Interzoo 2018: Focus on new developments in global pet industry

Interzoo 2018 will draw the attention of the international pet industry to Nuremberg from 8 to 11 May, and will once again do full justice to its title of 'the world's leading fair for pet supplies' when about 2,000 exhibitors (2016: 1,818) present the latest developments and top trends in the field. Interest in the fair is growing, both in Germany and abroad. Trade fair organizer WZF (Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH) expects about 40,000 trade visitors from more than 100 countries at this year's event, where they will see new developments and refinements alongside established products and services, including innovative food, grooming supplies and accessories for dogs and cats, rodents, birds, horses, and for aquarium and terrarium species.

Another record for space and internationality
Exhibitors from outside Germany now make up 83 percent of the total, a further increase since last time. The number of exhibitors from Germany is also on the rise, with growth of more than seven percent. At the same time, the overall exhibition area has increased from 115, 000 m² in 2016 to 120, 000 m² this year. Even so, the good infrastructure at the venue means all exhibition halls are still within easy reach for visitors, so they can gain a rapid overview of what's happening at Interzoo, despite its overall size.

In terms of display area, the largest exhibiting countries are Germany, China and Italy, followed by the US, Netherlands, UK, France, Belgium, Spain and Poland. New exhibitors this year are suppliers from Egypt, Belarus, Jordan, Macao, Pakistan and Romania.

Product segments
Products for cats and dogs will once again take up by far the greatest amount of space at Interzoo 2018. This segment continues to enjoy strong growth: 43 percent of the exhibitors are presenting products in this area. Making up the second-largest product segment, 12 percent of exhibitors will display items for small animals and rodents, while 11 percent are dedicated to the trends in the world of fishkeeping. Nine percent of the suppliers will display products for birds, followed by articles for terrariums and garden animals, at five percent each.

Trend toward improved quality
"Snacks are increasingly representing an additional benefit among pet foods; they offer more than just a nice taste, " comments Hans-Jochen Bόngener, Chairman of the Interzoo Exhibition Committee. General trends in evidence at Interzoo 2018 are a greater regional input and sustainability. In the area of pet food, many manufacturers are now making more use of regional ingredients rather than exotic meat elements. Manufacturers are also focusing on the natural aspect: "In our pets' bowls we are seeing less and less in the way of flavour enhancers, preservatives and artificial colours, " says Norbert Holthenrich, President of ZZF - the German Pet Trade & Industry Association (Zentralverband Zoologischer Fachbetriebe e.V., ), the sponsor of Interzoo.

The industry wants to apply high-tech methods to help create an easier balance between work/mobility and pet ownership. The latest applications can help both advanced aquarium and terrarium owners and beginners alike. "Simple but effective solutions will be on the market soon, such as toxin removers for use in aquariums, controllable automatic feeders, or an LED controller that simulates natural biotopes, " reports Holthenrich.

Continued growth for pet supplies market: €98 billion globally
Interzoo's growth reflects the positive development of the international pet market. As reported by market research institute Euromonitor, the global market for pet supplies achieved revenue of €98.7 billion last year (2015: €92.9 billion). The largest markets are North America, with revenue of more than €43.8 billion, and the European market, at €30.8 billion.

In Europe, the biggest spenders on pet supplies are in the UK, with a total of €5.3 billion, followed by Germany at €4.8 billion. Total revenue in Germany's pet trade and food trade is stable, being up slightly on the previous year's figure of €4.2 billion. Of this total, pet owners spent just under €3.2 billion on pet food and €987 million on pet accessories. And based on estimates by ZZF and the IVH - Industrial Association of Pet Care Producers (Industrieverband Heimtierbedarf), pet owners spent about €580 million on pet products via the Internet in 2017.

Added to this is €98 million in revenue on feed for wild birds. Even if the Internet is growing in importance for pet products, the professional trade in Germany is still the first point of contact for purchasing pet supplies.

Pets in almost half of German households
There are 34.3 million pets in Germany, not including large numbers of fish and terrarium species. Overall, 45 percent of households in Germany had pets in 2017. Sixty-five percent of families with children have pets, mainly small mammals, fish and dogs. The figure for the previous year was slightly lower, at 61 percent. These figures are based on a representative survey by IVH and ZZF.

Cats are still the no. 1 pet in Germany, with 13.7 million in Germany in 2017; dogs were in second place, at 9.2 million. Small animals, at 6.1 million, came third. The numbers of rabbits and guinea pigs are on the rise again for the first time in years, and the average number of animals per household is growing. This shows that social animals like guinea pigs are being kept together with others of their species as much as ever. Birds kept as pets totalled 5.3 million last year.

In the same period, there were 2.1 million aquariums and 1.6 million fishponds in Germany. The number of terrariums remained stable for another year, with 1 percent of German households accounting for the total of 800,000.

In Europe as a whole, the only country with more pets is Russia (47.4 million). France has 29.6 million pets, followed by Italy (29.0 million) and the UK (20.7 million).

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