Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pets In The Spotlight At SuperZoo

A special report from Giftware News' columnist Marilyn Nason
Exhibitors and buyers at the annual SuperZoo Show in Las Vegas, September 10-13, were unanimous in predicting strong pet product 2012 holiday business. From the latest home decor-styled beds, food bowls and water dishes to the newest in dog and cat apparel and accessories, as well as fashionable print collars, leashes, harnesses and flexible carriers - the show seemed to offer something for everyone. This is important to retailers who indicated that their customers are now far more discriminating when it comes to pet products than in previous years. 

Formalwear for the dog from Road Wagz, Beverly Hills, CA, set the tone with fancy formal-styled luxury fabric tuxedo bowtie collar, button vest and matching socks in rich red/black patterns.

Oscar Newman, Batavia, IL, showed a casual dog sweater collection complete with matching squeaky toy, while Kool Tees, Deer Park, NY, offered matching t-shirts for both dogs and their adult owners featuring NFL and collegiate logos. Also in the NFL, NHL, NBA and collegiate logo vein were tees and accessories from Yellow Dog Designs, Greensboro, NC. 

Bow Wow Couture, Gainesville, FL, lived up to its name with durable hand-sewn bow-tie collars and matching leads in bright prints, plaids and solid patterns. Planet Dog, Westbrook, ME, zeroed right in on the upcoming holiday season with a special collection of Christmas-themed chompers shaped like colorful snowballs and tree bulbs. Also for Fido's holidays are classic plaid stockings with faux fur trim; squeaky gingerbread-shaped, snowman and slobber chews, perfect as stocking stuffers.

Humor and pets have long been a natural combination in everything from greeting cards, signs, plaques, place mats to garden flags, mugs, water bottles and glassware, with Westminster, CO-based All Natural Petchup and Meostard pet foods in familiar-styled bottle shapes getting a chuckle and ordering interest from buyers. 

When it comes to a hoodie for Fido, Hip Doggie Inc. Sherman Oaks, CA, showed off its patterned front-zippered washable model in conventional hoodie washed-grey tone. 

Most exhibitors and buyers surveyed indicated that today's consumers are focusing heavily on not only getting the perfect item for their pet from a visual, comfort and flexability/longevity standpoint but also they prefer eco-friendly and Made in America items when possible. This is similar to what retailers report as important considerations for today's entire home and lifestyle market. Here's some of what was displayed:

Earthy Tan SturdiTote by Sturdi Products

Home Alone (cat) by artist Gary Patterson from Chroma Graphics

Magnetic breakaway cat collar from P J Fox Mfg.

Muffin Halo's Guide for blind dogs

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