September 12, 2023

SuperZoo Takeaways in Trends

Through the years, SuperZoo has maintained its status as a must-attend event due to its diligent show organizers and leading manufacturers and retailers’ loyal investment and continuous attendance. 

Overall, category leaders across the industry concur SuperZoo was a complete success and a hub for creative minds to connect and discuss the latest product innovation along with consumer trends and preferences. 

Pioneer Pet Products noted that the industry is still keeping on track with consumer demands for sustainable, high-quality products. 

“Looks like natural ingredients and sustainability continue to be of great interest,” said Shannon Supanich, Marketing Director for Pioneer Pet Products. “Natural ingredients still are a priority. At Pioneer Pet we continue to focus on sustainability and nature. We love our pets and we love the environment. So, we are happy to be a part of this.”

Although trends and innovations are continuing to pave the way through the industry, some categories have been seeing a change in the way consumers are typically spending and shopping. 

“In categories such as toys and bedding, there has been a slight downturn in overall business volume this year,” said Will Chen, CEO & Co-Founder of P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You). “This can be attributed to a shift in consumer spending patterns, with more resources being allocated towards dining and travel experiences. However, it’s important to note that pets are firmly entrenched as integral family members, and this sentiment will likely ensure the ongoing well-being of our categories. In the midst of concerns like inflation and the pressing issue of climate change, consumers’ purchasing decisions have taken on new dimensions. Shoppers are now seeking products that offer not only great value but also innovative features. Furthermore, the demand for items that come from brands committed to demonstrating a positive sustainability impact is on the rise. 

Fringe Studio Toys noticed an increase in retailers looking for more long-lasting and resilient dog toys alongside an uptick in cat toys. 

“We noticed that durable dog toys continue to be a key trend retailer are requesting,” said Jennifer Rosenberger, Director of Product Management- Pet. At Fringe Studio Toys “Our new rubber dog toy line aligns well with this request and gives a breath of newness into the rubber toy category with the 39 new rubber toys we launched at SuperZoo. Cat toys are also an upward trending category, and our vast selection brought a lot of excitement to our booth. Eco-conscious products also continue to trend, and our earthy friendly dog toy collection is just what retailers were looking for as it helps divert water bottles from landfills and is made of all-natural materials with having the unique personalities customers expect from PetShop by Fringe Studio Toys.”

Consumers are still asking for high-quality, natural and convenient products to feed their pets. 

“The most significant trend we saw at the show was the continued interest and innovation in functionality and humanization,” said Yvethe Tyszka, VP of Marketing of Zesty Paws and Solid Gold. “From air-dried toppers that support nutrient absorption to functional broths, the pet industry is doubling down on ways to enhance mealtime for pets. Solid Gold is proud to be part of that growing trend and we’re thrilled to bring our new toppers to market this fall. Pet food and treats are undergoing transformations to not only humanize them with products like birthday cakes and cookies, ice cream, meatballs, and other “build a bowl” items, but they’re being designed to have a supportive health function like skin and coat support, gut health, or immune system support. According to analysis from Category Insights ShopperScape research​, dog foods and treats that resemble human foods are increasingly available on shelves and represent a growing market, and 60 percent of shoppers already buy and will continue to purchase dog treats/snacks that look like human snacks.”

As this year’s SuperZoo has come to a close, prominent exhibitors and retailers carry the event and its opportunities with them to the next part of 2023 and beyond. Although SuperZoo is an annual event, leaders continue to ensure pets and their owners are being met where they are at year-round, as the pet industry continues to be community-oriented and put pets first. 

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