Takeaways From Global Pet Expo

Yvethe Tyszka is a creative and dynamic global marketing executive at Zesty Paws & Solid Gold Pets.

Global Pet Expo is the largest pet industry trade show in the world and the place where pet industry professionals gather to showcase their new products, network, attend educational seminars and events, and stay up to date on the latest trends in the pet industry.

From personalized nutrition to smart pet tech and sustainable toys, we saw lots of new and exciting trends and ideas coming to life at the 2023 show in March. Here are some of my favourites:

CBD Products For Pets

In recent years, CBD products have been gaining popularity as more pet owners look for natural remedies, including tinctures, treats and balms. With a market size of around $195 million in 2022 and an estimated CAGR of 31.8%, the popularity of CBD pet products continues to thrive. As more pet parents become familiar with the potential benefits of CBD providing anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and pain-relieving support for themselves, they develop a natural interest in using it for their pets. As this trend catches on, more CBD products for pets, like the Hemp Elements and Hemp Elements Plus lines from Zesty Paws, are becoming increasingly available both online and in stores.

Personalized Nutrition

Personalization in nutrition continues to gain traction in the pet industry, as pet parents look for ways to optimize their pets’ health and wellness in a unique way for each of their pets. Brands like Just Food for Dogs offer customized meal plans based on a pet’s specific needs, breeds and dietary restrictions. They use high-quality and human-grade ingredients to create pre-portioned meals that ship directly to consumers. We see many brands focusing on how pet parents can use treats, food and more to provide pets with the same level of care and attention that they would give to a human family member. Creating a personalized meal with functional toppers such as Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, freeze-dried treats and wholesome ingredients to cater to a pet’s individual needs and preferences will remain a strong trend.

Sustainability Continues To Grow

Following human trends around plant-based diets and increasing awareness and interest in sustainability is driving newness in pet products. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers say sustainability is important to them and that was evident in the pet industry. Pet brands are creating sustainable, plant-based food that is high in protein and nutritional value. We saw a handful of brands including alternative ingredients such as insects, duckweed and mushrooms, which are becoming more popular in pet food as owners look for healthier and more sustainable alternatives. Many brands feature mushrooms as a good source of protein for pets that require significantly fewer resources to produce when compared to other, more traditional meat sources.

Alternative Formats

Serving up the average wet and dry dog ​​and cat food for a meal is just the first step in meal preparation for our furry friends. The trend that is emerging is to add new formats to feed and enrich their pets’ mealtime. From freeze-dried fruits and mousses to powdered toppers and broths, we saw pet brands unveiling new formats that can layer up into an elaborate, yet easy-to-make meal in a bowl. Supporting this trend, we saw brands like the New Best in Show winner Lickimat introduce mealtime enrichment mats, as well as bowls, bottles and other new products to add variety and uniqueness to pets’ meals.

The Rise Of Biotics—Pre, Post And Pro

Probiotics and prebiotics support gut health and have become staple ingredients in many pet foods and supplements as the benefits have become more widely understood and accepted as ways to support good gut health. Probiotics are living organisms that you can find in fermented foods. Prebiotics are resistant starches found in ingredients like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. When probiotics feed on prebiotics, there’s an important product that provides even more benefits for gut support: postbiotics. All these ingredients working together have been proven to improve gut health and the digestive process. This is why you may see even more pet brands, like Solid Gold, highlighting the various biotics in their foods, treats, and supplements and focusing on their beneficial impact on overall gut health.

Smart Pet Technology

There was a notable presence of tech products for pets to allow pet owners to monitor and interact with their pets remotely. Products such as smart collars, treat-dispensing cameras and feeding systems allow pet owners to track their pets’ activity levels, monitor their behavior and even dispense food and treats from their smartphones were featured in both the New Product Showcase and around the show floor. Some popular brands we saw were PetSafe, PetCube and Furbo.

The pet industry is constantly evolving, with new trends and innovations emerging all the time. I predict that brands will begin to build out new consumer profiles that align to some of these key trends, and I believe we’ll see hyper-targeted marketing campaigns directed at consumers as these trends continue to gain popularity. As pet ownership continues to grow and pet parents become more informed and conscious consumers, we can expect to see these trends take off and for brands to innovate to meet the needs of pet parents.


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