New gear, an Airstream road trip, and finding inspiration at Global Pet
Posted by Kitter Spater on 17th April 2019
The Global Pet Expo is the Super Bowl of the pet
world and every March we pack up our vintage Airstream and head south. Each year the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida is
packed with wall-to-wall pet enthusiasts. Kurgo is typically one of 1000 other
exhibitors from across the globe sharing their love for all things “pet.” From
reptile retailers to aquatic aficionados, this show has it all; it’s no wonder
that it is the pet industry’s largest annual trade show. To get an idea of the
sheer scope of the annual Expo, you can check out a floor plan here—see if you can spot the Kurgo display in block
1035! Once inside, our booth is easy to spot, and visitors flock to see the Airstream and check out our new gear.
As you can imagine, the Expo is a great environment for taking the pulse on new
industry trends. Every year I task myself with identifying these trends and ensuring
that Kurgo products are consistently ahead of the innovation curve. New colors
and styles become popular at different times, so it’s helpful to understand the
current trends. I also find it interesting to pinpoint when fresh and
innovative styles or designs have plateaued and are now considered mainstream.
A major trending topic at this year’s Expo was CBD. CDB oils, treats, food—you name it,
they had it. However, CBD didn’t overshadow the high level of interest in raw
food and fresh food at the show. It's always interesting to see which topics are hot conversations and to see how they continue to develop throughout each year.
A significant benefit of the Global Pet Expo is that it provides a direct line of
communication between our team and the retailers we work with. It’s a great
opportunity to receive immediate feedback from these industry professionals who
interact with our products on a daily basis in professional and personal life.
One product that I was particularly interested in getting feedback on was our
newest product, the K9 Rucksack. We ran a Kickstarter campaign on this
mountaineering silhouetted pack that ended recently. Our goal was $15,000,
which we surpassed with a final count of $16,465 in pledges from 188 backers.
We used Kickstarter to test the waters with early adopters in the market to
ensure that we’re offering trending products to our retail partners that are
tested in the real-world as well. We’ve already had great enthusiasm for our G-Train Backpack and are excited to now have two different carrier backpack styles
to share with our consumers.
Have you been to the Global Pet Expo?
Jenny Bruso and her pup Big Judy are no strangers to adventure. Most recently, they completed a month long road trip from Oregon to Vermont. We caught up with these Kurgo Ambassadors and asked them their favorite tips, tricks, and places they'd like to go.
Recently, Judy and I did a month-long cross country road trip, which meant planning for every scenario imaginable and discovering all-new scenarios to plan for. Here are the things that worked… and the things that most definitely did not.
As fall kicks into high gear our minds and taste buds turn to beer - brewfests, Oktoberfests, brew pubs, brewery tours. Good beer and dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly, so it's no surprise that you so often find them together. [...]