Breaking News from Day 3 of GPE
Fit to Float
Mammoth Pet’s Treevers toys (booth 1667) are perfect for games of fetch. They are made with a soft outer layer of neoprene for added strength and slobber resistance, while an inner layer of heavy-duty cotton canvas and double-stitched seams add durability. Stuffed with all-natural granulated cork, all Treevers toys are high water floaters.
Dog Gone Smart’s new Dirty Dog Shammy (booth 3875) is a super-absorbent microfiber towel. It is 10 times more absorbent than other drying towels and more effectively cleans off mud, dirt and sand. It is available in grey or brown.
Gone to Seed
Vitakraft Sunseed (booth 2235) has debuted two additions to the Sunseed Vita Prima line. New Sunseed Vita Prima Small Hookbill Safflower Formula is a mixed seed and pelleted diet that offers a sunflower-free alternative for consumers. It is designed for cockatiels, lovebirds, parakeets and other small hookbills. Sunseed Sun Drops Advanced Daily V Liquid Vitamin Supplement, a high-potency multivitamin enhanced with vitamin A, also joins the Vita Prima line.
Keep it Classic
FriendshipCollar (booth 5467) has launched the Heritage line, a masculine and refined design crafted in chestnut brown vegan leather. Available in eight sizes to fit any dog, the collars feature a gold-plated buckle closure and D-ring for leash or charm attachments, and the matching bracelets are adjustable to fit any size wrist. Extra bracelets are sold individually, so everyone in the family can match.
Cycle Dog - Earth Friendly Pet Company (booth 4167) has expanded its line of Fuzzies, a USA-made soft toy collection. New for 2016 are the Fuzzies Crab and Fuzzies Turtle, available in two sizes for large and smaller dogs. Made from post-consumer recycled materials, Duraplush construction combines a soft plush outer material with bonded laminate for durability, as well as Stitchguard double-stitched internal seams for additional protection.
Pet Supplies Plus Expands to California
Pet Supplies Plus, the country’s largest pet franchise, will target California as part of its strategic growth plan in 2016.
“This will be a milestone growth strategy for Pet Supplies Plus, as our current westernmost location is in the Denver area,” said David Leonardo, senior vice president of franchising. “There is high demand on the West Coast for a franchise opportunity in pet retail and we are ready for expansion into the open territory.
“As the industry grows regardless of economic climate, we look forward to partnering with franchise owners in the California market to bring our neighborly, fun and easy to shop retail environments to more enthusiastic pet owners.”
In May, Pet Supplies Plus announced a reduction of royalty fees from four percent to two percent for the first 12 months of a new franchise agreement. Following a franchisee’s first year, the royalty fee remains at three percent for the life of the franchise agreement. The reduction opens the franchise opportunity to a broader range of candidates and helps qualified candidates open stores at a faster rate.
OurPet’s Kitty Potty (booth 2455) is a litter box that lets cats eliminate in a safe and natural manner. Felines “go” in a hole strategically placed in the middle of the unit. Surrounding the hole is litter, which allows the cat to instinctively cover its waste without touching it. Pet owners never come in contact with waste either—when the waste tray is full, pet owners remove the tray, slide the bag over the waste and dispose of it. It also serves as a training tool to “potty train” kittens and effectively absorbs odors, keeping the litter area fresh.
PetEdge Celebrates 60th Anniversary
PetEdge (booth 2715) is celebrating its 60th year in business. The company has grown from a small New England business supplying local dairy farms to a national business offering more than 15,000 products.
“Over the years, our family-owned business has evolved to serve the changing needs of pet care professionals and independent pet supply retailers across the country and around the world,” said president and CEO Andy Katz. “We are on the leading edge of all that’s new and innovative in pet care businesses, and we offer products that give retailers and pet care professionals a competitive edge in a growing industry.
“A 60-year track record speaks for itself,” he added. “Our customers know they can count on us to be there for them. They have confidence in our stability and dependability. In turn, we appreciate their continued patronage. After all, it’s their loyalty that has made possible our longevity.”
The company plans to celebrate its milestone with sales, specials and free offers throughout the year.
Multipet International Appoints New Vice President
Multipet International (booth 3257) has promoted Sean Slevin to vice president of business development. Slevin has been with Multipet for eight years and previously held the position of business development manager.
“Prior to joining Multipet, Sean was our buyer with True Value Hardware,” said Leslie Yellin, executive vice president of Multipet. “Seeing Sean perform in this role I knew that his drive, strategic thinking and professionalism would be an asset to our company. There is no one more deserving of this promotion than Sean, and I am really proud of all of his achievements.
“In keeping with Multipet’s fun and family driven environment, a few years ago, in Sean’s honor, we launched a line of plush toys called ‘Swinging Slevins. The toys are extra-long animals (in reference to Sean’s 6’5” height) and just like Sean, they have been a great success.”
In Slevin’s new role he will continue to grow and develop business relationships throughout the United States and western Canada.
Barkworthies Launches New Shelter Program
Barkworthies (booth 457) has kicked off its new Chews Rescue shelter program with a $10,000 donation and pro-rescue Facebook campaign. The Chews Rescue program was developed as a tribute to everyone that assists in animal rescue and the positive impact it makes on individual families and communities.
The company donated the funds to Richmond Animal Rescue, along with a supply of treats for the rescue’s dogs. Beginning on March 1, Barkworthies launched a two-month Facebook campaign that invites pet parents to support animal rescue by sharing photos of their own rescue pets. For each Facebook entry until April 30, the company will donate an additional $5 to the Richmond Animal League.
At the end of the Facebook campaign, one entrant will be randomly selected to receive a year’s supply of Barkworthies treats and chews, and a 500-piece product donation will go to an animal shelter in the winner’s honor.
“When my wife and I got our dogs, Espy and Sushi, it changed our lives,” said Barkworthies’ CEO and co-founder Avrum Elmakis. “They were the inspiration to create Barkworthies and, ultimately, shaped the brand’s commitment and standards. We hope the Chews Rescue program gives back in a meaningful and significant way—it’s our way of saying thank you.”
The new Rolf C. Hagen Exo Terra Habisphere (booth 2701) comes in a compact design that is energy efficient and stylish enough to be the focal point of any room. This lifestyle desktop terrarium includes a bent front window, offering a sleek look and a clear view of inhabitants. Its small size makes it perfect for offices and bedrooms, with an ideal amount of space for small ground-dwelling lizards, geckos, arboreal or aquatic frogs, newts, salamanders, toads and many invertebrates. The top lid includes built-in, energy-efficient, day-and-night lighting. Adding to its individual look, Exo Terra has included a double-sided background panel that can be flipped to customize the visual theme of the terrarium from tropical to desert. In addition, six more full-sized backgrounds are available for free download from the Exo Terra website.
Pet Supply Retailer Dee-O-Gee Now Awarding Franchises
Dee-O-Gee (dee-o-gee.com), an independent pet supply store based in Montana, is expanding its business operations nationally by franchising the Dee-O-Gee concept throughout the United States. The store has been providing nutrition, supplements, professional grooming, toys, dog daycare and other pet gear since August of 2008.
The success of the first two Dee-O-Gee stores led founders Josh and Holly Allen to expand further through franchising. The business concept is an all-natural dog and cat store focused on eco-friendly toys, holistic food, unique retail products and high-quality services. The stores are committed to knowing their products well and assisting customers to better understand canine and feline nutrition and supplements, decipher ingredient lists and make good decisions for the health and wellness of their pets.
Franchise locations can be owned and operated individually with a unique local character, offering pet retail supply, dog grooming, self-service dog wash and dog daycare services.
Dog Rocks and Pet Remedy Select Whitegate PR as Agency of Record
The Pet Remedy and Dog Rocks (booth 3109) brands have hired boutique public relations firm Whitegate PR Inc.
Whitegate PR specializes in delivering multifaceted marketing and strategic public relations campaigns to reach clients’ target audiences. The company aims to bring each brand’s market share to the next level, providing creative strategies and solutions unique to each company.
Both Pet Remedy and Dog Rocks provide safe and healthy solutions to common pet problems. Pet Remedy calming sprays, made from a blend of herbal essences, naturally tackle stress and anxiety in animals. Dog Rocks is a natural Australian product that helps prevent lawn burn from dogs’ urine.
Petland Continues International Expansion
Petland is expanding its international reach with plans to open stores in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
In the last two years, Petland has opened more than 20 new locations in international markets. The pet store chain has stores set to open in the next year in Saudi Arabia and has signed a master franchise agreement to develop stores in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Lebanon, Kuwait and Bahrain.
“Finding the right partner takes time,” said Steve Huggins, Petland vice president of business development and international relations. “We spent more than two years working with a family to determine the Petland Master Franchise was the right fit for a partnership. Our new partners plan to develop many Petland locations. We believe this will improve the lives of their people and their pets.”
Various members of the Petland team will be visiting Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where they will be planning the launch of the first Petland store in the MENA region. They will assist with site location, pet selection, merchandise and training.
“We are pleased with the opportunity to expand our international family,” said Joe Watson, Petland CEO and president. “Petland stores in the Middle East will make a positive, consistent impact on overall pet retail and will provide a unique, convenient pet shopping experience for families looking for a new pet or buying supplies for their current pets.”
Caru Updates Packaging, Trademarks
Caru (booth 781) has updated the packaging of its natural stews, as well as the Caru and Nourish With Love registered trademark logos.
The front panel on the stew packaging now promotes key selling points, including “made with 100-percent human-grade ingredients” and “grain and gluten free.” The language on the back panel has also been adjusted to expand on the stew’s ingredients, preparation and appeal.
Additionally, the feeding guide, ingredient list and guaranteed analysis reflect recent ingredient changes. For example, all the minerals used in the stews are now chelated, the beef recipe no longer includes carrageenan, and the turkey recipe features turkey broth instead of chicken.
Halo, Purely for Pets Appoints New CEO
Halo, Purely for Pets (booth 819) has named Myron Lyskanycz as its new chief executive officer. Lyskanycz has held executive leadership roles with innovative and socially responsible brands in the natural pet food, dietary supplement, consumer packaged goods and advertising industries.
“I am honored to be selected as Halo’s new CEO,” he said. “Halo is more than a product. It is a mission-driven brand with a team-wide commitment focused not just on the feeding but on the betterment and complete well-being of our companion animals.”
He is succeeding Steven Marton, who has served as Halo CEO since 2008 and is departing to pursue other interests.
"I am privileged and humbled to be stepping into Steve’s shoes and taking on the responsibility of guiding Halo to its next level of success fulfilling our mission on a substantially larger scale,” said Lyskanycz.
Most recently, Lyskanycz served as CMO on the executive leadership team of New Chapter, Inc., a manufacturer of organic and whole-food dietary supplements that was acquired by Procter and Gamble. New Chapter introduced the first certified non-GMO brand, and the first certified B-Corp (“Beneficial Corporation”) into the industry.
Previously, Lyskanycz was also one of the founders of another mission-driven natural pet food brand.
“Halo represents a standard of care and a commitment to companion animals that should be the undisputed benchmark for how we all treat the animals in our lives that provide us with love and companionship and make our world a much more interesting and joyous place to live,” said Lyskanycz.
Bobbi Panter Partners with Big Boi
Bobbi Panter, creator of Bobbi Panter Pet Products (booth 3910), is partnering with Antwan Andre Patton, better known as Big Boi from the hip-hop duo Outkast, to produce new dog shampoo lines.
Big Boi and Bobbi Panter are introducing salt-free, tear-free custom formulas in two distinctive lines. Big Boi and Bobbi dog shampoo solves specific problems, is highly concentrated, comes in 10-oz. bottles and is offered in five distinctive products: Calm, Restore, Invigorate, Hydrate and Purity. Big & Bobbi dog shampoo, in a 12-oz. bottle, is also salt free and tear free and is offered as Wild & Fresh, Smooth & Silky, Strong & Gentle, Tough & Swanky and Cool & Chic.
After meeting with Big Boi and his brother, James, at their Pitfall Kennels in Atlanta, Panter knew this was a good match and a great way to reach out to even more pet owners. “I was fascinated by Big Boi’s love and passion for his pets and eager to learn more about this world [of Pitfall Kennels] that I didn’t know much about,” Panter said.
The two unlikely partners came together out of a shared love of pets.
“Once I saw how great Bobbi’s products are and how passionate she is about her pets and helping other animals, I knew I wanted to partner with her and get these products in even more dog owner’s hands,” Big Boi said. “I look forward to the possibilities ahead for us.”
Emerald Pet Launches Enhanced Website
Emerald Pet Products (booth 770) has unveiled an enhanced website with new user-friendly options for retailers and consumers.
The website includes a merchandising dropdown tab, which is a useful tool to enable independent pet retail stores to learn about the items offered to display Smart n’ Tasty products in their stores. Retailers can find information on displays for Twizzies, Twizzies Bits, Little Chewzzies and the popular Little Duckies store-use jar. Retailers can also add their store to the database, making it easy for consumers to find Emerald Pet’s products.
Customers can also view images, download the company’s catalog, read the ingredients and find guaranteed analysis and feeding recommendations for each product.
“We have really focused on building out our website this past year with user friendly menus that have been enhanced to function properly on mobile devices, tablets and PCs,” said Glenn A. Novotny, vice president of sales and marketing. “Consumer and store feedback were instrumental in the updates we implemented to provide in depth product information with merchandising solutions for our retail partners.”
Ewegurt is a 100-percent natural freeze-dried sheep’s milk-based yogurt treat. Made with blended sheep’s milk yogurt, sardines, kale, beets, parsley, organic coconut oil and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, the treat is a nutrient-rich addition to a dog’s diet. The grade-A, naturally homogenized sheep’s milk yogurt is made from healthy, pastured sheep that are given no growth hormones or artificial feed. The vegetables are organic and sourced from small family farms. Sourced in the U.S. and made in the Midwest, Ewegurt makes a unique treat or food topper.
Vital Essentials Raw Pet Food Expands into 28 European Countries
Vital Essentials (booth 466), maker of premium raw frozen and freeze-dried pet food and treats, is now fully accredited to export to the European pet food market. ?
To earn the EU certification, the company’s facility underwent a year-long review and assessment process. The audit included verification and validation of its food safety programs, raw material source verification and an in-depth examination of its manufacturing processes.
“I’m very proud of the dedication and determination of our team,” said Lanny Viegut, owner and CEO of Vital Essentials. “EU Certification has been one of our most coveted goals. We are excited about the opportunity to share our innovative products with caring pet parents throughout all of Europe.”
Make it Personal
The WagSwag harness from Charlie & Spike (booth 5471) allows dog owners to personalize their pet’s look with interchangeable Fashion Fronts. Designs range from whimsical sayings to holiday themes to superhero symbols and more. The harness is made from lightly padded, breathable mesh and nylon fabric, and it is structured to avoid cutting under the dog’s front legs. Adjusters on each side provide a proper fit, and squeeze buckles make it easy to put on and take off. It is available in six sizes to accommodate a variety of shapes and breeds
Phillips Pet Food & Supplies Supports HABRI
Phillips Pet Food & Supplies (booth 1901) has joined the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation’s Steering Committee and made a $25,000 contribution to support research on the human health benefits of companion animals.
“Phillips Pet Food & Supplies is proud to support the HABRI Foundation and its mission to study the healing power of pets,” said Blaine Phillips, CEO of Phillips Pet Food & Supplies. “We represent more than 375 vendors and 700 brands of quality pet products across the nation and understand that the better we take care of our pets, the better they will take care of us.”
Steven Feldman, executive director of HABRI, said, “Phillips Pet Food & Supply is a leader in keeping pets happy and healthy. By supporting HABRI, Phillips is demonstrating its dedication to the incredible bond pets share with their owners.”
HABRI has assembled a growing body of scientific evidence that pets improve heart health, alleviate depression, increase well-being, support child health and development, and contribute to healthy aging. In addition, companion animals can assist in the treatment of conditions ranging from post-traumatic stress to Alzheimer’s disease to autism spectrum disorder.
“Phillips Pet Food & Supplies customers, the independent retailers, play a major role in strengthening the human-animal bond,” Phillips added. “We’re going to work together to develop and share even more information about how pets make people, families and communities happier and healthier.”
Fur Be Gone
The Pocket Furrfighter and Furrfighting Gloves from Jack’s Furrfighters (booth 5683) efficiently and easily remove pet hair, lint and other debris from fabric and hard surfaces. Furrfighters also remove loose, shedding hair from pets directly, while natural animal oils in the product’s material help give pets a shiny coat. They have no sticky or rubbery surfaces and are washable, reusable, biodegradable and recyclable. Glove sizes range from medium to extra large, and are available in teal, brown, purple and black. The Pocket Furrfighter is available in red, navy blue, black, teal and purple.
Armitage Pet Care (booth 4471) has introduced dog-safe Choc Drops. The treats are made with carob instead of cocoa, which contains a compound that is poisonous to dogs, and they are blended with a variety of cereals, vitamins and minerals. The line also includes yogurt and sugar-free versions, as well as a milk chocolate option especially for puppies.
Ethical Products (booth 2335) has launched a new line of dishes: the SoHo Basketweave Dish. The SoHo dishes combine hygienic stainless steel with a decorative basketweave plastic exterior in copper, green, gray and black and in 15-, 30- and 55-oz. size options. SoHo dishes are designed to complement any home décor and feature a non-skid rubber base to hold dishes firmly in place.
Shark Tank Brand TurboPUP Introduces Superfood Snacks for Dogs
TurboPUP founder Kristina Guerrero and Shark Tank’s Daymond John have unveiled K9 Superfood Snacks with manufacturer Fetch for Pets! (booth 2901). Following the success of the Complete K9 Meal Bars, the TurboPUP team developed a smaller version as an everyday snack.
“Dogs go crazy over the TurboPUP bars, and we wanted to create a way to offer that same level of excitement on a more consistent basis,” said Steven Shweky, president and CEO at Fetch for Pets! “Kristina did an amazing job coming up with the perfect formula for a healthy snack that tastes amazing and has that crunchy texture that dogs love.”
TurboPUP Superfood Snacks come in a range of flavors including roast beef and blueberry, roast duck and kale, grilled lamb and pumpkin, and salmon and sweet potato. They also include ingredients targeting hip and joint support, proper digestion, and skin and coat health.
“I was thrilled to craft the superfood snacks with the help of a doctor of veterinary medicine, who was also a special forces Army Ranger,” Guerrero said. “It’s essential that any product I create be made with the best ingredients for dogs.”
Daymond John, renowned businessman and CEO of Shark Branding, added, “We’ve got the best team working on the TurboPUP brand and developing the K9 Superfood Snacks was a natural extension of the meal bars.”