At the Global Pet Expo in March of 2020, the Pet Sustainability Coalition, Earth Animal, and Pet Food Experts announced a unique Flex Forward Pilot Program. Since August 2020, retailers from across the nation have been working toward a collective mission to gather 5,000 pounds of pet food packaging in an effort to identify sustainable alternatives to the packaging disposed of in landfills.
It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot about our way of life. Undoubtedly one of the most significant changes is the way in which we gather. As a result, we have seen many of our treasured industry shows, including PFEXPO, either canceled, postponed, or testing virtual formats to keep attendees, exhibitors, and workers safe. If you attended Global Pet Expo 2020 just weeks before the world shut down, then you can remember the feeling of impending change. Empty booths, quiet whispers, and the questioning looks when you saw someone sporting a mask as they walked through the aisles. We didn't know at the time, but everything was about to change.
Gain valuable insight into the behavior of the modern pet consumer and start effectively connecting with your customers.
Over the past year, we’ve seen nearly every industry event pivot to a virtual platform. I’ve had the pleasure of attending several virtual conferences and recently participated in the first-ever Pet Sustainability Coalition’s UnPacked21 event. UnPacked brought together over 400 attendees, including sustainable packaging experts and suppliers, as well as pet industry brands, manufacturers, and retailers, to shed light on one of our industry’s largest issues.
Local neighborhood pet stores have accounted for approximately 4-5% of the estimated $38 billion dollars spent on pet food and treat sales sold so far in the U.S. in 2020. However small that might seem, independent pet stores still represent the best source for information, premium products, and services for consumers and their pets. One of the biggest challenges in growing independent pet’s share of the industry pie is customer acquisition. Meaning, how many customers businesses are able to gain and maintain walking through their doors, or shopping online with them on a regular and prolonged basis.
"Multi-laminate packaging" its a term you may or may not be familiar with, yet it is a very big part of your life. This term can be used to describe most if not nearly all of the packaging we see on pet store shelves. Although this packaging looks sleek, is eye catching on the shelf, and better protects product from being damaged during shipping, it is also much more difficult to recycle. So, what exactly is multi-laminate packaging? And how do we deal with its negative impact on the environment? Well, it just so happens that there is a new pilot program, finally rolling out in early August that aims to help consumers (and pet stores!) make a big impact when concerned with the issue of recycling in the pet industry. Let's take a look at what to expect!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It’s the mantra we’ve all heard, and while the first two are words in the mantra may be easy to understand, recycling just feels…gosh... so much more complicated. What can be recycled, and what cannot? And if not, why the heck not? We’ve seen headlines that China is rejecting recycling from around the world, that municipalities are cutting programs...so can we still recycle? Is it just wishful thinking if we do, or are we really making a difference? And since COVID-19 has basically infiltrated every single snapshot of our lives today, how has it impacted recycling?