Numerous international trade visitors and extremely professionalpresentations – event organizer WZF (Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft ZoologischerFachbetriebe GmbH) provides a very upbeat assessment of the Interzoo 2018: Atthe world-leading trade fair for the international pet industry, roughly39,000 trade visitors from more than 125 countries learned all about thelatest pet food and pet care products, accessories and services for dogs,cats, fish and many other pets. The number of exhibitors rose by 9 percent. Atotal of 1,989 vendors from 66 countries presented their innovations andtrends in an overall exhibition area of more than 120,000 square meters thisyear.

“With 83 percent of exhibitors coming from outside of Germany, the level ofinternational participation reached a new record. The highly sophisticatedpresentations by these vendors from all over the world were especiallyremarkable”, said Hans-Jochen Büngener, Chairman of the Interzoo ExhibitionCommittee. Seventy four percent of visitors (2016: 70 percent) came fromforeign countries, especially Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, theNetherlands, Czech Republic, China and Poland. “And so this year’s Interzooagain proved to be an excellent platform for cultivating professional businessrelationships in Germany and abroad and for introducing new products”,Büngener said.

Herbert Bollhöfer, Managing Director of Interzoo organizer WZF GmbH, spoke ofthe positive mood among the exhibitors: “The companies were thrilled by theenormous international trade possibilities and expect good follow-on business.And Interzoo’s expanded supporting programme, including (for example) theRetail Tour, the Country Sessions, various live acts and short topic-relatedconferences, met with an extremely positive response among exhibitors andvisitors alike”, Bollhöfer reported.

Like the previous editions, this year’s Interzoo was a media event: Roughly400 journalists from almost 30 countries were accredited to report on thetrade fair and the product innovations and trends in the pet supplies industryon TV, in newspapers, online media and trade magazines.

Interzoo’s growth is a reflection of the positive development of theinternational pet supplies market, which grew to more than EUR 98 billion lastyear, according to statements made by Norbert Holthenrich, President of theGerman Pet Trade & Industry Association (ZZF) at the Interzoo pressconference. The pet supplies industry expects this trend to continue:“Industrially manufactured premium goods are now in demand in eastern andsouth-eastern Europe. There is still development potential in South Americaand Asia, and also in Africa,” Holthenrich continued. Above all, interest inpet ownership is growing worldwide, including in Germany: Today, almost halfof all households in Germany have a pet, as compared to only one third justten years ago.

The pet supplies industry continues to utilise the latest scientific findingsto invent and refine premium pet products. “Many exhibitors improved theirrecipes for premium pet food, developed snacks with active additionalbenefits, and presented technical solutions for aquariums and terrariums,”said ZZF President Norbert Holthenrich. After all, animal lovers are lookingfor products to provide optimal care to their pets.

Growing need for information about sustainability

Sustainably produced pet supplies represented a new and consistent trend atInterzoo 2018. For example, some manufacturers presented environmentallyfriendly packaging, while others presented food made from alternativeingredients such as insects. The event organizer WZF is supporting this trendwith its Interzoo Sustainability Initiative introduced at Interzoo 2018 forthe first time. “In our survey of exhibitors, 80 percent stated thatsustainability aspects will be very important or extremely important for thepet industry in general and for their own companies in the next three years,”said Dr Rowena Arzt, Director Exhibitions at WZF GmbH, at the pressconference. “Sixty four percent of the companies stated that they have alreadymade meaningful progress on this front.” With this initiative, Interzooorganiser WZF, together with the Sustainable Transformation Lab of AntwerpSchool of Management (AMS), wants to provide an industry-wide overview onexisting activities and point out ways how the pet supplies industry canimplement sustainability topics more effectively and successfully,.

The next Interzoo will be held in Nuremberg again from Tuesday, 19 May, toFriday, 22 May 2020.

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