Welcome to Global Pet Expo 2019
Global Pet Expo provides pet industry professionals up and down the supply chain with a valuable platform for exchanging ideas, observing trends and celebrating product innovation.
Welcome to Global Pet Expo, the pet industry’s largest annual trade show and the unofficial start of the business year for many of the retailers and vendors who compete in this incredible market.
Because of its opportune timing and impressive size, over the past 15 years, Global Pet Expo has been the premier place to get a first look at the latest and greatest products to hit the market, observe important industry trends and build lasting business partnerships that will drive success for the rest of the year and beyond.
“Global Pet Expo is a must-attend trade show for Pet Food Express, as well as for so many other serious pet specialty retailers,” says Michael Levy, president of Pet Food Express, which operates 62 stores across the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. “Our buying team has been hard at work prepping for the show.”
Also hard at work preparing for the unique opportunities presented by Global Pet Expo are the industry’s top manufacturers, which depend on this show as a valuable platform for highlighting brands and introducing new products.
For example, Cardinal Pet Care is launching two new dental products at this year’s show. Remedy+Recovery Plaque Re-Lease Quick Melt comes as a tablet that is placed inside a pet’s cheek, which removes plaque and tartar as it dissolves. Remedy+Recovery Hemp Breath Spray helps prevent tooth decay and fight bacteria using safe and gentle ingredients, such as organic hemp oil to soothe gums, natural peppermint oil, natural baking soda and Manuka honey.
However, according to Tony de Vos, president of Cardinal Pet Care, Global Pet Expo is more than just a place to showcase products.
“Beyond that, the show serves an even more fundamental purpose by providing us with the opportunity to meet with other members of the pet product community, strengthen relationships, exchange ideas, share best practices and learn from industry experts,” he explains, pointing to the Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC) as a good example of how companies share best practices.
“As a founding member of the PSC, Cardinal Pet Care has seen both environmental and financial benefits from making ‘green’ improvements, such as installing solar panel roofs on its manufacturing/distribution facilities. Sharing our experience and learning from the innovations of others at shows like Global not only benefits all of our businesses individually, it strengthens and promotes the future viability of the pet product industry as a whole.”
In addition to providing an opportunity to network and exchange ideas with peers, Global Pet Expo also plays an important role in fostering strong, successful relationships between manufacturers and their customers.
“Global is an important event for Fromm because we have the opportunity to connect with distributors and retailers from across the U.S. and Canada,” says Jim Glassford, director of marketing for Fromm Family Foods.
Understanding that Global Pet Expo presents a unique opportunity to convey the appreciation it has for its customers, Fromm has been hosting a fun event at the show over the past several years to do just that.
“We find this is a great opportunity to connect with our customers in a relaxed, family atmosphere,” Glassford explains, noting that the event started in 2014 as a celebration of Fromm’s 110th year in business. “It was such a great event we have hosted each year since, and in 2019 we are celebrating our 115th year in business.”
This year, Fromm is also celebrating the introduction of a new line of dog treats, called Fromm Crunchy O’s. Featuring eye-catching packaging and available in three “recklessly crunchy” flavors—Smokin Cheeseplosion, Pumpkin KranPow and Blueberry Blasts—Fromm Crunchy O’s will be available at select neighborhood pet stores nationwide beginning in early 2019, with plans to expand the line during the second half of the year.
Nulo Pet Food is another company that understands the intrinsic value of Global Pet Expo has in helping to form and maintain vital relationships between manufacturers and their customers.
“Global is a great opportunity for Nulo the brand to reconnect with its rapidly growing retail base, as well as to engage with new prospects for 2019,” says Michael Landa, founder and CEO of Nulo. “It gives retailers the chance to see all of our products in one place, to see variations of our product sets in a mock retail setting, and to talk with our experts about how our nutritional platform fits into their assortment strategy.
“It continues to be a very efficient setting for us, and for our partners alike, as we’re able to meet as leadership teams and assess how we’re doing, discuss new products we’re presenting in 2019 and collaborate on traffic-driving strategies together.”
This year, Nulo is focusing on a new platform it is pioneering called Mix-It Meals, which, according to Landa, “capitalizes on the rapidly growing trend of pet parents seeking to engage more at mealtime with their pets.”
“Nulo is uniquely positioned in this space to be able to leverage its industry-leading portfolio of high-meat kibble, complete and balanced freeze-dried foods, meaty pouches and organic bone broths to create over 300 different recipe combinations that are only delicious for pets, but highly nutritious as well,” he says.
Like Fromm and Nulo, WellPet uses Global Pet Expo as a platform for not only showcasing new products, but also exchanging information with customers—a process that involves not only educating, but also learning from customers, says Chanda Leary-Coutu, director of consumer experience and marketing at WellPet.
“… the event is a unique opportunity to connect with retailers and industry influencers at scale—giving us firsthand insights into what they’re seeing or wanting more of, helping us shape our product portfolio down the road,” she says.
Among the new additions to its product portfolio that WellPet is showcasing this year are Wellness CORE SIX and Wellness CORE Tiny Tasters. Crafted with just six main ingredient sources, Wellness CORE SIX is a new line of food recipes formulated for dogs with ingredient intolerance or allergies. Recipes in the line include Free-Range Lamb & Chickpeas; Cage-Free Duck & Chickpeas; Sustainably-Sourced Salmon & Chickpeas; and Small Breed Sustainably-Sourced Salmon & Chickpeas.
Wellness CORE Tiny Tasters are complete and balanced recipes that have a pâté texture and are packed with protein. Available in easy-squeeze pouches, Tiny Tasters are available in recipes such as Chicken & Beef; Chicken & Turkey; Chicken, Duck, Tuna & Salmon; and Tuna
Of course, retailers also benefit greatly from the opportunities that Global Pet Expo provides for connecting with both their peers and their vendors.
“We are going for more than just buying new products,” says Scott Click, president of Tomlinson’s Feed & Pets, which operates 15 stores in and around Austin, Texas. “While new products are always a goal, one thing we get from Global is visiting with others in our industry, and meeting with vendors to plan future events and promotions for our stores.”
While Levy agrees that the relationship-building opportunities are an important incentive to attend Global Pet Expo, he also notes another attractive—if not essential—benefit of the show.
“I look forward to visiting with my many longtime friends and meeting new ones,” he says. “And for many, Orlando will be a well-deserved escape from the extreme winter weather!”