SuperZoo, produced by World Pet Association (WPA), opened its doors to host the pet product community, August 20-22, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The largest North American pet product marketplace welcomed over 21,000 participants and unveiled new show features including the SuperZoo Investor Hub and the freshly enhanced New Product Showcase as the pet sector continues to soar financially with investor interest.
Amidst a thriving trade show floor, WPA president, Jacinthe Moreau, unveiled its new logo to consumer and trade press as part of the association’s larger rebranding efforts ensuring its leadership position within the global pet retail community.
“The WPA rebrand goes far beyond a new logo and operational focus. It’s about the association’s leadership evaluating what the industry and our members need in order to grow and thrive in a competitive, ever-changing marketplace,” said Moreau. The brand and association offerings will ensure that retailers are being supported and well served with a focus on business, innovation, technology and experiential marketing. The association will focus its efforts around four key pillars: producing world-class trade and consumer shows and events; providing industry action and leadership; supporting retail with business services and value-added resources; and giving back through community good works.
“It’s always wonderful to reunite with this dynamic, passionate community for a week of celebration, product discovery, learning and networking,” said Moreau. “The health and growth of the industry is apparent as we welcome both new and returning pet retailers, groomers and manufacturers to the show each year. WPA’s mission continues to be focused on growing and supporting our community and serving as a catalyst for meaningful collaboration and advancement of the industry. With this as our guiding principle, we were thrilled to provide attendees with relevant, leading-edge education sessions, an unprecedented opportunity to discover innovative product offerings and value-added peer-to-peer networking.”
With its New Product Showcase and emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurialism, WPA and SuperZoo look to the future as their members push the pet sector to new heights and profitability. Industry analysis shows that it’s a boom time for pets with 50% sector growth over the next five years with overall spending expected to reach $100 billion in that time-frame. In recognition of this explosive time for pet care, SuperZoo 2019 introduced the Investor Hub, which served as a gathering place for finance and private equity funds to engage with companies, entrepreneurs, and product developers looking for capital investment. This destination created a pipeline of innovative pet product discovery and development and opened the door to partnerships and acquisition opportunities with leading industry investors including Leap Ventures, Purina Innovation and Factory LLC.
Leap Ventures, a joint collaboration between the Michelson Foundation, Kinship and a Mars Petcare subsidiary, anchored the showcase with a Shark Tank style pitch competition looking for the next great consumer pet care product. The inaugural winner was Teef for its innovative dental care product for dogs. It took home a $15,000 prize and keen interest from Leap’s Studio division, which helps incubate start-ups like Teef for major growth. Asad Butt, Director of Business Development for Leap, thought SuperZoo was the obvious choice to launch this new effort.
“The mix of industry experts, innovators, investors, and of course, pet retailers, provided the perfect audience for us to help startups showcase how they’re making a better world for pets.”
SuperZoo 2019 show highlights included:
- Nearly 1,200 exhibitors showcasing innovative products and emerging trends, including 800 new products launched in SuperZoo’s New Product Showcase.
- Record numbers of attendees enjoyed more than 100 hours of education and learning throughout the show, covering the full spectrum of relevant topics and best and next practices, including core business, grooming trends and techniques, animal wellness and pet boarding services.
- SuperZoo had a record-setting day at Show Floor Talks. Communicating Pet Nutrition and CBD & Hemp Legislation were the most highly attended.
- Over 2,000 SuperZoo participants mixed, mingled and enjoyed the sounds of R.E.O. Speedwagon at the famous House of Blues sponsored by Pet Releaf.
- Richard Thompson, Factory Founder and creator of Fresh Pets, spoke to a capacity crowd announcing the company’s intent to acquire new businesses leads by dynamic entrepreneurs. Fresh Pets raised $250 Million for this express purpose. Over the course of three days, the Investor Hub was a hive of activity serving as WPA’s “TED for Pets,” as one industry insider noted, with panels on investment, start-ups and businesses.
- The world stage for grooming competitions awarded more than $49,500 in prize money and equipment. Local dogs rescue organization, Rescue Rodeo, provided adoptable pets to be groomed as part of the grooming competitions.
- Pet Yoga provided an engaging and interactive experience with the added opportunity to relax and breathe with passionate pet industry professionals.
SuperZoo also celebrated several contest winners, including:
- New Product Showcase Award Winners featuring new award categories: Innovation, New Nutrition Product, Technology, Shelf Appeal, Lifestyle, Point of Purchase, and Humanized Pet Product. For the full list, visit https://superzoo.org/2019-nps-
- Tom McLaughlin Super Jackpot Winner: Azareth Cantu
- Grooming Contest Winners full list: https://superzoo.org/grooming-