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?
Trying to decide which is better for your dog—a collar or a harness? The short answer is: You may need both. It really depends on the size and temperament of your dog and what it takes to maintain safe control of him.
A dog barking in the backseat of the car can be a real nuisance—and even a hazard—for human drivers. But for dogs, barking is a way of communicating. In order to put the kibosh on all that annoying barking, we first need to understand why our furry companion is barking to begin with.