September 11, 2023

SuperZoo Takeaways in Litter

Litter suppliers found SuperZoo the opportune time to showcase new technologies as well as novel uses for natural ingredients that drive home the point that sustainable litters can be just as effective as traditional clay.

The Next Gen Pet team expected for retailers to take note of its Timber Fresh formula.

“It’s a new texture that mixes a small amount of bentonite into the formula so clay kitties can transition to a more eco-friendly option,” said Janice Yamamoto, Next Gen Pet’s Director of Marketing.

“There was a lot of excitement in our booth this year around innovations in our cleanprotein nutrition lineup,” said Mat Brost with, Dr. Elsey’s. “We have a collection of complete and balanced all-meat pouches that are great for on-the-go cat parents. We’re also launching a collection of high-protein, single-ingredient freeze-dried treats this fall. I expect these to hit the market in October.

This year Boxiecat launched its patent-pending Glo litter.

“It offers an irresistible ultraviolet cue to cats to use the litter box, and we were blown away by the response from retailers,” said Ken Wilks, VP Sales and Marketing for Boxiecat. “This year’s SuperZoo was probably the best show of my entire career. My only regret is that it [the show] had to end!”

Litter exhibitors took note of trends circulating throughout the showroom floor that touched on sustainable materials and business practices along with companies veering away from traditional clay to experimenting with plant- and paper-based products. Some manufacturers are raising the bar and helping feline owners keep track of pH levels to keep a watchful eye on the health of their cats’ kidneys. 

“It seemed like even more companies were supporting new sustainable litters,” Yamamoto said. “It’s always neat to see how creative new players in the market are.”

“There weren’t as many trends or innovations as had been displayed at previous shows,” Brost said. “The plant- and paper-based litters are still prevalent, but it appeared the excitement around those blends had leveled out. pH-measuring litters remained an interest of mine, and plenty of brands continue to evolve this concept, but I didn’t see anything new or exciting. I felt that the excitement around the litter substrates that have been trending the past couple of years is fading, and that many customers are returning to what they know works – clumping clay and crystal varieties.”

Litter exhibitors are challenged with leaving retailers with one lasting impression from their booths and interactions during the show. 

“Sustainable litter doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice function! Next Gen Fresh litters are lightweight, clumping, flushable and control odor naturally!” Yamamoto said of what she’d like for retailers to have absorbed from their conversations with Next Gen Pet.  

“The primary theme we’re trying to promote is that Dr. Elsey started this business to enhance the lives of cats and their owners,” Brost said. “We don’t use any ingredients in our litter or food that we don’t consider the BEST option for cats. All our products are veterinarian-formulated and are created to meet or exceed expectations. If a customer feels we fall short of their expectations, we’ll gladly send a refund and/or replacement. Cat and customer satisfaction truly is our top priority.”

“Boxie stands ready to help retail stores show customers that premium litter can improve their lives,” Wilks said. “We have a lot of tools to help stores take their fair share of the litter industry away; This includes even offering free bags to their customers that are buying grocery litters to help show the premium performance difference.”

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