Attending SuperZoo 2021? – It is a great Opportunity! But….You Need a Plan!

SuperZoo has now returned to an in-person event. It has been 5 months since the last virtual show so the New Product Showcase is packed with entries. The exhibitor count is down due to the pandemic, but the booths continue to get bigger. To help attendees in working this huge show the floor sections were made more targeted and new sections were created. One thing is unchanged. There is a huge array of exhibitors in every product category.

Consider these 2021 SuperZoo facts:

  • 800 exhibitors
  • 8 “Targeted” Floor Sections: Nature’s Pathway, Rodeo Drive, Groomers, Critter Alley, Health & Wellbeing, Innovation Incubator, Farm & Feed, WPA Good Works
  • 220,000+ sq ft of exhibitor booths; Plus, a 37,000 sq ft New Products Showcase
  • SuperZoo Education: Seminars on Retail and Grooming – 97 hours; 88 separate sessions
  • Almost 5 miles of aisles – just to walk the exhibit floor

Whew! This show is still huge. The show floor is open for 21 hours so…Let’s “Do the Math!”

 If you don’t attend any seminars, visit the New Product Showcase, stop to chat with anyone in the aisles or for food, a drink or to go to the bathroom and maintain a walking speed of 2.5 mph…

You can spend…1 MINUTE AND 25 SECONDS…with each exhibitor…You definitely need a plan!

With a higher concentration of Pet retailer attendees and a commitment to groomers, there are subtle differences between SuperZoo and GPE.  However, like GPE, SuperZoo has attendees from every major retail channel and before being limited by pandemic travel restrictions, attracted a multitude of exhibitors and attendees from around the globe.

Despite the variety of offerings to fill an attendee’s time, SuperZoo is still primarily about Pet Products. New Products are critical to maintaining and growing any business so you must take the time to visit the new product area. Knowledge is power so you should also sign up for any relevant classes. Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know that matters most. This makes networking with other industry professionals a priority.

Every business can improve in terms of products. If you are a retailer, what sections of your store are not doing as well as you hoped and need a “facelift” or conversely, what areas are growing and need products to fill additional space? Category managers for distributors and retail chains may only be interested in targeted visits to exhibitors relevant to their “categories”. Representatives may be looking for new manufacturers…in specific product categories. Manufacturers could be looking to find distributors to handle their products or just looking to “check out” the competition. In regard to products, there is always something to see…for everyone! Plus, there are 330 Exhibitors at SZ 21 that weren’t at GPE 20.

SuperZoo is a great place to review products but Business Services, everything from Private label to POS, have also become increasingly important. In fact, 1 out of every 7 exhibitors offers some type of Business Service. Attendees can now “Leave no stone unturned” in their quest for business success. SuperZoo is about gathering information and making decisions to improve your business – whether they are made on the spot or put on your “must do” list. Your only real limitation is time. How do you make the most effective use of your time on the show floor? Here’s a suggestion.

Use the Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner to make SuperZoo easier and more productive. I initially designed it in 2014 and have updated the data and produced a new version for every GPE and SuperZoo since then…including SZ 2021.

The “update” is not just exhibitor lists but also to the product category offerings for every exhibitor. I reviewed every exhibitor profile on the show site, but I also visited over 800 websites and conducted separate internet searches to “validate” their product offerings. It is not 100% accurate, but it is close.

What does the Super Search do?…It searches for and produces a list of Exhibitors by product categories.

  • From the simplest – “give me a list that I can look at on my phone or tablet in either Booth # order or alphabetically”
  • To the most complex…”can do a simultaneous search for multiple specific product categories, allowing you to personally narrow down the initial results and see the “final” alphabetically or by booth number.

The SuperZoo Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner does both…and more…and does it quickly! Take a look at the New Quick Start Guide. You will see that it looks complex but is really quite simple.

SuperZoo 2021 Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner – Quick Start Guide

First: When you download the Excel file, Remember to Enable Editing & Macros!

The SZ 2021 Super Search Exhibitor visit planner is designed to make your time on the show floor more efficient and more productive. With the Super Search you can conduct up to 5 separate and distinct product category searches simultaneously with consolidated results produced in booth # order to facilitate your “journey”. There are detailed instructions for reference and to help you understand the nuances of the tool. However, it is really very simple so let’s get started. Here is the Dashboard where you set up your searches.

On the dashboard, the first things to note are the numerous category columns. There are 8 separate floor sections, 11 different Exhibitor or Animal Types and 33 Dog and/or Cat Product categories. You can search exhibitors for any combination of these.

Let’s take a specific example running 3 simultaneous searches for several Dog/Cat categories:

  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Catnip & Litter (Must sell both)

Now referring to the Dashboard, let’s take it by the numbers:

  1. This column is where you activate each search. Type in a “Y” (Cells C3>C7 will auto-capitalize) This search “line” becomes active.(cell turns green) In our example we are running 3 searches, so we have 3 “Y”s.
  2. Now we enter a 1 in the correct column for each search line. Search Line 1: Toys; Search Line 2: Treats.
  3. In Search Line 3 we want exhibitors that sell both Catnip and Litter, so we put a 1 in both of these columns.
  4. Now we just “click” the Execute Search Button. The searches are done simultaneously, and the results combined into a single list in alphabetical order.
  5. If you would like to view the list in Booth # order, just click the Booth # Sort.
  6. You can switch the list back to an alpha view by clicking the Alpha Sort Button.
  7. To Clear all your search categories and start a new search, click the Clear Criteria Button. Then click Execute (#4) again and you will be back to the full list

Note: Any Search Line with a Y and no 1’s in any column will always deliver the entire list regardless of what is selected in other lines. Change the Y back to an N in unused search lines. Now a sample of the results:

Company A – Has Toys Only; Company B has Dog Treats Only and is also a “Startup”; Company C is on the list for Treats and also has Catnip, but no Litter. This is not unusual as Catnip is often a Treat; Company D has Treats & Toys. Company E has both Catnip and Litter and in fact, actually has it all!

Note: The Super Search highlights your search categories, so you know “why you are there”. However, it also shows all categories that are available. Some might “pique” your interest while you are visiting the booth.

You can review the exhibitors alphabetically then put the list in Booth # order to make it easier to “work”. The Super Search also allows you to “cut down” the list during your review. (Pg 2; Point #11 – “U Pick ‘em” in Detailed Instructions) But First, I suggest that you “play” with the Super Search to get a “feel” for the tool, and then review the Detailed Instructions. With your “play” experience, the detailed instructions will become a “quick read” and a valuable reference. You’ll soon be “up to speed” on the full capabilities of Super Search.

Good Luck and Good “Hunting” at SZ 2021.

Use the links below to download The Super Search (Be Sure to Enable editing/macros/content), the Quick Start Guide and the Detailed Instructions. Then GET STARTED!  

(To save the PDF to your computer Right Click the download link and select “Save Link As…”)

(To save the PDF to your computer Right Click the download link and select “Save Link As…”)

(For the Excel file to work on your computer, be sure to enable macros/editing/content if asked.)

The Super Search reflects the exhibitors as of 8/2/21. We will update the file next week with any changes. Always look for the date in the file name to insure that you are using the most up to date edition of the planning tool.b

 

SUPERZOO 2021 – THE PET INDUSTRY BEGINS THE JOURNEY BACK TO NORMAL

SuperZoo 2021 is only 3 weeks away. It has been 18 months since the last in person Pet Trade show, GPE 2020 and 2 years since the last SuperZoo. Pet Parents spent more time with their children during the pandemic, so the Pet Products segments prospered during this challenging time. However, pet trade shows have essentially been shut down.

Although the internet has shown exceptional growth in Pet Products sales, these $ are coming from proven products. Buyers of all kinds, from consumers to chain store executives prefer to make in person buying decisions on new pet items. Thus, the return of in person Pet Trade shows is critically important to the continued growth of the Pet Industry.

With SuperZoo 2021, the Pet Industry will begin to get “back on track” to normal. It will not be easy. Currently SuperZoo 2021 has 781 exhibitors. That is down 321 (-29.1%) from SuperZoo 2019. Of course, the ongoing reaction to the pandemic is the primary reason behind the drop in exhibitors but it is somewhat more complex. Consider:

  1. International Travel Restrictions have caused many exhibitors to cancel (This also happened at GPE 2020)
  2. The pandemic has been especially hard on startups and smaller companies.
  3. Some companies have decided to “play it safe” and wait until 2022.
  4. A non-pandemic factor: The wave of mergers and acquisitions continues.

SuperZoo is still a very powerful event. There are 220,000 sq ft of booths, a 37,000 sq ft New Products Showcase, with over 700 items – more than 2019, and 18,000 sq ft devoted to Show Floor Education and demonstrations. There are also 88 separate educational sessions on grooming or business subjects totaling 97 hours. That is powerful in every way.

New is always a focus at Pet Trade shows. That also applies to exhibitors. At SuperZoo 2021:

  • 289 (37.0%) Exhibitors weren’t at SZ 2019
  • 330 (42.3%) weren’t at GPE 2020
  • And 205 (26.2%) didn’t do either of those show

Those are some strong arguments for attending SuperZoo 2021. Now, let’s look at some specifics of what you will see there. First, a warning: With a 29% pandemic induced drop in exhibitors, you’re going to see a lot of negative numbers when compared to SZ 2019. I suggest that you focus on share of booths. Change in this measurement will indicate how a particular group or product category is performing during difficult times.

First, we’ll look at the overall show floor in terms of specialized sections.

  • The first thing that you notice is that 3 sections went away and were replaced by 4 new sections.
  • Health & Wellbeing products have been showing strength for years. Good Works gives a focal point for non-profits. Farm & Feed replaces “Poultry” and Innovation Incubator includes only startups, replacing the 1st timers’ section. It doesn’t reflect the amount of 1st time exhibitors at the show, which numbers over 160 – mostly on the open floor.
  • Another critical fact demonstrates the importance of targeted floor sections. For the first time…ever, the share of all special floor sections booths exceeds 50% of the booths – 51.2% to be exact.
  • Natural not only gained a huge amount in share. They actually increased their number of booths. That is truly remarkable under the current circumstances and proves the importance of “Natural” in the marketplace.
  • Grooming basically held its ground in share while Critter Alley lost a bit.
  • The biggest share decrease was in Rodeo drive. This reflects the drop in small companies who largely fill this section.

Now let’s look at the Exhibitors by type, including animal.

  • Almost all media and organizations made it back to the show.
  • The importance of pet retailers at the show is evident as Distributors gained share.
  • Business Services continues to show strength, down in count, but still double the number from 5 years ago.
  • Gifts/Gen Mdse exhibitors lost the most share, but they have been trending down since peaking at 139 in 2016.
  • All animal types but Birds and Reptiles lost some share. Except for dogs, the share losses were under 1% so they were generally in line with the percentage decrease in exhibitors.
  • Dogs and Cats lost the most in exhibitor count, but they remain the royalty of the Pet Industry.

Let’s take a closer look at the “royalty”. Here are the top 10 Dog and/or Cat Categories at SuperZoo 2021.

  • Apparel was replaced by Waste Pickup. There was a shuffling in the rankings from #5 to #10 – 3 gained; 3 lost.
  • Meds & Supplements remain strong and continue to help Treats maintain an unparalleled prominence at #1 as Supplements are often produced in Treat form. They again rank #1 & #2 in terms of exhibitor count and share gain.
  • The biggest losses in share are in Collars & Leads, Bowls, Beds and Apparel. The drop is due to a combination of losses – in International Exhibitors who focus on commodities and small fashion oriented companies.
  • Premium Food has become even more important in pandemic times – gaining share and moving up in rank.
  • Grooming is a mixed bag. Grooming tools dropped in rank and booth count after a reaching a record level in 2019. However, shampoo moved up 3 spots in rank. The addition of Waste pickup to the list may reflect the radical increase in Pet Parents’ “Pandemic Dog Walking”.
  • Toys maintained their rank, but a question remains, “Can attendees “survive” with only 127 booths offering toys?”

SuperZoo has 29% fewer exhibitors. However, the average booth size is now 294 sq ft., up from 252 in 2019 and 50% larger than 2016. Products and services are available to fill virtually every need or want of the attendees and the show is keeping “in tune” with changes. Increasing the number of special floor sections and making them more targeted along with a massive amount of educational sessions are prime examples of the WPA’s ongoing efforts to improve the show.

653 exhibitors (84%) focus on Dog and Cat. Let’s take a closer look.

There are 321 fewer Exhibitors at SuperZoo. Those offering Dog and/or Cat products fell by 285. The Dog/Cat share fell slightly from 84.4% to 83.6% but Dogs and Cats remain the unquestioned “royalty” of the industry. Once again we will focus on change in share

  • 19 of 33 (58%) Dog/Cat categories increased their share of exhibitors.
  • 9 increased their share by at least 0.6% and 5 by more than 1%.

When you look at the Dog/Cat Categories making share gains, you see that again the most common thread is the health and wellness of our companion animals, including CBD products and Wipes. All of these fit right in with the ongoing trend to more nutritionally focused Super Premium Pet Food and Supplements in Treat form.

The biggest losses came from Top 10 categories – Apparel, Collars & Leads, Bowls, Toys and Beds. The drop in Grooming Tools and Stain & Odor is a bit of a surprise because virtually every other category associated with grooming and cleaning showed gains, including Litter, Shampoo, Training Pads and Waste Pickup.

SuperZoo again showcases what is “happening” in the Pet Industry and offers a great opportunity for the Industry to get “back on track” to normal. It will take effort and commitment from everyone, but SZ 2021 is the surest bet in Las Vegas!

Finally, the chart below details the specifics for all 33 of the Dog/Cat product categories that I defined for the Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner.  (Note: The SZ 2021 Super Search will be available for download at PetBusinessprofessor.com on 8/2.

THE SUPERZOO “TRAIN” DEPARTS ON 8/16. I HOPE TO SEE YOU IN VEGAS!

Attending Global Pet Expo 2021? – The Show is “Virtual”, But You Still Need a Plan!

The first Global Pet Expo (APPMA) occurred 63 years ago with 17 exhibitors in 30 booths. The industry and the show have both come a long way since then.  Although the show is virtual this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still much for 2021 attendees to see and experience:

  • Over 200 separate exhibitors and the list is still growing – with companies from the U.S. and around the world – still a Global experience!
  • As always, the New Product Showcase will be a major attraction.
  • There will still be thousands of attendees with opportunities for virtual networking.
  • The opportunity to choose from 39 targeted educational seminars – 23 hours of classes.
  • Not 5 miles of aisles but get your fingers ready to do a lot of walking on your keyboard!

The show is open for 26 hours so let’s put this in “virtual” perspective and… “Do the Math!”

If you don’t attend any seminars, visit the New Product Showcase, stop to have a virtual chat with someone or to eat, drink or to go to the bathroom, you can spend about 6 minute and 55 seconds with each exhibitor. That’s a lot more than usual but now you will be competing for appointment times. You still definitely need a plan!

Global Pet Expo still has it all… and more. Attendees will find a broad selection of products while Exhibitors have the opportunity to reach a wide range of buyers across all retail channels.

First and foremost, Global is about Pet Products – Food, treats and a vast array of Supply categories. A regular flow of New Products is always critical to keep businesses and the whole industry strong and growing. Obviously, you must take the time to visit the New Product Showcase. You should also sign up for any relevant classes, network with other industry professionals and…”virtually” walk the whole show.  There are many more new products being “launched” in exhibitor showrooms as there are on display in the New Product Showcase. Plus, even with the lower exhibitor count over 22% of the exhibitors were not at GPE 2020. Global is about gathering information and making decisions to improve your business – whether they are made on the spot or put on your “must do” list.

Every business can improve in terms of products. If you are a retailer, what sections of your store are not doing as well as you hoped and need a “facelift” or conversely, what areas are growing and need products to fill additional space? Category managers for distributors and retail chains may only be interested in targeted visits to exhibitors relevant to their “categories”. Representatives may be looking for new manufacturers…in specific product categories. Manufacturers could be looking to find distributors to handle their products or just looking to “check out” the competition. In regard to products, there is always something to see…for everyone!

And Global is the place to see it. It’s all there! With so much to see and do, time is perhaps the most valuable commodity at the show. How do you make the most of your time on the show platform? Here’s an idea.

In 2014 I first designed a tool in Excel, the Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner to make “working Global & SuperZoo easier and more productive for ALL attendees – retailers, distributors, reps, groomers, vets…even exhibitors. I have updated the data and produced a tool for every GPE and SuperZoo since then…including GPE 2021.

The “update” is not just exhibitor lists but also to the product category offerings for every exhibitor. I reviewed every available exhibitor profile, but I also visited hundreds of websites and conducted separate internet searches to “validate” the product offerings. It is not 100% accurate, but it is close.

What does the SuperSearch do?… It searches for and produces a list of Exhibitors by product categories.

  • From the simplest – “give me a list that I can look at on my phone or tablet.”
  • To the most complex…”can do a simultaneous search for multiple specific product categories, allowing you to personally narrow down the initial results and see the “final” targeted result.” The GPE Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner does both…and more…and does it quickly! Take a look at the Quick Start Guide. You will see that it looks complex but is really quite simple.

GPE 2021 Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner – Quick Start Guide

First: When you download the Excel file, Remember to Enable Editing & Macros!

The GPE Super Search Exhibitor visit planner is designed to make your time on the show platform more efficient and more productive. With the Super Search you can conduct up to 5 separate and distinct product category searches simultaneously with consolidated results produced in alphabetical order to facilitate your “journey”. There are detailed instructions for reference and to help you understand the nuances of the tool. However, it is really very simple so let’s get started. (Note: No Floor Sections or Booth #s in 2021) Here is the Dashboard where you set up your searches.

On the dashboard, the first things to note are the numerous category columns. There are no preassigned sections as yet in 2021 so these columns may be hidden to save some space but there are 11 different Exhibitor or Animal Types and 33 Dog and/or Cat Product categories. You can search exhibitors for any combination of these.

Let’s take a specific example running 3 simultaneous searches for several Dog/Cat categories:

  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Catnip & Litter (Must sell both)

Now referring to the Dashboard, let’s take it by the numbers:

  1. This column is where you activate each search. Type in a “Y” (Cells C3>C7 will auto-capitalize) This search “line” becomes active.(cell turns green) In our example we are running 3 searches, so we have 3 “Y”s.
  2. Now we enter a 1 in the correct column for each search line. Search Line 1: Toys; Search Line 2: Treats.
  3. In Search Line 3 we want exhibitors that sell both Catnip and Litter, so we put a 1 in both of these columns.
  4. Now we just “click” the Execute Search Button. The searches are done simultaneously, and the results combined into a single list in alphabetical order.
  5. There are no Booth #s in this “virtual” year so this button is not relevant.
  6. Your sort should appear in alphabetical order, but you can always click the Alpha Sort Button to be sure.
  7. To Clear all your search categories and start a new search, Click the Clear Criteria Button. Then click Execute (#4) again and you will be back to the full list.

Note: Any Search Line with a Y and no 1’s in any column will always deliver the entire list regardless of what is selected in other lines. Change the Y back to an N in unused search lines. Now a sample of the results:

Company A – Has Toys Only; Company B has Dog Treats Only; Company C is on the list for Treats and also has Catnip, but no Litter. This is not unusual as Catnip is often a Treat; Company D has Treats & Toys. Company E has both Catnip and Litter and in fact, actually has it all!

Note: The Super Search highlights your search categories, so you know “why you are there”. However, it also shows all categories that are available. Some might “pique” your interest while you are visiting the exhibitor showroom.

In 2021, since there are no booth #s you will review the exhibitors alphabetically. The Super Search also allows you to “cut down” the list during your review. (Pg 2; Point #11 – “U Pick ‘em” in Detailed Instructions) But First, I suggest that you “play” with the Super Search to get a “feel” for the tool, and then review the Detailed Instructions. With your “play” experience, the detailed instructions will become a “quick read” and a valuable reference. You will soon be “up to speed” on the full capabilities of Super Search. Good Luck and Good “Hunting” at GPE 2021!

Ready to Start Planning?

Use the links below to download the Super Search Tool (Be Sure to Enable Editing/Macros/Content if asked by your computer), the Quick Start Guide and the Detailed Instructions. Then GET STARTED!

NOW DOWNLOAD THE SEARCH TOOL

(For the Excel file to work on your computer, be sure to enable saving/macros/editing/content if asked.)

 

NOTE: Each Super Search has a date in the file name. The first file was dated 3/8. The latest file is dated 3/23. There were a lot of additions since 3/22 – mostly media, organizations and business services providers. They are highlighted in light gray. There were also 3 name changes, highlighted in orange. MORE CHANGES ON DAY 1 – Highlighted in yellow! 

 

 

GLOBAL PET EXPO 2021…Packed with Opportunities!

The premiere event of the U.S. pet industry gets under way on March 24th. This is the 63rd show (my 33rd) in a tradition that began in 1958. Both the show and the industry have grown spectacularly since then, until a Global Pandemic produced a true worldwide crisis. With Pet Parents often stuck at home, they have turned more of their attention to their Pet Children. During this time consumers have focused on essential spending. Since there is no doubt that Pets are an essential part of U.S. families, it is no surprise that the Pet Product segments of the industry have grown even stronger.

That brings us to trade shows, specifically GPE 2021. Until December, it was scheduled to be an in person event. However, it became obvious that this was not practical or even possible, so it was made virtual – Global Pet Expo Digital Access. Both the exhibitor count and the number of registered attendees are down significantly but continue to grow. As of February 26, there were 189 Exhibitors. Normally, there are 1000+. The number of registered attendees is also smaller. However, that will grow significantly. Remember, you don’t have to plan a trip, just show up online. A quick review of the buyers showed that companies responsible for selling 90+% of the Pet Products sold in the U.S. will be attending. That raises a question for the companies who have chosen not to exhibit. “Can you really afford to not exhibit at this show?” I guess that they’ll wait and see.

Before we start our preview of what you will see at GPE 2021, I would like to put some recent events into perspective. Normally, the health and progress of an industry are largely dependent upon the choices and decisions made by the participants. Since 2018, outside influences have had a major impact on the pet industry. It began with the FDA warning on grain free dog food. This was followed by the added tariffs which drove Supplies prices up. Finally, we are currently in the midst of a global pandemic which has radically affected the lives of both people and businesses. No one had control over these events. However, you have control of how you react to them. Businesses must be prepared to adapt to a changing environment or face extinction. That is the choice to be made.

Now let’s look at GPE 2021. I am not aware of special sections and there is no way to tell since there is no “floorplan”. However, we can note a big change in the number of International exhibitors. In a normal year there would be over 250, about 25%. In 2021 there are less than 25. As you recall, many Chinese exhibitors had to drop out of GPE 2020 due to travel restrictions. There are also less 1st time exhibitors. Usually, there are 300 who didn’t do the previous year’s show, about 30%. This year, less than 40 weren’t at GPE 2020. Although the event is virtual, it appears that COVID-19 had a big impact.

I will be publishing my Super Search exhibitor visit planner to help guide your time on the virtual show floor. I have researched the product category offerings of every exhibitor. Let’s take a look at the results from this year’s research.

First, we’ll Compare Exhibitor Types – By function: By Animal type (Data is based on the exhibitor list as of 2/26/21) Note: Distributors were removed from the animal type count to more accurately reflect product category coverage.

I included the actual booth count for 2021 but not the change in numbers from 2020. Because of the huge drop in the number of exhibitors, the change in share is a better way to compare the 2 years.

  • Dogs Still Rule …and their kingdom is growing. About 7 of every 8 exhibitors sell dog products.
  • Cats continue to gain shareIn 2021, Cat Products are offered by 62% of exhibitors. Up from 40% in 2014.
  • Fish/Aquatic – In 2020 this category was down 42% from 2017. It continues to fade.
  • Other Animals – Horses & Reptiles lost a little in share, but Birds and Small Animals held their ground.
  • Business Services – Besides wellness products, this has been the other big trend in the Industry. Private label/OEM has become important and reflects the changing needs in the industry. 18 exhibitors is a small number, but it is twice as many as in 2014.
  • Distributors – Although the share is small, it is double that of last year and provides national coverage.
  • Gift/Gen Mdse – This category has been declining since 2016. These products are not a big priority in the pandemic.

Dogs and Cats are the undisputed royalty of Pet and they are even more of a focus in these trying times. Because of their huge impact on the industry, I have divided the products designed for them into 33 subcategories. Let’s see how this year’s GPE Top 15 (17 due to a tie) are doing. The rank was determined by the number of exhibitors, less distributors.

There was a shuffling in the rankings as only 4 held their place, including the Top 3. Furniture dropped out of the top 15 and was replaced by Dental, Rawhide and Scratching. (Remember, because of the tie, there are 17 on the list)

  • Treats are still #1 and gained share. 1 in 2 exhibitors offers treats. (Many supplements are in treat form.)
  • OTC Meds/Supplements/Devices also continues to gain strength and share. In 2014 their share was 11%.
  • Food and Feeding Accessories – Food made a big increase in rank and share so Accessories dropped in rank.
  • Toys, Scratching – It’s not all about health and nutrition. Toys held their rank and Scratching gained ground.
  • Collars, Leads & Harnesses – They held their share but fell 1 spot in rank due to the Food lift.
  • Beds/Mats – They had the biggest drop in share and fell 2 spots to 8th
  • Apparel – This less essential category had the 2nd biggest drop in share but the biggest drop in rank, 8th to 13th.
  • Waste Pickup, Shampoo, Stain & Odor, Grooming Tools – All these categories gained in share and all but Grooming Tools gained in rank. Obviously, cleanliness is also a big aspect of the trend to a healthier life for pets.
  • Rawhide & Dental – These categories made huge gains in rank and share. Dogs definitely need to chew.
  • Carriers & Crates, Litter Acc. – Both gained share. Litter Accessories fell in rank due to big gains from other categories.

Pet Parents’ concern for the overall health and wellness of their “pet children” remains the biggest trend.

The last chart details the specifics for all 33 of the Dog/Cat product categories that I defined. Of note: All the data inputs for this report and the SuperSearch tool come from  visits to over 200 websites. They’re not 100% accurate, but pretty close. Which categories are of interest to your business?

GPE 2021 is smaller and virtual but it still showcases the World of Pets and is Packed with Opportunities in products, services and education to fulfill your needs. Speaking of Education, there are 39 targeted sessions offered during the afternoons of every show day. They are live but many will be available on demand thanks to the virtual nature of the show. However, to reap all these benefits, you still need a plan. Exhibitors must showcase the “right” items. Attendees need to strategically analyze their data, determine what they need to improve their business, develop a plan to find the products to fulfill their needs, then…execute the plan. Although your fingers will be “doing the walking” during GPE 2021, your time is still limited. As always, time is still our most valuable commodity. The GPE 2021 SuperSearch Tool will be available by 3/8 and regularly updated. It should help you make more efficient use of your time at the show. Try it out and…the best of luck at GPE Digital Access and for the balance of 2021!

Hope to see you in person in 2022 in Orlando!

Attending Global Pet Expo 2020? – The Showcase of the U.S. Pet Industry – You Definitely Need a Plan!

The first Global Pet Expo (APPMA) occurred 62 years ago with 17 exhibitors in 30 booths. The industry and the show have both come a long way since then.  In 2020 attendees will see and experience:

  • 1072 separate exhibitor booths – with companies from the U.S. and 26 other countries – a Global experience!
  • Over 350,000 square feet of booths (Plus 30,000 sq ft for the New Product Showcase) Global Pet Expo 2020 actually occupies more than 18 acres of prime Florida “real estate”.
  • 1000 new items in the New Product Showcase plus 3000 more launched on the exhibit floor
  • Sharing the aisles with 16,000+ attendees, more than 6000 “buyers”.
  • The opportunity to choose from 50 different educational seminars – 57 hours of classes
  • 5 miles of aisles – just to walk the exhibit floor

The show floor is open for 26 hours so let’s put this in perspective and… “Do the Math!”

 If you don’t attend any seminars, visit the New Product Showcase, stop to chat with anyone in the aisles or for food, a drink or to go to the bathroom and maintain a walking speed of 2.5 mph, you can spend about 1 minute and 21 seconds with each exhibitor…You definitely need a plan!

Global Pet Expo definitely has it all… and more. Attendees will find the broadest selection of products and services while Exhibitors have the opportunity to reach a wide range of buyers across all retail channels.

First and foremost, Global is about Pet Products – Food, treats and a vast array of Supply categories. A regular flow of New Products is always critical to keep businesses and the whole industry strong and growing. Obviously, you must take the time to visit the New Product Showcase. You should also sign up for any relevant classes, network with other industry professionals and…walk the whole show.  There are 3 times as many new products being “launched” on the show floor as there are on display in the New Product Showcase. Plus, 30% of the exhibitors were not at Global 2019. Global is about gathering information and making decisions to improve your business – whether they are made on the spot or put on your “must do” list.

Every business can improve in terms of products. If you are a retailer, what sections of your store are not doing as well as you hoped and need a “facelift” or conversely, what areas are growing and need products to fill additional space? Category managers for distributors and retail chains may only be interested in targeted visits to exhibitors relevant to their “categories”. Representatives may be looking for new manufacturers…in specific product categories. Manufacturers could be looking to find distributors to handle their products or just looking to “check out” the competition. In regard to products, there is always something to see…for everyone!

And Global is the place to see it. It’s all there! With so much to see and do, Time is perhaps the most valuable commodity at the show. How do you make the most of your time on the show floor? Here’s an idea.

In 2014 I first designed a tool in Excel, the Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner to make “working Global & SuperZoo easier and more productive for ALL attendees – retailers, distributors, reps, groomers, vets…even exhibitors. I have updated the data and produced a tool for every GPE and SuperZoo since then…including GPE 2020.

The “update” is not just exhibitor lists but also to the product category offerings for every exhibitor. I reviewed every exhibitor profile on the show site, but I also visited over 1100 websites and conducted separate internet searches to “validate” the product offerings. It is not 100% accurate, but it is close.

What does the SuperSearch do?… It searches for and produces a list of Exhibitors by product categories.

  • From the simplest – “give me a list that I can look at on my phone or tablet in either Booth # order or alphabetically”
  • To the most complex…”can do a simultaneous search for multiple specific product categories, allowing you to personally narrow down the initial results and see the “final” alphabetically or by booth number. The GPE Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner does both…and more…and does it quickly! Take a look at the Quick Start Guide. You will see that it looks complex but is really quite simple.

GPE 2020 Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner – Quick Start Guide

First: When you download the Excel file, Remember to Enable Saving, Editing & Macros!

The GPE Super Search Exhibitor visit planner is designed to make your time on the show floor more efficient and more productive. With the Super Search you can conduct up to 5 separate and distinct product category searches simultaneously with consolidated results produced in booth # order to facilitate your “journey”. There are detailed instructions for reference and to help you understand the nuances of the tool. However, it is really very simple so let’s get started. (Note: No changes in instructions from 2019) Here is the Dashboard where you set up your searches.

On the dashboard, the first things to note are the numerous category columns. There are 5 different floor sections, 11 different Exhibitor or Animal Types and 33 Dog and/or Cat Product categories. You can search exhibitors for any combination of these.

Let’s take a specific example running 3 simultaneous searches for several Dog/Cat categories:

  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Catnip & Litter (Must sell both)

Now referring to the Dashboard, let’s take it by the numbers:

  1. This column is where you activate each search. Type in a “Y” (Cells C3>C7 will auto-capitalize) This search “line” becomes active.(cell turns green) In our example we are running 3 searches, so we have 3 “Y”s.
  2. Now we enter a 1 in the correct column for each search line. Search Line 1: Toys; Search Line 2: Treats.
  3. In Search Line 3 we want exhibitors that sell both Catnip and Litter, so we put a 1 in both of these columns.
  4. Now we just “click” the Execute Search Button. The searches are done simultaneously, and the results combined into a single list in alphabetical order.
  5. If you would like to view the list in Booth # order, just click the Booth # Sort.
  6. You can switch the list back to an alpha view by clicking the Alpha Sort Button.
  7. To Clear all your search categories and start a new search, Click the Clear Criteria Button. Then click Execute (#4) again and you will be back to the full list

Note: Any Search Line with a Y and no 1’s in any column will always deliver the entire list regardless of what is selected in other lines. Change the Y back to an N in unused search lines. Now a sample of the results:

Company A – Has Toys Only; Company B has Dog Treats Only and is also a 1st Time Exhibitor at GPE; Company C is on the list for Treats and also has Catnip, but no Litter. This is not unusual as Catnip is often a Treat; Company D has Treats & Toys. Company E has both Catnip and Litter and in fact, actually has it all!

Note: The Super Search highlights your search categories, so you know “why you are there”. However, it also shows all categories that are available. Some might “pique” your interest while you are visiting the booth.

You can review the exhibitors alphabetically then put the list in Booth # order to make it easier to “work”. The Super Search also allows you to “cut down” the list during your review. (Pg 2; Point #11 – “U Pick ‘em” in Detailed Instructions) But First, I suggest that you “play” with the Super Search to get a “feel” for the tool, then review the Detailed Instructions. With your “play” experience, the detailed instructions will become a “quick read” and a valuable reference. You will soon be “up to speed” on the full capabilities of Super Search. Good Luck and Good “Hunting” at GPE 2020!

Ready to Start Planning?

Use the links below to download the Super Search Tool (Be Sure to Enable Editing/Macros/Content if asked by your computer), the Quick Start Guide and the Detailed Instructions. Then GET STARTED!

NOW DOWNLOAD THE SEARCH TOOL

(For the Excel file to work on your computer, be sure to enable saving/macros/editing/content if asked.)

 

NOTE:Each Super Search will have a date in the file name. The file has been updated with changes since 2/15. The new exhibitors and booth changes are highlighted in yellow. The changes that occurred from 2/8 to 2/15 are highlighted in blue and the changes from 2/4 to 2/8 are still highlighted in pink.

SPECIAL NOTE!!: Due to the recent travel restrictions from mainland China to the U.S. because of the coronavirus, over 100 Chinese exhibitors have cancelled. Always check the date to be sure that you’re using the most up-to-date version.

 

 

GLOBAL PET EXPO 2020…Showcasing The World of Pets!

The premiere event of the U.S. pet industry gets under way on February 26th. This is the 62nd show in a tradition that began in 1958. Both the show and the industry have grown spectacularly since then. In 1960 spending in the pet industry totaled $1.1B. In 2018 it was $78.6B, with $49B in Pet Products alone. Even accounting for inflation, pet spending has grown 80% faster than H/H income and twice as fast as H/H spending. The GPE began as the APPMA with 17 exhibitors in 30 booths. It now is regularly over 1100 exhibitors, who occupy over 350,000 square feet of booths plus a 30,000 square foot new product showcase. Global Pet Expo is truly The Showcase of the World of Pets.

The industry’s growth over the past 60+ years was and is an evolutionary process. Perhaps, the most significant change was in our attitude towards our pets. Over the years they went from being pets to companion animals then to our pet children as pet parenting became the norm. Recently, this has gone a step further as we have personified and humanized our pets. We now project our needs to those of our pets.

The structure of the industry has also evolved as we saw the rise of pet chains and superstores and an explosion of “pet space” in mass market retailers which provided the room for the ever-growing product wants and needs of pet parents. The number of outlets selling pet supplies went from 86,000 in 1992 to over 200,000 today…plus the internet. This has produced a competitive market, unlike anything we have seen before. This competitive pressure has driven an ever increasing number of mergers and acquisitions and made it even more difficult for new companies to find success.

Then, in late 2018 the government also got involved. Even now, we are still dealing with the impact of the FDA warning on grain free dog food, concerns regarding CBD products and of course, the added tariffs on Supplies. Plus, Global is scheduled a month earlier this year. Some or all of these factors undoubtedly contributed to a small reduction in the number of exhibitors at the 2020 GPE, but the average booth size is again up 5%. Summary: No worries! Every product that you’re looking for and plenty that you’ve never seen are at GPE 2020. Let’s look at what awaits you in Orlando:

First, some 2020 GPE “booth” facts: (Note: These numbers reflect committed booths as of 1/25/20 – more to come)

  • 1064 booths – down 70 from the same time last year, but exhibitors are still opting in. Better late than never.
  • 349,000+ sq ft of exhibit booth space (Not counting the 30,000 sq ft new product area)
  • 20 x 10 is again the most popular size – 357 (33.6%), reflecting the need for more space.
  • Booths are larger than 2019 – the “average” booth is over 327 sq ft, up 5% from 2019.
  • Size matters – Booths 300 to 800 sq ft (29%) occupy 42% of the space. Those over 1000 sq ft (5%) cover 28%.

Will you see any new exhibitors or is it the usual group? The “usual” group is definitely there (760 from 2019) but…

  • 304 (28.4%) of the GPE 2020 Exhibitors didn’t exhibit at GPE19 – 2 of every 7 Exhibitors were not at GPE 2019!

Specially Designated “Floor Sections” at GPE account for 40% of Booths. Let’s compare them to last year.

  • International – Separate pavilions for 4 countries – China, Taiwan, Great Britain and Canada, Total: 59 Booths. However, this is only about 22% of the 268 exhibitors from 26 countries outside the U.S. – GPE is truly GLOBAL!
  • Natural – 174 Booths: Up 8 (+5%) “Natural” continues to have a very strong consumer appeal.
  • Boutique – 71 Booths: Up 9 (+14.5%) A continued resurgence, surpassing the previous peak (65) in 2014.
  • Aquatic – 37 Booths but 8 are still uncommitted. Popularity of this category is trending down.
  • 1st Time Exhibitors – 84 Booths, ↓27%. Most of the 193+ 1st Timers chose the regular floor or another special section. GPE is a “must do” for new companies and New – products and companies are a major focus of GPE.

There are large numbers of exhibitors in the “regular” floor space who would qualify for inclusion in these sections. You need to “work” the whole show to ensure that you get a full view of the product categories of interest to you. I will again be creating a GPE Exhibitor Visit Planner that allows attendees to plan their floor time by targeting the exhibitors with products of interest. The GPE 2020 SuperSearch will be made available on February 4th and be regularly updated with last minute changes. Now, let’s take a look at the results from this year’s research on exhibitors’ product offerings.

First, we’ll Compare Exhibitor Types – By function: By Animal type (Numbers are based assigned booths as of 1/25/20)

Because of the overall drop in booths, in this chart and others pay particular attention to the change in share. A change of (+/–) 0.5% is significant. In terms of booth count, any increase is significant and take note of any drop of 10% or more.

  • Dogs Still Rule – Although down a bit, to 4%, 5 out of every 6 booths are selling dog products.
  • Cats continue to gain shareIn 2020, Cat Products are offered by 56% of exhibitors. Up from 40% in 2014.
  • Fish/Aquatic – This category had the biggest decrease and is down 42% since 2017.
  • Other Animals – All held their share and Small Animals and Horses gained ground.
  • Business Services – Besides wellness products, this is the other big trend in the Industry. The huge lift is driven by private label/OEM and reflects the changing needs in the industry. There were only 8 exhibitors in 2014.
  • Distributors – This segment remains stable but is still double the number that exhibited in 2014.
  • Gift/Gen Mdse – This category has been declining since peaking at 91 in 2016.

Dogs and Cats are the undisputed royalty of Pet. Because of their huge impact on the industry. I have divided the products designed for them into 33 subcategories. Let’s see how this year’s GPE Top Ten (by booth count) are doing.

There was a shuffling in the rankings but 6 of 10 categories gained share – 5 were up 0.5% or more. Food was the only one with an increase in # and share. Waste Pickup made it into the Top 10, replacing grooming tools which fell to #12.

  • Treats are still #1 and continue to gain share. 1 in 3 booths offers treats. (Many supplements are in treat form.)
  • OTC Meds/Supplements/Devices also continues to gain share. In 2014 there were only 113 exhibitors.
  • Food and Feeding Accessories both moved up in rank, but only Food increased in numbers and share.
  • Toys – It’s not all about health and nutrition. Toys held onto #3. They lost a few booths but gained share.
  • Collars, Leads & Harnesses – They held their share but are significantly below their 2015 count of 247.
  • Beds/Mats – They had the biggest drop in number and share and fell to 6th place…just barely.
  • Apparel – They lost a little in count and in share but fell from 7th to 8th mainly because of the lift by Food.
  • Waste Pickup – They moved into the top 10, from #11 because Grooming Tools lost 24 exhibitors. (20%)

Pet Parents’ concern for the overall health and wellness of their “pet children” is still the current biggest trend.

The last chart details the specifics for all 33 of the Dog/Cat product categories that I defined. Of note: All the data inputs for this report and the SuperSearch tool come from  a review of the GPE online exhibitor product listings AND visits to over 1100 websites. They’re not 100% accurate, but pretty close. Which categories are of interest to your business?

GPE 2020 showcases the World of Pets with products, services and education to fulfill every need. However, to reap the benefits, you need a plan. Exhibitors must showcase the “right” items. Attendees need to strategically analyze their data, determine what they need to improve their business and develop a plan to find the products to fulfill their needs. Then…execute the plan. If they do nothing else at GPE, attendees have 1 minute and 21 seconds to spend with each exhibitor. The GPE 2020 SuperSearch will be released next week. It can help. Try it out and…Good luck in Orlando!

 

 

 

 

Attending SuperZoo 2019? – It is a great Opportunity! But….You Need a Plan!

The WPA moved the show back to the traditional late summer timing. Now, it is 5 months after GPE which helps “feed” the New Product Showcase with more entries. The exhibitor count is down slightly but the booths continue to get bigger. To help attendees in working this huge show the floor sections were expanded and 2 new sections were created – International and the Poultry Zone. One thing is unchanged. There is a huge array of exhibitors in every product category.

Consider these 2019 SuperZoo facts:

  • 1100+ exhibitors
  • 7 Floor Sections: Natural, Rodeo Drive, Groomers, Critter Alley, 1st Time Exhibitors, International, Poultry Zone
  • 269,000+ sq ft of exhibitor booths Plus, 30,000 sq ft to highlight: New Products, Made in USA and the Pet Tech Ctr.
  • Over 20,000 attendees with more than 10,000 buyers.
  • SuperZoo University: Seminars on Retail, Grooming and Animal Health – 110 hours; 82 separate sessions/topics
  • Almost 5 miles of aisles – just to walk the exhibit floor

Whew! This show is huge. The show floor is open for 22 hours so…         

Let’s “Do the Math!”

If you don’t attend any seminars, visit the New Product Showcase, stop to chat with anyone in the aisles or for food, a drink or to go to the bathroom and maintain a walking speed of 2.5 mph…

You can spend…1 MINUTE AND 5 SECONDS…with each exhibitor

You definitely need a plan!

With a higher concentration of Pet retailer attendees and a commitment to groomers, there are subtle differences between SuperZoo and GPE.  However, like GPE, SuperZoo has attendees from every major retail channel and attracts both exhibitors and attendees from around the globe.

Despite the variety of offerings to fill an attendee’s time, SuperZoo is still primarily about Pet Products. New Products are critical to maintaining and growing any business so you must take the time to visit the new product area. Knowledge is power so you should also sign up for any relevant classes. Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know that matters most. This makes networking with other industry professionals a priority.

Every business can improve in terms of products. If you are a retailer, what sections of your store are not doing as well as you hoped and need a “facelift” or conversely, what areas are growing and need products to fill additional space? Category managers for distributors and retail chains may only be interested in targeted visits to exhibitors relevant to their “categories”. Representatives may be looking for new manufacturers…in specific product categories. Manufacturers could be looking to find distributors to handle their products or just looking to “check out” the competition. In regard to products, there is always something to see…for everyone! Plus, there are 466 Exhibitors at SZ 19 that weren’t at GPE 19.

SuperZoo is a great place to review products but Business Services, everything from Private label to POS, have also become increasingly important. In fact, 1 out of every 8 exhibitors offers some type of Business Service. Attendees can now “Leave no stone unturned” in their quest for business success. SuperZoo is about gathering information and making decisions to improve your business – whether they are made on the spot or put on your “must do” list. Your only real limitation is time. How do you make the most effective use of your time on the show floor? Here’s a suggestion.

Use the Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner to make SuperZoo easier and more productive. I initially designed it in 2014 and have updated the data and produced a new version for every GPE and SuperZoo since then…including SZ 2019.

The “update” is not just exhibitor lists but also to the product category offerings for every exhibitor. I reviewed every exhibitor profile on the show site, but I also visited over 1000 websites and conducted separate internet searches to “validate” their product offerings. It is not 100% accurate, but it is close.

What does the Super Search do?…It searches for and produces a list of Exhibitors by product categories.

  • From the simplest – “give me a list that I can look at on my phone or tablet in either Booth # order or alphabetically”
  • To the most complex…”can do a simultaneous search for multiple specific product categories, allowing you to personally narrow down the initial results and see the “final” alphabetically or by booth number.”

The SuperZoo Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner does both…and more…and does it quickly! Take a look at the New Quick Start Guide. You will see that it looks complex but is really quite simple.

SUPERZOO 2019 Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner – Quick Start Guide

The SuperZoo Super Search Exhibitor visit planner is designed to make your time on the show floor more efficient and more productive. With the Super Search you can conduct up to 5 separate and distinct product category searches simultaneously with consolidated results produced in booth # order to facilitate your “journey”. There are detailed instructions for reference and to help you understand the nuances of the tool. However, it is really very simple so let’s get started.

Here is the Dashboard where you set up your searches.

On the dashboard, the first things to note are the numerous category columns. There are 7 different floor sections (International & Poultry Zone are new.), 11 different Exhibitor or Animal Types and 33 Dog and/or Cat Product categories. (CBD Products was added this year.) You can search exhibitors for any combination of these.

Let’s take a specific example running 3 simultaneous searches for several Dog/Cat categories:

  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Catnip & Litter (Must sell both)

Now referring to the Dashboard, let’s take it by the numbers:

#1 – This column is where you activate each search. Type in a “Y” (Cells C3>C7 will auto-capitalize) This search “line” becomes active.(cell turns green) In our example we are running 3 searches so we have 3 “Y”s.

#2 – Now we enter a 1 in the correct column for each search line. Search Line 1: Toys; Search Line 2: Treats.

#3 – In Search Line 3 we want exhibitors that sell both Catnip and Litter so we put a 1 in both of these columns.

#4 – Now we just “click” the Execute Search Button. The searches are done simultaneously and the results combined into a single list in alphabetical order.

#5 – If you would like to view the list in Booth # order, just click the Booth # Sort.

#6 – You can switch the list back to an alpha view by clicking the Alpha Sort Button.

#7 – To Clear all your search categories and start a new search, click the Clear Criteria Button. Then click Execute (#4) again and you will be back to the full list

Note: Any Search Line with a Y and no 1’s in any column will always deliver the entire list regardless of what is selected in other lines. Change the Y back to an N in unused search lines. Now a sample of the results:

Company A – Has Toys Only; Company B has Dog Treats Only and is also a 1st Time Exhibitor at SuperZoo; Company C is on the list for Treats and also has Catnip, but no Litter. This is not unusual as Catnip is often a Treat; Company D has Treats & Toys. Company E has both Catnip and Litter and in fact, actually has it all!

Note: The Super Search highlights your search categories so you know “why you are there”. However, it also shows all categories that are available. Some might “pique” your interest while you are visiting the booth.

You can review the exhibitors alphabetically then put the list in Booth # order to make it easier to “work”. The Super Search also allows you to “cut down” the list during your review. (Pg 2; Point #11 – “U Pick ‘em” in Detailed Instructions) But First, I suggest that you “play” with the Super Search to get a “feel” for the tool, and then review the Detailed

Instructions. With your “play” experience, the detailed instructions will become a “quick read” and a valuable reference. You’ll soon be “up to speed” on the full capabilities of Super Search.

Good Luck and Good “Hunting” at SuperZoo 2019.

Ready to Start Planning?

Use the links below to download The Super Search (Be Sure to Enable editing/macros/content), the Quick Start Guide and the Detailed Instructions. Then GET STARTED!

(To save the PDF to your computer Right Click the download link and select “Save Link As…”)

(To save the PDF to your computer Right Click the download link and select “Save Link As…”)

(For the Excel file to work on your computer, be sure to enable macros/editing/content if asked.)

The Super Search has been updated to reflect exhibitors as of 8/16/19. The changes from 8/12 are highlighted in yellow. The changes from 8/5 to 8/12 are still highlighted in blue. The changes from 7/29 to 8/5 are still highlighted in pink. This is the “final” update before the show. Always look for the date in the file name to insure that you are using the most up to date edition of the planning tool.b

 

 

GLOBAL PET EXPO 2019 – Wrapping it up!

Global Pet Expo 2019 is complete. Once again, it met and exceeded our expectations. In this report we’ll do a brief summary and take a look at some significant product category trends that we saw.

As you all know, the show is so huge that it has become somewhat of an endurance test for the 6500 buyer attendees. Here are the specifics:

  • 360,000 Square feet of booth space – Up from 357.700 in 2018 (+0.6%)
  • 1173 Separate Exhibitor Booths – Down from 1184 in 2018 (-0.9%)
  • 307 sq ft – Avg Booth Size – Up 1.6% from 2018
  • 319 1st Time exhibitors – Up from 301 in 2018 (6.0%)

The 10×20 size booth is still the most popular with 408 exhibitors but this is down 24 from 2018. The 10×20 size finished a strong second with 403, an increase of 14. However, the increase in the average booth size was driven by the group from 400 to 1500 square feet. There were 11 more booths in this range (+3.7%). The show has become so large, with over 5 miles of aisles, that an increased floor presence is becoming more needed to attract attendees. The industry depends on “new” to keep it vibrant and growing. The huge new product showcase and a strong presence of new exhibitors bodes well for the future.

First, let’s look at the exhibitor product offerings by type of animal. The following chart shows the share of total booths that each animal had at GPE 2019.

Dogs and Cats are obviously the royalty of the industry, but “Dogs Rule”. In fact, 5 out of 6 exhibitors are selling Dog products, while only 1 in 20 offers aquatic products. That’s quite a disparity. The chart shows where we are now, but it raises the obvious question, “Where have we come from?”. The following chart shows the change in exhibitor count by animal type from 2014 to 2019. For comparison purposes, it is ranked by percent change in the number of exhibitors. During this period the total GPE exhibitor booth count increased by 15.3%. Any animal type without at least a 15.3% increase in exhibitors lost share.

  • Dogs may “rule”, but they had better watch their back. Cat products have by far the biggest growth of any animal type in both numbers and percentage.
  • Only Cat, Horse and Dog products are gaining in share of exhibitors. All other animals are losing ground.
  • The Fish products group is especially concerning with a 24% drop in the number of booths offering aquatic products.
  • While mergers and acquisitions are definitely a factor, the number of exhibitors with products for the smaller “all other” animals is not growing.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the “Pet Royalty” – Dog & Cat Products. They truly are royalty and pervasive across the show floor. In fact, 1022 of the 1173 GPE exhibitors (87%) offered dog and/or cat products. Which product categories have shown the biggest growth in exhibitors since 2014? To answer this question, I ranked the 32 categories on my SuperSearch tool by 3 different criteria:

  • Increase in # of exhibitors
  • % increase in exhibitors
  • Biggest gain in booth share

I combined and averaged the rankings and came up with the 12 biggest gainers in Dog & Cat Product Categories. There were other good performers but the “Dandy Dozen” in the chart below are the most outstanding. They are ranked by the increase in exhibitors offering products in the category.

In terms of these individual categories, the first thing that stands out is the truly amazing performance by the OTC Meds, Supplements and Therapeutic Devices. From 2014 to 2019 this category moved up from #6 to #2 in the total exhibitor count rankings. To put this into even better perspective, the increase of 140 exhibitors is greater than the total exhibitor count for all but 7 of the 32 dog & cat categories. Driven by the increased concern for the health and well being of their pet children and rapidly increasing Veterinary Services prices, this movement to self-medication is perhaps the biggest current trend in the industry. Another “symptom” of this condition has been the deep demographic penetration of the high nutrition, super premium foods. The influence of this category has also spilled over into other categories, like treats, as supplements are often given in treat form as well as certain wipes and dental products.

Other categories can also be bundled together to show a larger overall trend. Pet Parents are also concerned about the “outside” appearance of their pets. There are an increasing number of retail outlets that offer grooming services, but some consumers want to “do it themselves”. This is demonstrated by the strong performance by Grooming Tools, Shampoos and Wipes.

Another bundle deals with waste and cleanup. The 4 categories in this group are Waste Pickup (mainly poop bags), Stain, Odor & Cleaners, Litter Accessories and Training Pads/Diapers.

Cat products overall have had tremendous growth. They earned a share of the Toy category, but they are the biggest driver in Furniture and of course, Litter Accessories.

There is still room for some fun as Toys have had a big increase and of course many Doggie Dental Products are in the form of chew toys. Another fun category is Treats. Most Treats are not medications, they are primarily rewards. The Treat Category has remained firmly in the Number 1 spot for most exhibitors since 2014. In fact, they are 118 exhibitors ahead of second place, Meds & Supplements.

There is one other category that we should note, but it is not strictly in the product categories. It is a specific type of Exhibitor – Business Services. These exhibitors are not in the business of providing branded products for resale. They provide things like POS Services, Store Design and Fixturing, Grooming Equipment and Supplies for professionals and Private Label products. In today’s incredibly competitive world, retailers of all sizes are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their business, offer 1 stop shopping, which includes pet services to broaden their consumer appeal and private label products that can differentiate them from the competition. There were 8 exhibitors in this classification at GPE 2014. In 2019 there were 71. That’s an increase of 63 (+778%). That’s a pretty strong trend.

As I look back at the winners listed in this report, I see 2 truly major trends since 2014 – The Wellness Products Trend which is illustrated by the growth of OTC Medications, Supplements and Therapeutic Devices and the amazing growth in the number of exhibitors offering Business Services. The spectacular performance by these 2 groups reflects both the needs and wants of consumers and the business needs of the attendees.

 

 

 

Attending Global Pet Expo 2019? – It Has It All…and More! You Definitely Need a Plan!

The first Global Pet Expo (APPMA) occurred 61 years ago with 17 exhibitors in 30 booths. The industry and the show have both come a long way since then.  In 2019 attendees will see and experience:

  • 1145 separate exhibitor booths – with companies from the U.S. and 25 other countries – a Global experience!
  • Over 357,000 square feet of booths (Plus 30,000 sq ft for the New Product Showcase) Global Pet Expo 2019 actually occupies more than 18 acres of prime Florida “real estate”.
  • 1000 new items in the New Product Showcase plus 3000 more launched on the exhibit floor
  • Sharing the aisles with 16,000+ attendees, more than 6000 “buyers”.
  • The opportunity to choose from 34 different educational seminars – 49 hours of classes
  • 5 miles of aisles – just to walk the exhibit floor

The show floor is open for 26 hours so let’s put this in perspective and…

“Do the Math!”

 If you don’t attend any seminars, visit the New Product Showcase, stop to chat with anyone in the aisles or for food, a drink or to go to the bathroom and maintain a walking speed of 2.5 mph…

…you can spend about 1 minute and 15 seconds with each exhibitor!

You definitely need a plan!

Global Pet Expo definitely has it all… and more. Attendees will find the broadest selection of products and services while Exhibitors have the opportunity to reach a wide range of buyers across all retail channels.

First and foremost, Global is about Pet Products – Food, treats and a vast array of Supply categories. A regular flow of New Products is always critical to keep businesses and the whole industry strong and growing. Obviously, you must take the time to visit the New Product Showcase. You should also sign up for any relevant classes, network with other industry professionals and…walk the whole show.  There are 3 times as many new products being “launched” on the show floor as there are on display in the New Product Showcase. Plus, 1 of every 3 exhibitors was not at Global 2018. Global is about gathering information and making decisions to improve your business – whether they are made on the spot or put on your “must do” list.

Every business can improve in terms of products. If you are a retailer, what sections of your store are not doing as well as you hoped and need a “facelift” or conversely, what areas are growing and need products to fill additional space? Category managers for distributors and retail chains may only be interested in targeted visits to exhibitors relevant to their “categories”. Representatives may be looking for new manufacturers…in specific product categories. Manufacturers could be looking to find distributors to handle their products or just looking to “check out” the competition. In regard to products, there is always something to see…for everyone!

And Global is the place to see it. It’s all there! With so much to see and do, Time is perhaps the most valuable commodity at the show. How do you make the most of your time on the show floor? Here’s an idea.

In 2014 I first designed a tool in Excel, the Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner to make “working Global & SuperZoo easier and more productive for ALL attendees – retailers, distributors, reps, groomers, vets…even exhibitors. I have updated the data and produced a tool for every GPE and SuperZoo since then…including GPE 2019.

The “update” is not just exhibitor lists but also to the product category offerings for every exhibitor. I reviewed every exhibitor profile on the show site but I also visited over 1100 websites and conducted separate internet searches to “validate” the product offerings. It is not 100% accurate, but it is close.

What does the SuperSearch do?…It searches for and produces a list of Exhibitors by product categories.

  • From the simplest – “give me a list that I can look at on my phone or tablet in either Booth # order or alphabetically”
  • To the most complex…”can do a simultaneous search for multiple specific product categories, allowing you to personally narrow down the initial results and see the “final” alphabetically or by booth number. The GPE Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner does both…and more…and does it quickly! Take a look at the Quick Start Guide. You will see that it looks complex but is really quite simple.

GPE 2019 Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner – Quick Start Guide

First: When you download the Excel file, Remember to Enable Editing & Macros!

The GPE Super Search Exhibitor visit planner is designed to make your time on the show floor more efficient and more productive. With the Super Search you can conduct up to 5 separate and distinct product category searches simultaneously with consolidated results produced in booth # order to facilitate your “journey”. There are detailed instructions for reference and to help you understand the nuances of the tool. However, it is really very simple so let’s get started. (Note: No changes in instructions from 2018) Here is the Dashboard where you set up your searches.

On the dashboard, the first things to note are the numerous category columns. There are 5 different floor sections, 11 different Exhibitor or Animal Types and 32 Dog and/or Cat Product categories. You can search exhibitors for any combination of these.

Let’s take a specific example running 3 simultaneous searches for several Dog/Cat categories:

  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Catnip & Litter (Must sell both)

Now referring to the Dashboard, let’s take it by the numbers:

#1. This column is where you activate each search. Type in a “Y” (Cells C3>C7 will auto-capitalize) This search “line” becomes active.(cell turns green) In our example we are running 3 searches so we have 3 green “Y”‘s.

#2. Now we enter a 1 in the correct column for each search line. Search Line 1: Toys; Search Line 2: Treats.

#3. In Search Line 3 we want exhibitors that sell both Catnip and Litter so we put a 1 in both of these columns.

#4. Now we just “click” the Execute Search Button. The searches are done simultaneously and the results combined into a single list in alphabetical order.

#5. If you would like to view the list in Booth # order, just click the Booth # Sort.

#6. You can switch the list back to an alpha view by clicking the Alpha Sort Button.

#7. To Clear all your search categories and start a new search, Click the Clear Criteria Button. Then click Execute (#4) again and you will be back to the full list

Note: Any Search Line with a Y and no 1’s in any column will always deliver the entire list regardless of what is selected in other lines. Change the Y back to an N in unused search lines. Now a sample of the results:

  • Company A has Toys Only
  • Company B has Dog Treats Only and is also a 1st Time Exhibitor at GPE
  • Company C is on the list for Treats and also has Catnip, but no Litter. This is not unusual as Catnip is often a Treat
  • Company D has Treats & Toys.
  • Company E has both Catnip and Litter and in fact, actually has it all!

Note: The Super Search highlights your search categories so you know “why you are there”. However, it also shows all categories that are available. Some might “pique” your interest while you are visiting the booth.

You can review the exhibitors alphabetically then put the list in Booth # order to make it easier to “work”. The Super Search also allows you to “cut down” the list during your review. (Pg 2; Point #11 – “U Pick ‘em” in Detailed Instructions) But First, I suggest that you “play” with the Super Search to get a “feel” for the tool, and then review the Detailed Instructions. With your “play” experience, the detailed instructions will become a “quick read” and a valuable reference. You will soon be “up to speed” on the full capabilities of Super Search.

Ready to Start Planning?

Use the links below to download the Super Search Tool (Be Sure to Enable Editing/Macros/Content if asked by your computer), the Quick Start Guide and the Detailed Instructions. Then GET STARTED!

[button link=”https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.65/pmu.d8a.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/GPE-2019-QuickStartGuideSUPERSEARCHExhibitorVisitPlanner.pdf” type=”icon” newwindow=”yes”] Download Quick Start Guide (PDF)[/button]

(To save the PDF to your computer Right Click the download link and select “Save Link As…”)

[button link=”https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.65/pmu.d8a.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2019-GPE-SUPERSEARCH-ExhibitorVisitPlannerDETAILED-Instructions-2-21.pdf” type=”icon” newwindow=”yes”] Download Detailed Instructions (PDF)[/button]

(To save the PDF to your computer Right Click the download link and select “Save Link As…”)

[button link=”https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.65/pmu.d8a.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/GPE2019-SuperSearch-FINAL-.xlsm” type=”icon” newwindow=”no”] Download GPE 2019 Super Search FINAL (Excel)[/button]

(For the Excel file to work on your computer, be sure to enable macros/editing/content if asked.)

NOTE: The SuperSearch has been finalized with changes since 3-11. New exhibitors added between 2/25 and 3/4 are still highlighted in light blue. New exhibitors added between 3/4 and 3/11 are still highlighted in pink. The exhibitors added since 3/11 are highlighted in yellow.

 

 

 

GLOBAL PET EXPO 2019 has it all… and more!

The premiere event of the U.S. pet industry gets under way on March 20th. This is the 61st show in a tradition that began in 1958. Both the show and the industry have grown spectacularly since then. In 1960 spending in the pet industry totaled $1.1B. In 2017 it was $77.1B, with $50B in Pet Products alone. Even accounting for inflation, pet spending has grown 80% faster than H/H income and twice as fast as H/H spending. The GPE began as the APPMA with 17 exhibitors in 30 booths. It now is approaching 1200 exhibitors who occupy over 355,000 square feet of booths plus a 30,000 square foot new product showcase.

However, like everything else, the industry’s growth was and is an evolutionary process. Perhaps, the most significant change was in our attitude towards our pets. Over the years they went from being pets to companion animals then to our pet children as pet parenting became the norm. Recently, this has gone a step further as we have personified and humanized our pets. We now project our needs to those of our pets.

The industry has also evolved as we saw the rise of pet chains and superstores and an explosion of “pet space” in mass market retailers which provided the room for the ever-growing product wants and needs of pet parents. The number of outlets selling pet supplies went from 86,000 in 1992 to over 200,000 today…plus the internet, which essentially has no limit on space. Where was GPE during this time? It was right there providing an efficient method for manufacturers to showcase their products and for attendees to view them and make informed choices to help them satisfy the growing demands of their customers…and build their businesses.

The growth has not been without traumatic events. In recent years we experienced the melamine recall which forever changed the consumers’ view of pet food. Of course, we can’t forget the great recession. The economic impact of this event focused the consumer on value (price + quality) in their buying decisions and they began to research before they buy. In 2017 the industry experienced a bit of a well disguised trauma. There was deflation in Pet products. Consumers recognized the value and spent $7.4B more on pet food and supplies. However, value comes with a price and the price was paid by manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We are now experiencing perhaps the most competitive market in history.

Some of the results of this competition are reflected in small changes at GPE. There have been a number of mergers and acquisitions and it is even tougher for new companies to get started. This has resulted in a slight drop in the actual number of exhibitor booths. However, the average booth size is up 5%. Every product that you’re looking for and plenty that you’ve never seen are at GPE, just merged into bigger spaces. Let’s take a look at what awaits you in Orlando:

First, some 2019 GPE “booth” facts: (Note: These numbers reflect committed booths as of 2/18/19 – more to come)

  • 1134 booths – down 26 from the same time last year, but exhibitors are still opting in. Better late than never.
  • 355,000+ sq ft of exhibit booth space (Not counting the 30,000 sq ft new product area)
  • For the first time 20 x 10 is the most popular size – 394 (34.7%), reflecting the need for more space.
  • Booths are also larger than 2017 – the “average” booth is over 315 sq ft, up 5% from 300 in 2018.
  • Size matters – Booths 300 to 800 sq ft (27%) occupy 42% of the space. Those over 1000 sq ft (5%) cover 26%.

Will you see any new exhibitors or is it the usual group? The “usual” group is definitely there (773 from 2018) but…

  • 361 (32%) of the GPE 2019 Exhibitors did not exhibit at GPE 2018 (1 in every 3 Exhibitors was not at GPE 2018!)

There are Specially Designated “Floor Sections” at GPE. Here is a brief review.

  • International – Separate pavilions for 4 countries – China, Taiwan, Great Britain and Brazil, Total: 53 Booths. However, this is only about 18% of the 295 exhibitors from 25 countries outside the U.S. – GPE is truly GLOBAL!
  • Natural – 166 Booths: Up 22 (+15%) “Natural” still has a very strong consumer appeal.
  • Boutique – 62 Booths: Up 11 (+22%) A bit of a resurgence, but still down slightly from the peak (65) in 2014.
  • Aquatic – 49 Booths but 6 are still open. Popularity of this category is trending down.
  • 1st Time Exhibitors – 113 Booths: The Section is full but most of the 288+ 1st Time exhibitors are on the regular show floor. GPE is a “must do” for new companies and New – products and companies are a major focus of GPE.

There are large numbers of exhibitors in the “regular” floor space who would qualify for inclusion in these sections. You need to “work” the whole show to ensure that you get a full view of the product categories of interest to you. I will again be creating a GPE Exhibitor Visit Planner that allows attendees to plan their floor time by targeting the exhibitors with products of interest. The GPE 2019 SuperSearch will be made available on February 26th and be regularly updated with last minute changes. Now, let’s take a look at the results from this year’s research on exhibitors’ product offerings.

First, we’ll Compare Exhibitor Types – By function: By Animal type (Numbers are based assigned booths as of 2/18/19)

Because of the overall drop in booths, in this chart and others pay particular attention to the change in share. A change of (+/–) 0.5% is significant. In terms of booth count, any increase is significant and take note of any drop of 10% or more.

  • Dogs Still Rule – 84% (5 out of every 6 booths) are selling dog products.
  • Cats continue to gainIn 2019, Cat Products were offered by 57% of exhibitors. Up from 40% in 2014.
  • Fish/Aquatic – This is category had the biggest decrease and is down 34% since 2017.
  • Other Animals – A sharp decrease in both booth number and share in all but horses.
  • Business Services – From POS systems to private label manufacturing, the continued strong growth reflects the growing business needs of attendees. There were only 8 exhibitors in 2014.
  • Distributors – After a big lift, this segment dialed back but is still double the number that exhibited in 2014.
  • Gift/Gen Mdse – This category has been slowly declining since peaking at 91 in 2016.

Dogs and Cats are the undisputed royalty of Pet. Because of their huge impact on the industry. I have divided the products designed for them into 32 subcategories. Let’s see how this year’s GPE Top Ten (by booth count) are doing.

While there was shuffling in the rankings, 8 of 10 categories gained share – 5 were up 0.5% or more. Carriers had the biggest gain and made it back to the top 10 after dropping out for 1 year. They replaced shampoos which fell to #12.

  • Treats are still #1 and continue to gain share. 1 in 3 booths offers treats. (Many supplements are in treat form.)
  • OTC Meds/Supplements/Devices continues to gain ground. In 2014 there were only 113 exhibitors.
  • Food has plateaued but Feeding Accessories is falling.
  • Toys – It’s not all about health and nutrition. There is still room for fun. Toys moved up to #2 because C&L’s fell.
  • Apparel – This category gained in count and in share. It is driven by therapeutic devices like vests, not fashion.
  • Collars, Leads & Harnesses – The biggest decrease. They are now below the 2015 level of 247.
  • Beds/Mats gained in rank because of the drop in Food Accessories. They are essentially stable.
  • Grooming Tools – still holding their ground.

Pet Parents’ concern for the overall health and wellness of their “pet children” is still the current biggest trend.

The last chart details the specifics for all 32 of the Dog/Cat product categories that I defined. Of note: All the data inputs for this report and the SuperSearch tool come from  a review of the GPE online exhibitor product listings AND visits to over 1100 websites. They’re not 100% accurate, but pretty close. Which categories are of interest to your business?

GPE 2019 has it all and more, including enhanced educational offerings and the New Product Showcase. However, to reap the benefits, you need a plan. Exhibitors must showcase the “right” items. Attendees need to strategically analyze their data, determine what they need to improve their business and develop a plan to find the products to fulfill their needs. Then…execute the plan. If they do nothing else at GPE, attendees have 1 minute and 19 seconds to spend with each exhibitor. The GPE 2019 SuperSearch will be released next week. It can help. Try it out and…Good luck in Orlando!