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New SuperZoo Exhibitors Mean Business

Posted: Aug. 2, 2013, 2:55 p.m. EDT


By Clay Jackson

One first-time exhibitor traveled to SuperZoo in July for the exposure, another to learn, another to get into pet store chains and one to find more customers. Four different reasons but one thing in common: business.

In the Spotlight
EnduraPet debuted at SuperZoo with a line of natural pet supplements, vitamins and health products on the market for three years.

The Thornton, Colo., company wants to become more recognized by its clientele: independent pet retailers.

"We are only going to sell to mom-and-pop stores because they understand basic nutrition and our products complement theirs,” said Darryl Jockers, business manager at EnduraPet.

It’s all about national, even worldwide, exposure to Jockers.

"I picked New Exhibitor Road because this is getting a lot of exposure for us,” he said. "People are looking for new, really good products ... and that’s us.”

Jockers said he wants to move to Nature’s Pathway, the natural products section, next year.

A Chain Link
"We’re looking to go big now.”

 Rosie's Barkery
Meredith Long, Brittany Miller and Christine Iversen, from left, represent Rosie’s Barkery at SuperZoo.
This was why Christine Iversen, co-owner of Rosie’s Barkery, took her business on the road to SuperZoo.

The relatively new line of grain-free, gluten-free, mostly vegan dog treats has had success in the independent pet channel, but the crew from North Hollywood, Calif., longs for more.

"We are expanding into wholesale, and we are looking to expand into medium to larger stores,” Iversen confided.

She defined medium as a chain of 10 to 20 stores.

Like the other first-timers, Iversen was emphatic about Rosie’s returning to SuperZoo. New Exhibitors Row was the icebreaker.

"We’re brand new, so it gives a great advantage to someone like us who doesn’t have a huge presence but can still get looks from the likes of Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies, Petco and Petsmart.”

Learning All She Can
Heather Wilson’s cats and dogs shredded toilet paper right out of the dispensers at home. Unable to find a solution at pet stores or online, Wilson and her husband invented one.

Their U.S.-made, upholstery-grade vinyl TP Protector earned a patent two years ago, and the Pacific, Mo., couple launched the product two months ago.

"This is my very first show,” Wilson said.

Because Wilson spent 25 years in automotive marketing, the pet industry is new to her, so she used SuperZoo to learn as much as she can.

"I want to hear what was going on in the industry, see what people think of my product, find out what things I needed to tweak and to take away whatever I can learn from others.”

Wilson was thrilled with the show.

"I’ve seen the orders come through when I go on my email at night, so that’s been fantastic,” she said.

Third Time’s the Charm
For Michael Epstein, president of Modgy, a maker of collapsible water bottles and feeding bowls for dogs, trying SuperZoo was a bottom-line decision.

"We’re doing the pet show circuit, and we’re looking for new customers, reps and distributors,” he said.

The Cleveland company launched at H.H. Backer in Chicago last year.

"We’ve been to Backer, Global and now SuperZoo, and I’d say this is the best of them as far as traffic and interest,” Epstein said.

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