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What’s Feeding Pet Stores?

From Melissa Breau, Pet Business

Sales data collected from more than 11,000 pet specialty stores reveals the pet food trends that are driving success for retailers across the country.

What nutrition products will succeed and which will fail in the years ahead? And how can retailers use that information to decide what to stock in their store?

“If only I had the answer to that, I think I could be rich,” says Holly Morin, owner of The Fuzzy Dog, a pet store in southwestern New Hampshire. “I think every retailer struggles with trying to figure out what to carry, what to stock, what to try, [and] what to weed out when it doesn’t work. It’s almost like you put a blindfold on, you spin yourself around, and you just try to see where you can hit the donkey.”

Despite the fact that she opened her 1,000-square-foot store just four years ago, Morin is no newbie when it comes to pet food. Before moving into retail, she was a territory manager for Primal Pet Food and previously did product demonstrations for WellPet. She has leveraged her experience to assemble a broad selection of pet foods that includes everything from kibble to freeze-dried and frozen-raw options, focusing on brands she trusts enough to feed to her own animals, as well as those brands that specifically support independent retailers.  This is an approach that has helped The Fuzzy Dog build a loyal local following and a solid customer base rather quickly.

Regardless of the specific selection strategy a store employs, the nutrition category plays a vital role in the independent pet retail market. If retailers want to hook a loyal customer, they generally need to be that customer’s primary source for pet food. After all, it’s purchasing pet food that will keep those customers coming back for regular visits, during which retailers can attempt to interest shoppers in the other products on the store’s shelves.

Yet, looking at nutrition entirely as a tool for generating repeat visits leaves a lot out of the equation. While that may be its most obvious role, it’s far from its most important one—at least for independent pet retailers.

Cold-stunned sea turtles wash up on Florida beaches

It's so cold in Florida that hundreds of stunned sea turtles are floating listlessly in the water or washing up on shores. Sea turtles will go into a state of "inactivity" and float to the surface once water temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celcius) wildlife authorities say.
See more pictures here

China's pet market magnet for investors

Mr Li Mingjie is a pet industry investor's dream. The 23-year-old e-commerce worker spares little expense to make his pooch happy.

"I'll happily splash out on my dog," Mr Li told Reuters as he walked his brown poodle Coco in Pingyang, a town on China's east coast. "She is like a child to me."

He is far from alone in China these days.

The growth of the middle class, a massive move to urbanisation and other demographic changes - such as rising numbers of elderly, and people getting married and having children later than before - have been turning this into not just a pet-owning society but also one that is prepared to lavish money on them.

Chinese shoppers are set to spend 46.3 billion yuan ($7.2 billion - €5.9 billion) on their pets by 2022, up from 17.5 billion yuan ($2.7 billion - €2.2 billion) this year as the market grows at around an annual 20 per cent, according to estimates from Euromonitor.

The US market may be much bigger with an estimated $44.4 billion (€36.8 billion) in sales this year but it is growing around only 2 per cent a year.

The surge in Chinese demand is not only great news for global pet food behemoths such as Mars and Nestle, but also rapidly growing Chinese pet food and product companies, as well as entrepreneurs setting up everything from dog salons for grooming to fancy pet hotels.

It is an amazing shift in a country where owning pets was once banned for being too much of a bourgeois pursuit under revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, and where there is still an annual dog-meat festival in the southern Chinese town of Yulin.

"There is huge growth potential in the Chinese market," said Mr Liu Yonghao, the chairman of Chinese company New Hope Group at a recent event in Beijing, noting that younger people especially were developing closer bonds with their pets.

"They are willing to spend lots of money on the pets because they have become like part of the family," he said.

New Hope joined a consortium, including Singapore's state-owned fund Temasek and private equity firm Hosen Capital that just closed a $1 billion (€829 million) deal to acquire Australian pet food maker Real Pet Food, with the aim of taking the firm's brands to China.

The growing popularity of pets is turning China into a magnet for local and global firms.

Mr Thomas Kwan, chief investment officer of Hong Kong-based fund manager Harvest Global, said China's pet market would be one of his personal picks for 2018 as consumers looked to shift up to premium products.

He said the questions pet owners are asking now are "Can you buy them healthy foods? Can you give them a good lifestyle?"

Pingyang, where Mr Li lives with his poodle, has big ambitions in China's pet economy.

The county, which is near the wealthy city of Wenzhou and has a population of almost one million, is among a slew of places responding to Beijing's call to create 1,000 "speciality towns" by 2020 in industries from cloud computing to chocolate.

In Pingyang's case the theme is pets. It has a dog bone-shaped visitor centre and pet factories, while locals said there were plans for pet-themed hotels and a retail hub.

Nationally though, there is no doubt that the pet economy is thriving - helped by demographic shifts.

"Chinese society is ageing, we're experiencing declining birth rates, we have empty nesters and the youngsters from those empty nests," said Mr Zhang Tianli, co-founder of Hosen Capital, adding that pets are helping people find "spiritual sustenance".

The boom in pet products has stoked imports and boosted local business.

Among the Chinese companies that are now challenging the global giants, in China at least, are Shanghai Bridge Petcare, Sunsun Group and Navarch. Yantai China Pet Foods has seen its stock climb close to 60 per cent since it listed in Shenzhen in August.

Source: Global Pets

Brazil dolphin deaths a mystery

The deaths of more than 80 grey dolphins in Brazil is proving a mystery to an environmental group which strives to protect them.

Environmentalists in Brazil say they are trying to figure out why more than 80 gray dolphins have died in less than a month on the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

A statement from the Grey Dolphin Institute says the dolphins died over past 17 days in the Bay of Sepetiba, a coastal district about 70 kilometres west of Rio de Janeiro.

The institute is an NGO that monitors and strives to protect the dolphins.

The institute says it has retrieved five dead dolphins a day from the bay but what has caused their deaths is still unknown.

Lab tests are being conducted and the results are expected by the end of the month.

UK News

PetQuip secures government funding for major pet product exhibitions in the USA, Germany and China in 2018-19

CIPS International Pet Show in China opens up new export shop window
The PetQuip export association has been successful in the Government’s latest Tradeshow Access Programme bidding round in securing cash grants for three major international pet product trade exhibitions in 2018-19.  The funding is available to eligible SMEs under the DIT’s Tradeshow Access Programme and will enable British companies to exhibit their products at international exhibitions in a cost-effective way, while also benefiting from the wide range of practical research, logistical and promotional support offered by the Association.
In addition to Global Pet Expo in Florida and Interzoo in Nuremberg, where PetQuip has extensive experience of organising exhibitor groups, the Association has secured funding for the CIPS International Pet Show in Guangzhou, China, a key pet and aquarium products show in the Asia-Pacific region. 
The association had already secured funding for this year’s Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida (22-24 March 2018).  Funding of £2,000 is available to eligible SMEs.  PetQuip has now secured cash grants for exhibitors at next year’s edition from 20-22 March 2019.
In 2017 the show attracted 6,761 qualified pet product buyers covering the vast majority of the pet specialist chains and independents, mail order companies and online retailers, distributors and wholesalers from the US and Canada.  Attendance also included an impressive number of international retailers, importers and distributors from around the world.  The show has a reputation for attracting a high number of bona fide buyers, and the British group at last year’s event reaped the benefits and reported on securing business with the US, Canada, South America, Europe, Australasia and the Far East.  The PetQuip team on the British information stand also held meaningful discussions with over 60 buyers from 20 countries.
The next international trade exhibition with funding on the exhibition calendar is Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany (8-11 May 2018), where PetQuip has been organising the British group since 2006.  Held every two years, Interzoo’s attendance has grown with every event and the 2016 edition attracting 39,075 visitors from 117 countries.  The 62-strong British group in 2016 consisted of regular exhibitors and many companies that were making their debut at the show.  The results for these companies in terms of orders, solid business enquiries and the appointments of overseas distributors were outstanding.  For any company wishing to enter export markets or expand their existing export portfolio, Interzoo is a show not to be missed. Remaining space is extremely limited so interested suppliers should contact PetQuip as a matter of urgency.
CIPS International Pet Show, Guangzhou, China (27-30 September 2018) is an exciting addition to PetQuip’s international exhibition programme for 2018, and follows an exploratory visit made by PetQuip in 2016 and the inaugural exhibiting group at the Shanghai edition of the show in 2017.  The CIPS show has grown rapidly in recent years and has become a gateway to enter the fast growing Chinese and Asian markets.  Following 22 years of development, CIPS is a leading pet and aquarium supplies show in the Asia-Pacific region. CIPS 2018 is expected to have 1500 exhibitors representing pet product and aquarium manufacturers and suppliers from all over the world.   China’s population of 1.35 billion includes a growing middle class that choose to spend money on their pets, so the market for pet products has scope for considerable expansion.  Euromonitor estimates that the market will reach US$2.6 billion by 2019.
Commenting on the programme of export initiatives planned for 2018-19, Amanda Sizer Barrett, director general of PetQuip said: “I am delighted that all of the bids made by the Association in support of the UK pet product industry have been successful, including the inclusion of CIPS Guangzhou in China to help open up a whole new shop window for British suppliers.  The cash grants available to eligible British suppliers will help pave the way for further expansion of exports to markets around the world.  In addition to major international exhibition involvement, the Association’s schedule will encompass several of our highly successful ‘Meet the International Buyers’ events, export support at both PATS and Glee and a comprehensive range of other export services that are available on a day-to-day basis to our member companies.  Our export support programme will help deliver exciting opportunities for British exporters of pet products and services.” 
Full details on these initiatives and how to apply will issued during the year but in the meantime interested companies should contact PetQuip to register their initial interest and to obtain full information on the comprehensive range of export advice, market research, sales leads and practical advice available to member companies.
PetQuip is the International Trade Association of Pet Equipment Suppliers.  The PetQuip team assists and promotes the development of international trade in the pet equipment sector, providing a catalyst for business contact between manufacturers, suppliers and buyers.  
Copyright © 2018 PETNEWS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, All rights reserved.

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