Europe’s Mega Pet Trade Show Breaks All Records
Europe’s Interzoo trade show broke all records with its 34th show in May. More than 1,800 exhibitors from 61 countries were showing off new product and 39,000 people flooded the show to check out the latest in pet food, grooming supplies and accessories.
But even though it is held in Nuremberg, Germany, 82 percent of the exhibitors and 70 percent of the attendees were from elsewhere.
Herbert Bollhofer, managing director of the show’s producer WZF, was pleased with the international scope of the show.
“That once again made Interzoo and outsanding platform for new business relationships, both within Germany and abroad, and for the introduction of new products,” Bollhofer said. “The companies were impressed y the quality of trade visitors and the positive export opportunities and they are looking forward to a good level of follow up business.”
The show underlined for the American companies taking part the strength of the global pet industry. One headline from the show, a report by researcher Euromonitor, said the worldwide pet market now is more than $100 billion, with $30 billion of that in Europe.
Norbert Holthenrich, president of the German Pet Trade and Industry Association said the mood at the show was upbeat.
“Many of the professionals were amazed at the range of pet foods available and the exciting innovations in areas such as aquarium products,” Holthenrich said. “This market is flourishing.”
Holthenrich also talked about the vital role of the pet retailers.
“Pet shops play a very important role in the choice of pets and the educations of pet owners,” he added. “Together with the future pet owner it must be decided first if the animal’s needs can be satisfied. However, only properly trained pet shop owners can provide good expert advice.”
A survey released at the show forecast that Germany’s pet population will continue to grow by a steady 2 percent a year through 2025 for cats, dogs and aquariums, with slight decline in small mammals.
In an interesting twist, the survey found that the motivation for pet ownership was less about people substituting pets for humans as a desire to be connected to nature.
According to the survey: “People who have decided to share their lives with domestic pets value their animals as faithful companions that help provide emotional stability in a world that the survey respondents felt was increasingly harsh and impersonal.”
The three strongest areas for growth in the survey were animal feed and supplements, services for care and training, and equipment.
“We should not let our love of animals cause us to forget that pets should remain animals in our society. Animals have a certain dignity,” Holthenrich said. “There is much they can give to us, and we should give at least as much back to them.”