We just got back from Global Pet Expo (held in Orlando, Fla., March 25-27), and if this year’s show held any clues about how the pet industry will fare for the rest of 2010, we’re in for a very good year indeed. The show floor was buzzing from the beginning of the show to the end as a record number of attendees navigated through aisles and aisles of vendor exhibits. Day one saw a 13-percent increase in attendance over day one of the 2009 edition of Global Pet Expo [UPDATE: the final numbers revealed that attendance at the show was up by 10 percent overall], a fair indicator that pet product retailers are feeling bullish about pet owner spending over the coming months and are being proactive in stocking their stores with the latest and greatest products to hit the market.
There was also a lot of optimism on display at the vendor booths. Many of the exhibitors that I spoke with reported that this year’s Global Pet Expo was one of the most successful shows they’ve ever had. This was particularly true of companies located in the expo’s “The Natural Pet” pet section (a new show floor segment that housed a variety of manufacturers that produce natural, organic and/or earth-friendly products).