As one of the oldest plastic molders in the pet industry, KollerCraft believes innovation is a key distinguishing attribute. After 70 years, the Fenton, Mo.-based manufacturer continues to hold onto that philosophy. The company entered the aquatics market in 1985 as one of the first to introduce the desktop aquarium. With the success of the desktop aquarium, the company continued its expansion into the pet industry. In 2002, KollerCraft acquired Pet Buddies, bringing in a line of dog and cat toys. Six years later, the company acquired TOM Pet Products, complementing the existing aquatic brands. Additionally, the TOM and Aquarius brands provide a wide array of aquarium, reptile and small animal products.
Spotlight on Aquatics
KollerCraft began to rethink its approach to aquatics products as the industry progressed toward creating eco-friendly products. In 2009, the company introduced LED lighting for desktop aquariums. The driving force was to design aquarium lighting that is low voltage, energy efficient and had a long lifespan. LED lights consume up to 90 percent less than incandescent bulbs, meaning lower energy costs and replacement costs for the consumer.
“There are no doubts that LED light lamps will continue to play a very important role in the future of aquarium lighting and will fully replace the traditional lighting of today,” says Rand Kollman, vice president of sales and marketing for KollerCraft.
The company utilized the LED lights in its GloFish aquarium kit, which houses fluorescent colored fish. The light can be switched to 10 colors, enhancing the natural colors of the fish.
Kollercraft made great strides with the TOM Aqua Lifter, a small water pump ideal for topping off aquariums or for dosing reef supplements. As the brand gained recognition, the company recognized the need for aquarium products that were easy to maintain at affordable prices for aquatic freshwater and saltwater hobbyists. The RP90 freshwater/saltwater filter is the first injection-molded filter that offers a canister filter and the wet/dry filter. It was designed with a built-in UV sterilizer.
While KollerCraft focuses on aquatic hobbyists when developing TOM branded-products, its Pet Buddies toy line is designed with the dogs and cats in mind. The toys provide interactive play that stimulates and challenges pets, while strengthening eye-paw coordination. Additionally, the Pet Buddies Googiles line delivers beneficial gum massage and teeth cleaning. The company plans to debut additional Googlies at the 2012 Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla.
KollerCraft believes the route to success is keeping retailer partners happy by constantly bringing new products to retailers through trade show and open house attendance. With the introduction of new Googlies at Global Pet Expo, the company continues its philosophy of bringing new and pioneering products to the market place, while maintaining high quality standards.
Crafting the Next 70 Years
Published: November 1, 2011
KollerCraft remains dedicated to innovating aquatic and pet-toy lines as it celebrates its 70th year.