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SuperZoo 2019 Highlights

SuperZoo 2019 highlights

Image credit: @sunglasscat of Instagram, made a guest appearance at the Tender & True pet food booth

This past week I had the pleasure of attending the pet industry’s largest trade show in Las Vegas:  SuperZoo 2019.  It is such an amazing experience that I look forward to all year long!  This year did not disappoint, so here are a few highlights.

Trending at SuperZoo 2019

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest trends at SuperZoo this year was the presence of more and more CBD products for pets.  I could see it emerging last year as products with cannabidiol hit the marketplace.  The impact of de-regulating hemp is spreading like wildfire through the pet industry as more treats, chews, tinctures, and even grooming products now include some form of CBD.  In addition, there is also a shift in mindset by pet parents, embracing what was once taboo and misunderstood.  Fortunately, because of the efficacy and safety of hemp, this trend is here to stay.

Ziwi Peak Air Dried food

Ziwi Peak air-dried cat food

Secondly, I also noticed more pet food companies developing products using human grade food and ingredients.  Taking that one step further, newer players to the fresh, raw, air-dried and freeze-dried pet food and treat marketplace are emerging.  Thanks to consumer demand, small, independent companies are increasing their presence through more distribution channels, and this is good news!  Ultimately you will notice increased accessibility around the country.  Therefore, keep checking the freezers and shelves of your local, independent pet food stores.  They have more and more options available every day.  Keep your eyes open for brands like Ziwi Peak, CatIt, Tender & True, Pet Kind, Canada Fresh, Essence, Applaws and Tucker’s.

Even with canned pet food, companies are using more human grade ingredients and proudly note the fact that their foods are being produced in USDA inspected facilities.  Unfortunately, these foods will cost a little more, but the ingredients will be higher quality, healthier and safer.  

funny cat beds at SuperZoo 2019

Fun, creative cat beds by Best Friends

Innovation at SuperZoo 2019

In addition to new pet food concepts, I was surprised to discover unique innovation when it comes to pet products, too.  I discovered a natural cat litter that is anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and super absorbent.  Cocokitty uses 100% coconut to create their long-lasting, scoopable cat litter.  Another company, Eco-Pet Shower, has designed products using nanotechnology for pet shampoos, flick and tick treatments, deodorizers and disinfectants.  The nanoparticles originate from plant enzymes and provide effective, safe, chemical-free ways to improve our pets’ lives.

Interestingly, robotic technology has also entered the pet marketplace with pet monitors, toys, and treat dispensers.  Varram teamed up with vets and trainers to create a new smart robot.  It tracks your pet’s activity levels, comes with toy attachments for stimulation, dispenses treats, and has an app for more scheduled and interactive play.


Cat toys designed by Hauspanther

Toys and cat furniture

Thankfully, there was no shortage of new cat toys in the marketplace either.  You’ll soon find new crayons and other catnip toys from Yeowww and Meowijuana; interactive wand toys from RompiCatz that resemble real bugs and critters; purse/tote-style bags for cats to hide, play and sleep in from PetPals Groups; felt toys from KONG that make an irresistible crackle sound cats love; and fun wand toys from Vee Enterprises that appeal to a cat’s hunting instinct. 

Finally, I noticed a trend of making cat furniture not only more comfortable (as if that were possible) but more contemporary.  You’ll see more colors and styles that blend nicely into our living rooms without looking like cat furniture.   On the other hand, fun, whimsical cat bed designs are becoming more commonplace and popular, too. 

Herbal formulas, unleashing the power of plants

As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.”  Herbal medicine is not only a viable alternative to conventional medication, it is often more powerful–and non-toxic.  I spoke to numerous herbal supplement companies including Animal Essentials Apawthecary, Katie’s Pet Products, Herbsmith, NOW, and Kin+Kind just to name a few who are making exceptional product lines for pets.  There are a number of  herbal products touting a USDA Organic certification, too.  

In addition to herbals, pet products that use the power of essential oils can be found quietly emerging more and more into the marketplace, too. A brand new company, Essential Herban Pet Life, launched their veterinarian designed, 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil product line at SuperZoo 2019, too.  They carry two different lines–one for dogs and one for cats!  

Dr. Karen Becker, Dr. Donna Raditic at SuperZoo 2019

Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Donna Raditic educated attendees on fresh food diets for pets

Inspiration and education at SuperZoo 2019

Similar to previous years at SuperZoo there was no shortage of educational workshops and seminars.  I had the pleasure of sitting on the front row to listen to one of my heroes in the pet industry:  Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, a proactive, integrative vet.  She and integrative veterinarian and nutritionist, Dr. Donna Raditic, DVM, presented an excellent talk:  The Science and Nutritional Literacy Behind the Fresh Food Movement.  These two ladies are pioneers in pushing for fresh, raw, species appropriate diets for cats and dogs.  Therefore, to be able to learn from the best is truly a privilege.

Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, at SuperZoo 2019

Pam Roussell, Owner and Founder of Purrrfectly Holistic, LLC, and Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM

Finally, renowned holistic veterinarian to Oprah Winfrey’s pets, Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CEO of Visionary Pet Foods, Paul Raybould, and I sat down to discuss creating a ketogenic diet specially formulated for cats.  The success of using a keto diet for dogs with cancer and other metabolic diseases was highlighted in Rodney Habib’s The Dog Cancer Series.   With the incidence of cancer in cats on the rise it would be great to have more options for cat parents.  The marketplace is ripe for more education and food options for cats facing this deadly condition.

REO Speedwagon concert!

As an added bonus, attendees celebrated another awesome week at SuperZoo 2019 with a private concert by legendary 80’s band, REO Speedwagon at The House of Blues.  What a truly amazing experience!  They sound just like they did back in the day.  My friend, Janet Cesarini, owner of Pupology in Georgetown, TX, and I even caught the band sneaking into the House of Blues kitchen after the concert while we were eating dinner there.  🙀😸

REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon performed for SuperZoo2019 attendees at The House of Blues, Las Vegas

Despite early mornings, late nights and walking for hours through the trade show everyday, I wouldn’t miss it for anything.  In fact, I’m already looking forward to next year! 




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