Sustainable Business Consulting

Major Brands Come Together To Solve Some of the Major Sustainability Issues in the Pet Industry

Last week, SBC joined a member-base of over 12,000 pet companies at the 2018 Global Pet Expo, hosted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), both of whom just celebrated their 60th and 50th anniversaries.

This impressive event is one of two national trade shows for the pet industry (the other being SuperZoo), bringing together the leaders from major global brands to nimble startups and everyone in between. The rich conversations that happen here are what drive the industry forward year after year – which, by the way, has experienced a wonderful 12-year stretch of undeniable growth, currently sitting at $66 billion in U.S. spending[i].

The 2018 Retailer Excellence Awards Winners from the Global Pet Expo. Congratulations to all!

This year, SBC joined the conversation to experience just how green the pet industry really is – first, several kudos are in order. Then, a note on how the industry, despite its handle on natural pet food, is still leaving immense business value on the table.

Kudos

Of the hundreds of companies attending the 2018 expo, we were wonderfully surprised at the depth of socially-responsible practices shared by a majority of the brands on the trade show floor. Here are just a few examples of initiatives taken by various companies that are realizing significant brand value from their green practices:

  • One brand is selling dog and cat food made from certified sustainable sources of fish
  • Another is supporting an entire nation’s Yak-farming community (and more) with their Nepalese-sourced products
  • One is repurposing food waste with their all-natural bird toys and is one of very few Certified Fair-Trade pet product companies
  • Another is sourcing an entire line of customizable premium dog beds from recycled soda bottles

Lost Kibble

While these companies – and many others – are leading their brands with shared values, the industry as a whole has a great opportunity to understand (and then reap the benefits of) the full breadth of business value offered by an expanded effort to integrate green practices.

The incentive is clear: the largest group of pet industry customers are now Millennials[ii], who are known to align their spending with brands that take responsible action, and that will only continue to grow. The industry has an opportunity to elevate and enhance its market presence by showcasing, providing incentives for, and communicating its positive impact – beyond the obvious impact of bringing happiness into the lives of pet owners everywhere!

Keep an eye out for industry conversations that you can join regarding this topic. If you have questions or want to learn more about SBC’s work, please email Katie Secrist at katie@sustainablebizconsulting.com

[i] http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp

[ii] http://americanpetproducts.org/Uploads/MemServices/GPE2017_NPOS_Seminar.pdf

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