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PATS Spring Pet Industry Trends 2023

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

What is getting tails wagging in the pet trade this spring?

Everyone has headed home with aching feet, happy but exhausted. The pet trade came together at PATS Sandown this week.

Deals were done, networking was networked, and new products were launched.

PATS is one of my favourite shows to wander, and I’ve loved catching up with clients and contacts, new and old.

Each PATS I like to reflect on what I’ve seen and the trends hitting the pet trade.

So here are my musings on the industry as we hit Q2 of 2023.

1. Bright and Quirky.

Bright “dopamine decor” in the design world is floating my boat at the moment. And bright branding, quirky copy and an upbeat feel are hitting the pet world too. I bloomin’ LOVE it!

The naturals sector is still smashing it, but the softer muted colours are being replaced with bright, bold solids. And copy is getting just as bold, with in-your-face statements designed to lure in the Millenial and Gen Z pet parents.

2. Boundary Pushing Copy

I’ll be honest. I had a few moments where I caught my breath as I read a claim.

The VMD are out in force at the moment, and a couple of people said they have had recent dealings with them. They were certainly active at Crufts.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of brands making bold statements.

Are brands feeling braver? Are the VMD just more active in the vet marketing world compared to pet? Or perhaps it’s hard to find information on what you can and can’t claim?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

3. Insects RULE!

They’re taking over!

No, we’re not all going to be keeping pet beetles and training our own fleas (although there was a fab insect breeder system at the show), but insect-based feed is seemingly the way forward.

I’d say there were easily twice as many insect feed products this year compared to last year. Insect-based feeds are here to stay, delicious with a planet-saving aftertaste.

4. Fashion vs Function

Accessories, accessories, accessories. Whether it’s bowls and feeders, harnesses or cosy sleep spots, there seems to be a marked split between fashion and function. Fashion first, for the beautiful patterns and incredible, intricate designs. Then function for those heading out into the wilderness with their pets. Accessories that are tough, handling the mud, fox poo and wet weather.

This is by no means suggesting that beauty can’t be tough or tough can’t be beautiful, but there is such a split in design…and I’m tempted by both.

Although, with 2 Springers, I’m not sure pale pink is the way forward for our furry family…

5. Raw-Made-Easy

Raw feeding in the consumer feed trade has been on a never-ending upward trend.

Many dog owners can’t deal with the raw meat, storage, and defrosting faff, but they love the idea.

So pet food manufacturers are making it easy.

Convenient packages, cold-pressed and freeze-dried raw are all on the up at PATS. Pet food brands are experimenting with making raw as simple, quick and convenient as kibble…watch this space!

Raw chicken for dog food on a wooden board - Raw pet food brands are making it more convenient to feed to your pet.

So, bright and bold makes this dopamine-seeking copywriter happy, and I’m looking forward to my next trip into the wild. Next up, BETA International!

Did you enjoy PATS? I’d love to know your thoughts!

(Oh, and if number 2 is niggling away, get in touch, and we can run through your copy together to help stay on the right side of the VMD.)

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