Pet Age’s inaugural Food and Treat Festival for Pets, which will take place on Tuesday, February 6, has added another exciting speaker to its lineup. Robert Downey, CEO and president of Annamaet Petfoods, will present “Myths of the Dog Food Industry and Pet Food Formulations,” providing an insight into the variation of ingredient quality and sourcing as well as formulation and processing of pet foods. Downey, a recipient of the 2016 Pet Age ICON Award, has had a lifelong involvement with dogs and has also been published in several veterinary and nutrition journals.
In addition to Downey’s newly announced talk and a trade show floor featuring pet food and treat manufacturers, Tinkerbelle and several other social media pet celebrities will be attending the Food and Treat Festival for Pets. Tinkberbelle, who is featured in a profile in the January edition of Pet Age 2.0, a new consumer publication, is a fashion show icon and globetrotting pup with nearly 200,000 Instagram followers. She is described by her owner, Sam Carrell, as a model, actor, traveler and professional diva.
Pet Age is inviting all pet industry professionals, retailers and pet lovers to the event, which is free for members of the pet industry. Called F.A.T. Fest for short because of Mardi Gras’ Fat Tuesday being a week later, the event will take place at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Conference Center in Edison, New Jersey. It will be part informational session, part trade show and filled with information from the field’s leading experts and manufacturers.
“We at Pet Age are so happy to produce our first Food and Treat Festival for Pets this February in Edison, New Jersey,” Pet Age publisher Allen Basis said. “We are providing a mix of educational sessions for trade in the morning and a vibrant expo in the afternoon for both the industry and the public where vendors will display products and offer samples all in a Mardi Gras-themed event. We hope to see you there!”
First, there will be two morning keynote speakers and breakout sessions for pet industry professionals. Then, open to the public, there will be a pet-friendly food and treat trade show where manufacturers will have their products on display and will be ready to answer any questions.
The two keynote speakers will be Cathleen Enright, PhD, president and CEO of the Pet Food Institute, and Todd Maute, partner at CBX, a brand and design agency. Enright will provide an overview of pet food’s regulatory landscape to help ensure companies are aware of new requirements in place to make safe pet food products for all of America’s pets. Maute will identify the different ways all brands can survive and thrive through a private label lens, and discuss how retailers and private label manufacturers can work together to make their brands succeed.
There will then be an hour’s worth of breakout sessions on the benefits of a raw food diet for dogs and cats and how to communicate them to pet parents.
After the breakout sessions, pet industry professionals have an hour to preview the trade show floor. Then, at 12:30 p.m., the trade show floor opens to the public. All attendees will receive a complimentary ticket to attend Super Pet Expo on April 13-15, 2018, at the NJ Convention & Expo Center.
“With our festival taking place one week before Fat Tuesday does in New Orleans, we expect a high-energy crowd of pet professionals and pet owners,” Pet Age editor-in-chief Glenn A. Polyn said. “Our morning speakers will provide attendees with valuable information to help retailers succeed in today’s competitive business environment, and we’re planning to balance that out with an afternoon that celebrates pet food and treats in an entertaining manner.”
If you are a pet industry professional, you can register for the event here.
See below for a detailed schedule of events.
8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Cathleen Enright, PhD, president and CEO of the Pet Food Institute, is keynote speaker for “Food Safety is Serious Business – Are You Ready?”
9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Todd Maute, partner at CBX, a brand and design agency, is keynote speaker
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Trade Show Preview for pet industry professionals
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Trade show open to public