Posted: Sept. 17, 2013, 3:10 p.m. EDT
PATS Harrogate, a pet industry trade show held annually in northern England, drew a record number of retailers, organizers reported.
The show, which ended its two-day run Monday, hosted 1,969 retailers, an 8.6 percent increase from the 2012 exhibition.
"This is our fourth PATS and it is by far the best yet,” said exhibitor Suzanne Rothman of Pet Munchies, an English manufacturer of natural pet treats. "By noon on the first day we had taken the equivalent amount orders of past shows put together.”
The number of exhibitors in the sold-out Harrogate International Centre totaled 167, ranging from Alfalfa King, a U.S.-based small animal hay producer, to London dog food maker Zealandia.
Seahorse Atlantic, an Irish company that makes seaweed products for cats, dogs and horses, found interest from potential distributors in Germany and Finland.
"The trip has certainly proved worthwhile with the amount of leads I’ve got,” said Seahorse Atlantic founder Sarah O’Sullivan.
The 1,969 retailers attending PATS Harrogate topped the record 1,847 visitors at PATS Sandown in March.
Among the retailers traveling from across the United Kingdom was Lionel Partridge of Jurassic Park Pet Shop in Norfolk, England
"We opened our shop only six weeks ago and this PATS has helped us to decide the products we should be stocking,” Partridge said. "Seeing everything under one roof is an added bonus.”
The New Products Showcase Awards attracted more than 170 entries. Natures Menu, a manufacturer of raw and natural pet food, won both the cat and dog categories.
"So much hard work has gone into these products and it so pleasing to see them with such a prestigious accolade,” said Sallie-Ann King, an account manager with Natures Menu, based in Watton, England.
A panel of retailers also judged the winners in three other categories.
Honeyfield’s No Grow, from Marriages Specialist Foods, was named top Bird Product or Service. Pet Therapy Pet Wash Sponge, from Christies Direct, captured the Grooming Product or Service award. Calming Range for Cats & Dogs, from Beaphar
UK, was honored as the best Pet Care Product or Service.
"We launched the product in June and it’s going well,” said Beaphar marketing manager Amy Hepworth. "This award will give the product another great boost. It made a fantastic day complete.”
PATS Harrogate’s sister show, PATS Sandown
, is scheduled for March 18 and 19, 2014, at Sandown Park Racecourse in suburban London.
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