Glenn Polyn//March 1, 2023//
Glenn Polyn //March 1, 2023//
According to a January 2023 report from Th e Insight Partners, the global pet grooming products market is set to grow to $28.21 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3 percent from 2021 to 2028. This market growth can be linked to an increase in pet adoption, growing demand for organic and eco-friendly pet products paired with an increase in e-commerce.
Not every grooming product is “one size-fits-all,” and varying dog breeds can have vastly differing coat and skin types that require different grooming techniques and equipment. Successful groomers can identify what a specific dog needs to deliver a pleasant, stress-free experience. Puppies and kittens going to the groomer for the first time can be overwhelming, since it’s a new experience and the products that are used are just as important as the groomer’s attitude and technique.
For some owners, seeing lather on their pet when using a shampoo product is a sign that it is working. However, recent innovations in the grooming sector include reduced lather options and, sometimes, water isn’t needed in the process. Waterless shampoos offer a quick and easy solution for pet parents whether at home or on the go. With a passion for organic pet wellness and grooming, Pure and Natural Pet makes Waterless Foaming Shampoo for Dogs as well as a version for cats. The no-rinse hypoallergenic formula is massaged directly on the coat then wiped away leaving the skin moisturized and clean. For animals that are not fond of baths, waterless options offer an alternative solution with less stress.
Made in the U.S.A., these products are cruelty-free and are free of chemicals, parabens, sulfates and formaldehydes. In addition to making products that are safe for pets, Julie Creed, vice president of sales and marketing, says Pure and Natural Pet has “always been ingredient focused and is always looking for ways to improve our sustainability. Pure and Natural Pet specializes in award-winning USDA Certifi ed Organic and natural pet wellness and grooming products. We’re proud to be a trusted brand ensuring the products we make are safe for pets and the planet.”
The morals and values consumers believe in when shopping for themselves transfers when they are shopping for their pet. Companies are recognizing the importance of off ering pet products that align with a pet owner’s lifestyle. It’s easy to assume plantbased claims can only be applied to food and treats, but that isn’t the sole category that is seeing an increase in these kinds of products.
For over 25 years, earthbath has been designing a comprehensive line of shampoos, conditioners and between-bath grooming products with the unique needs of each pet in mind as well as the pet parent and the planet. Made in the U.S.A. with natural and organic ingredients, earthbath products proprietary formulas have no parabens, sulfates, alcohol or dyes and uses the power of plants.
This month, the brand is unveiling two new products: Treatment Balm and a new and improved Plant-Based Specialty Wipes for both cats and dogs. The balm can be applied directly to dry noses, cracked paws, calluses, skin folds, hot spots, open wounds and abrasions to help promote healthy skin and healing.
“As part of our commitment to pets, people and the planet, earthbath is phasing out its current specialty Ear Wipes and Eye Wipes and launching a new line of plant-based, FSC-certified specialty wipes that are vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and cruelty free,” said Amy Johnson, sales and marketing associate for the company.
Founded in 2009, Wondercide also uses plants in its grooming products. Its plantpowered products are effective and made with natural essential oils.
“We offer four shampoo bars to meet pet and pet parent needs, including Hypoallergenic with aloe vera, Oatmeal & Honey with shea butter, Geranium with citronella and Exfoliating, with neem bark and patchouli,” said Stephanie Boone, founder and CEO of Wondercide.
Each bar also comes with a natural cedarwood soap holder. Th e benefit of using shampoo bars rather than the traditional liquid in a bottle is that you can support your pet with one hand while you reach for the shampoo bar and wash with the other. It’s easier to maintain control while using a bar. Boone describes the brand’s products being based on “the need in the marketplace because the founder knew there had to be a better way to provide solutions that didn’t compromise eff ectiveness for safety and enjoyment.”
On the market since 1965, Kenic Pet Products remains vigilant of the shifting demands from pet owners. The family-owned and operated business makes classic grooming products like shampoos and conditioners, but also expanded its portfolio to cater to the latest trends.
Nearly 60 years later, the company still prides itself on the relationships its created with groomers, veterinarians and leading private label frontiers. According to Dawn Leoso Duncan, vice president of Glo-Marr Products, that’s enabled the brand to remain on top of the current grooming trends.
“Anything that can help pet owners clean up their pets with ease,” Duncan said. “On-the-go products are hot right now. Dry shampoos that you can spray, and wipe are super popular. Pet colognes are popular to use when freshening the dog for dinner out.”
The brand off ers multiple pet colognes that are safe for dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets that come in a pump spray, non-aerosol eight-ounce bottles in popular, appealing fragrances.
Alzoo is a pet brand that designs products with the environment in mind without compromising functionality. At last year’s Global Pet Expo, the company introduced a hypoallergenic shampoo that features sustainable ingredients and packaging, making it a great option for eco-conscious pet parents. This year, Alzoo plans on showcasing three new products with the same principles.
“Alzoo grooming products have three exceptional features – performance, results and scent. A light, natural lather disperses throughout the dog’s fur easily, rinsing clean and quickly making bath time much more enjoyable for both the dog and pet parent,” said Philippe Chelle, CEO of Alzoo. “Unlike other grooming products, Alzoo shampoos can give up to a week of good hair days with a light, naturally derived fragrance that cleans without irritation.”
Pet salons offer a range of services that can include full-service, self-service or both for grooming that allow pet parents to pamper their pet. Bubbly Paws is one salon that offers both options and its bright, “bubbly” feel is modeled after elevated hair salons and, with an array of grooming services, customers have a variety of luxury options to choose from. The first Bubbly Paws location was opened in 2011 by Keith Miller and his wife, Patrycia Miller, and the brand is expanding with a new location in Weston, Florida. Heather Zumarraga, a financial reporter and business author, left the corporate world, opened Bubbly Paws’ third franchise location with Keith and notes the importance of grooming options in today’s market.
“It is more important than ever to offer unique products or services that work to add value for consumers,” said Zumarraga. “The growing pet market has made it clear that dog owners now demand the same care for their pets as they would for other family members. For example, de-shedding or de-matting are considered necessary versus a ‘once upon a time’ discretionary add-on.”
With a goal of providing an experience for pet parents just as much as pets themselves, Bubbly Paws offers “Scrub Club” memberships for unlimited self-service dog baths and another perk to save time. Zumarraga explains that this means “no reservations, no waiting and no checkout. Simply sign up using our Pawtastic.app and you’re good to go.”
Convenience is a major factor in how people shop and options that can save a customer time are only beneficial to a business. When thinking about convenience, there are multiple avenues retailers can take to make shopping in their store a stress-free experience. Self-service wash stations are a great way for people to bathe their dog on their own time without worrying about making an appointment. As for grooming products, retailers should have a variety of options for each coat type and skin issue, and the savvy retailer would be wise to create a “grooming kit” that contains everything a first-time pet owner may need to groom their pet at home. Items could include shampoo, conditioner, ear and eye wipes as well as a wound care product.
Retailers that recognize the grooming trends and adjust their business to follow suit is one way of staying relevant and even thriving in a competitive market. At CB Pet Market, team members have solid, hands-on pet expertise as groomers, breeders, handlers and trainers. Whether it be helping a firsttime pet parent pick out the best grooming tools for their pet or giving the pup a groom themselves, CB Pet Market employees care about the well-being of pets. Claudia Loomis, president of CB Pet Market, explains that for the last 20 years, their employees take the time to educate their customers on products as well as comfort the animals brought in for grooming.
“A shampoo that doesn’t lather, with the right ingredients, can clean just as well as a shampoo that creates a tremendous amount of lather. Customers want a shampoo that will lather because it gives them the impression that it is cleaning the coat,” Loomis said. “In the salon we have a better understanding that lather doesn’t often mean it’s a great clean. Lather does not always equal clean.”
The grooming market is saturated with innovative technologies to ease the bathing process, from bathing systems to waterless shampoo. As the health and wellness trend grows, Kyle Darling, president of TheraClean, says pet owners are turning to all natural avenues to heal the body on the inside and the outside.
“We see groomers are adding more services to their business and offering microbubble is one of those services,” he said. “Thera-Clean baths are changing the way we get pets’ skin truly clean.”
Microbubble technology requires groomers to do their own research, but simply put, Thera-Clean offers a deep clean into the follicles without the use of chemicals. These baths produce a microbubble a third of the size of a red blood cell, which is small enough to get into the follicle, traveling all the way down without passing through the epidermis.
“They carry a negative charge which attracts positively charged organic materials like bacteria, debris, yeast and even allergens. They stick like a magnet and lift it all to the surface out of the pet’s skin,” explained Darling.
Not only do the microbubbles give a gentle massage to soothe pets while cleaning their skin, but senior pets or pets with arthritis or hip-dysplasia have seen a better range of motion after a Thera-Clean bath. The company, which has 278 clients in four countries, is adding New Zealand this year to continue its expansion.
Evolution Dog Wash provides a high quality self-serve pet wash at a lower price point and is automated to include everything customers need to safely wash their pet.
Unlike Thera-Clean, these wash stations do not need employees to control them, allowing pet stores to reduce their labor costs as it takes less time to maintain and keep clean due to the size and built-in sanitation features.
“We are seeing more groomers adding revenue generating products and services to their business such as a retail component and a self-serve pet wash,” said Matt Ogden, owner of Evolution Dog Wash. “With customer demand increasing for convenient, low-cost options, the no appointment needed, self-serve model has been an increasingly popular attraction.”
To cater to the demand for convenience, the new Evolution Dog Wash app improves user experience and benefits both the business owner and the end user. The app makes it quicker and easier for customers to pay and allows them to navigate the process with ease. The app provides business owners with flexibility, including various payment methods and membership options.
Convenience and effectiveness have been part of TrueBlue’s mission when creating its grooming products and the results are a range of products from shampoo and condition to detangling spray and body and paw wipes. This year, the brand is launching Healing Hemp Hot Spot Cream.
“Our unique combination of nature and science. We use natural and organic ingredients in formulas that are developed with our vet expert partners. They help us select the best natural ingredients that are both safe and effective for pets,” said Doug Gleason, founder of TrueBlue.
The company also believes in protecting the planet and is constantly looking for ways to be more environmentally conscious and more sustainable. The brand’s shampoos are biodegradable meaning they can be rinsed down the sink or bathtub and users can be confident they are safe for the planet. Now, the brand has switched all of its bottles to PCR (post-consumer resin) plastic or plastic that’s made from recycled plastic.
Self-service grooming stations are a great way to increase a store’s revenue, but it’s imperative to offer quality grooming products at these stations as well as in store. Buddha Bubbles, by Barking Buddha Pet, is organic shampoo and conditioner with the most complete formula in the market. Made with certified organic ingredients and botanicals, these products provide a safe and natural way to clean your dog’s sensitive skin and coat.
“We do not put one solution in each bottle to sell more SKUs,” said Lucy Caprez, marketing director for Natural Cravings Pet Treats, maker of Buddha Bubbles. “We created a formula of shampoo and conditioner that has everything prevention and everything solution to keep a dog’s skin and coat healthy.”
Safe for puppies, adult dogs and seniors, the Buddha Bubbles Shampoo is made with organic rosemary, a natural antiinflammatory, shea butter, organic oats and eucalyptus to help soothe irritated skin as well as methylene blue, known to be a safe and effective antiseptic and antifungal. The inspiration for the formation came when “we had two dogs with different issues and three to four bottles of shampoo to treat each issue. We realized that the market was full of one bottle solutions and not one shampoo company offered all solutions in one. That is how Buddha Bubbles went from dream to reality,” said Caprez.
Retailers should have a selection of athome, in-between grooming products that include a range of products for a variety of skin issues. Swedencare’s catalog includes several wipes as well as shampoos for sensitive skin, brightening and puppies. It’s newest line of shampoos, conditioners and wipes focuses on soothing sensitive skin.
“The Swederma Keto-C line is designed to help clean and deodorize the skin, ears or wounds of dogs and cats with certain skin conditions,” explained Swedencare head of sales Scott Reinhardt. “The antibacterial and antifungal properties of Keto-C help provide relief and manage skin affected by these conditions.”
When discussing grooming needs with customers, retailers should be asking specific questions to suggest the correct product. Having a solid understanding of what you are selling makes it easier to sell. For example, Reinhardt says the properties in the Keto-C line “provides relief to pets while helping to reduce active conditions of skin irritants.”
PAWZ, a brand known for its paw protection products, set out to create a sanitizer for dogs that is 100 percent safe, and the result was SaniPaw. The spray, which is also available in a wipe form, is ingestible if licked and can be used multiple times a day. Andrea Friedland, director of customer service and engagement, explains that the active ingredient, chlorine dioxide, is “used by municipalities to purify tap water and the active ingredient in mouth wash, and maintains paw hygiene by eliminating more than 99.999 percent bacteria, virus and fungus.”
Chlorine dioxide is also known for its efficacy in the presence of organic matter, in other words, dirty environments.
“This is important because dogs clearly have organic matter on their paws, and just because a product kills bacteria in a lab doesn’t mean it will do so on a dirty furred paw,” she added.
Although the grooming category is stacked with innovative products and evolving trends, one thing remains consistent: grooming is necessary for a pet’s well-being. Educating pet owners on their pet’s grooming needs is vitally important. Remember: one solution for all dog breeds is not an effective way to groom.