help us and our customers by creating great products. This is why we are so excited about adding Dogs Love Kale to our store offering.”
Heyrex (booth 3670), maker of the Torus pet water bowl system, has released a line of water-soluble animal health supplements for both dogs and cats. The four tablet formulations are Electrolyte, to help maintain normal fluid balance; Immunity, to fight free radicals and support the immune system; Joint Health, for healthy cartilage and joint function; and Probiotics, to support digestive health. Each supplement comes with a reusable cartridge that facilitates use of the tablets within the Torus watering system. The Electrolyte product is available in 20-count jars, while the Immunity, Joint Health and Probiotics products are available in 30-count jars.
Fuel for the Belly
FetchFuel (booth 5457) has released FetchFuel Omega and FetchFuel Belly supplement solutions designed to be squeezed onto dogs’ food daily. FetchFuel Omega is a blend of 100-percent wild Alaskan fish oil, olive oil and organic coconut oil. It provides a naturally flavorful boost of EPA and DHA, as well as oleic and lauric omega fatty acids from the olive oil and coconut oil. It improves the skin and coat, as well as boosting energy and supporting the immune system.
FetchFuel Belly provides a healthy boost of high-quality fiber, prebiotics and antioxidants, giving dogs additional digestive support. It is made with 100-percent natural pumpkin, sweet potato and ginger, and it is designed to protect and soothe sensitive stomachs.
FetchFuel Omega is available in an 8-oz. and an 18-oz. bottle, and FetchFuel Belly is available in an 8-oz. bottle.
Line of All-Natural Treats Relaunches as Einstein Pets
The Einstein Pets brand (booth 5271) has made its debut with an all-natural dog treat line. Previously marketed under the Smartcookee label, all of the company’s treats use fresh human-grade ingredients and are made from scratch in small batches.
“It’s our mission to guide Einstein to be a company with a conscience, focused on delivering happiness by feeding the world’s dogs great heart-healthy, hand-crafted natural treats, while also making a positive difference in dogs’ lives,” said Kelly Ison, president and CEO of Einstein Pets. “We believe a healthy pet makes your life better too.”
Completely sourced and made in the U.S., all of the Einstein Pets treats are made with oats as the first ingredient, incorporate chia seeds and are free of corn, soy and wheat. The company has expanded from four to six flavor offerings, including The Great Pumpkin, I Yam What I Yam, PB’N Jelly Time, Peas and Carrots, Turkey Bacon and Coconut.
OurPet’s Introduces Intelligent Pet Care Line
OurPet’s (booth 2455) has debuted its Intelligent Pet Care line, the industry’s first complete pet lifestyle brand powered by smart technology. Pet owners can use the line of products, which includes a litter box, a feeding bowl and a water fountain, to ensure the optimum health of their pets by monitoring feeding, drinking and elimination through the SmartPetLink smartphone app.
“Pets are smarter than you may think, but it’s often difficult for them to clearly communicate their needs,” said Dr. Steve Tsengas, founder of OurPet’s. “The Intelligent Pet Care line leverages Bluetooth technology to empower pets to indicate their needs, enabling a stronger connection between pet and owner for more complete care.”
The SmartScoop Intelligent Litter Box uses infrared technology to sense when the cat enters and exits the box and engages the scoop mechanism accordingly, scooping the waste into a waste bin and keeping the litter box clean.
Ideal for multi-pet households, the SmartLink Feeder - Intelligent Pet Bowl uses Bluetooth technology to detect when a pet, wearing a unique SmartLink Tag that is paired with the feeder, is near and will only open for that tag. This eliminates feeding confrontations between pets, protects diet sensitive meals, prevents small children from getting to the pet’s food, and uses Bluetooth technology to monitor pets’ feeding habits through the smartphone app. The feeder holds up to 1.5 cups of dry food in a removable, dishwasher-safe stainless steel bowl.
The SmartLink Waterer - Intelligent Water Fountain uses Bluetooth technology to know when a pet, wearing a unique SmartLink Tag that is paired with the waterer, is near and will dispense filtered water from the reservoir through the two-tier waterfall design, allowing pets to drink clean, running water. To ensure freshness, the SmartLink Waterer activates the water cycle every 30 minutes. The Bluetooth module helps pet owners monitor drinking behavior and water temperature and alerts them when the water reservoir needs to be refilled.
For monitoring pets from outside the home, the SmartLink Gateway - WiFi Pet Care Connector converts the short-range Bluetooth signal into a long-range WiFi signal, allowing owners to keep an eye on their pets’ habits from anywhere.
Global Pet Food Spending Reaches $70 Billion
According to a new GfK analysis, pet food spending globally represents a roughly $70 billion industry, with nearly two-thirds of sales taking place in the U.S. and Europe. And dogs account for the lion’s share of that spending.
This analysis is based on point-of-sale (POS) data that New York-based market research firm GfK collects from pet specialty retailers in 11 countries. GfK’s report shows that the U.S. pet food market delivers about one-third of these sales (approximately $24 billion annually), followed by European countries, where pet food sales total about $20 billion (currency converted). Dog food represents roughly 80 percent of that spending, even though canine pets are actually outnumbered by cats in the U.S. and Europe.
The sales distribution among wet, dry and treat SKUs can vary widely from country to country; dry dog food, the market leader globally, accounts for 45 percent of spending in the U.K., compared to 80 percent in the Czech Republic and 74 percent in South Africa. In Greece, dry food accounts for 93 percent of all pet food sales—32 percent for cats and 68 percent for dogs. France follows closely, at 90 percent, and Spain has 80 percent dry food sales.
Among China’s dog owners, small bags (less than one kg) are top sellers, representing 76 percent of all dry dog food sales there. GfK suggests that this is likely due to the popularity of small or toy breeds in China’s urban areas. (GfK’s pet specialty panel in China is focused on pet food sales in Shanghai and Beijing.) In the dry cat food category, the U.S. has almost completely moved away from the extra-large (larger than 10 kg) bags that are still popular in the other countries.
GfK’s research also revealed important regional differences in container types. While the U.S. has a strong preference for canned products, all other countries show high shares for other packaging types, such as trays and pouches. For cats specifically, 94 percent of all wet food sales in the U.S. are attributed to canned products, while the average for all other countries in this analysis was just 37 percent. In France, South Africa, China and Great Britain, the vast majority of wet cat food is sold in pouches.
Interestingly, the much-discussed “natural” trend in pet food is almost exclusively a U.S. phenomenon, with natural SKUs accounting for 69 percent of all dollar sales in the pet specialty channel. The closest to this total across the globe is the U.K. (at 38 percent), followed by the Czech Republic (22 percent) and Greece (20 percent).
Differences in the natural trend can also be observed in shelf-space allotments. Natural products occupy 68 percent of shelf space in the U.S., compared to just 34 percent in the U.K. and 20 percent in Greece. In the Czech Republic, natural sales outpace actual shelf space devoted to the category, suggesting the potential for further sales growth—perhaps an indicator of opportunities in other regions, as well.
“Our analysis points out opportunities for the different regions to learn from each other’s successes,” said Pushan Tagore, vice president, global marketing, pet care. “Natural and grain-free, for example, seem to offer opportunities for Great Britain, Czech Republic, and Greece; but labeling issues and regional attitudes may hold these categories back in other countries. And the US, in turn, might learn something from Australia and New Zealand, where raw is a well-established category.”
Zymox Brushless Oral Care Rebranded
Pet King Brands, maker of Zymox Brushless Oral Care (booth 3605) and Oratene Veterinarian Brushless Oral Care, has launched co-branded packaging that leverages the name recognition value of both established brands. The product will now be marketed as Zymox Oratene Brushless Oral Care.
The unified packaging also features vibrant graphics for greater shelf appeal. The product’s patented formulation remains the same.
Previously, the company’s oral care lines had operated independently of each other, with Oratene available through veterinarians and Zymox Oral Care through retailers. Now, Zymox Oratene products are available at retailers and clinics, strengthening the brand’s marketing message.