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Economic Health of the Pet Industry

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Editor’s letter as published in the April 3013 issue of Pet Age

We just got back from this year’s Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., and are overflowing with story ideas, new products to share and industry news.

It was the largest Global to date, spanning the equivalent of 13 football fields, with a record number of exhibitors and booths. This is a good sign for the pet industry.

More exhibitors and booths mean new, innovative products to carry in your store and to introduce to customers. Speaking of that, Dave Ratner touches on why it so important to seek out these new items in his column this month.

A bigger-than-ever trade show is also good for the overall economic health of the industry. It means established companies are spending money to showcase their products, on travel and innovation.

For example, the legendary brand Field & Stream teamed up with Hartz to introduce a new product line geared toward the outdoor dog, and PetSafe introduced a record number of new products at Global.

These brands would not be doing that if there was a chance that the pet industry was going to be slowing down.

It also means more people are seeing the economic benefits of being in the pet industry, as new companies, like Zututh and Buddy’s Line, enter the pet space. These are new companies that are placing their bets on the pet industry and looking to win big.

When deciding how to cover the trade show, we took the approach that we were your eyes and ears of the show. If you couldn’t make it there, we wanted to bring the show to you.

We did that mostly through social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tout, to be exact. We also took thousands of photographs and shot dozens of video interviews with everyone from high-profile executives to industry experts. More information about them can be found on our 24/7 page.

In this issue we talk about sustainability and being eco-friendly. These are words that are thrown around a lot, not just in our industry, but across the board.

A new group called the Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition, is trying to bring more awareness about the topic to the pet industry. They were pounding the pavement during Global getting their message across and already have several industry powerhouses, such as Cardinal Pet and KONG, signed on as founding members.

Their mission is to guide pet companies toward sustainability by encouraging multi-party collaboration, including manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We talked with Chris Bentley, co-founder of the group, about why he thought this was an important move for the pet industry and why companies should get involved. Our interview with him will be available on our website April 1.

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