Germans love pets. Almost half of all households and 69 percent of families with children have at least one pet. This gives the pet supplies market strong sales increases and provides further impetus for the world's leading trade show Interzoo in Nuremberg.
16.7 million cats, 10.3 million dogs, 4.6 million small animals, 3.1 million pet birds and many more millions of ornamental fish and animals in terrariums: Germany is a pet country. The pet supplies market is benefiting from this. For example, total sales in 2021 were around 6 billion euros, up 6 percent on the previous year. Online sales soared particularly sharply, up 28.4 percent to around one billion euros.
This is very good news for Interzoo 2022. In this interview, Dr. Rowena Arzt, Head of Trade Fairs at the organizer WZF (Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe), talks about expectations for the trade show, the challenges facing the industry and what is essential to bear in mind when purchasing pets.
What is the mood like before the restart?
We are delighted to finally be hosting a physical Interzoo again after four years. Over 1,300 exhibitors from more than 60 countries will be on site and can look forward to discussions with visitors from 110 countries. Considering the pandemic situation of the past months, these are very good numbers. We are pleased about the strong and international interest. Exhibitors and visitors alike expect the most from the personal reunion and getting to know each other within the industry with potential business initiation and the live trade show experience.
What makes Interzoo in Nuremberg so unique?
The focus is on innovative products, brands and services as well as exciting new products and trends from all over the world. In addition to the traditional segments around dogs, cats, small mammals, birds, aquaristics and terraristics, topics such as equestrian sports, animals in the garden, petfood technology, store fittings, IT systems, e-commerce, packaging, trade media, etc. are also represented. This, combined with a unique supporting program, the promotion and presentation of startups, a Product Showcase, country pavilions and much more are unique in this diversity and internationality. At the pulse of the pet industry, Interzoo enables participants to observe and analyze the market and competition.
What challenges is the industry currently facing?
During the pandemic, the importance of pet care has grown. The global pet industry has benefited from this. But supply chains were already severely disrupted during the pandemic. The war in Ukraine further exacerbates the crisis and raises the question of reliable energy supplies. Raw materials for pet food and materials are becoming increasingly expensive, mainly due to high transport costs, and some raw materials are currently impossible to obtain at all.
However, the pet industry is inventive and will continue its product development even under the new conditions - always based on scientific findings. This will be demonstrated by manufacturers at this year's Interzoo. We cannot yet predict how the current situation will affect the purchasing behavior of pet owners in the long term. After all, animal lovers are usually prepared to do anything for their animals, even in times of crisis, because pets offer comfort and support, especially in difficult times, and are regarded as members of the family.
What should be considered when acquiring a pet?
First of all, all family members should agree with the acquisition of a pet and the animal should fit as well as possible to the lifestyle of the owner. However, pet lovers also need to be aware of the needs of each species. Pet owners need sufficient space and time to care for and nurture their animal roommates. Parents must be aware that they bear the main responsibility for their children's animals. The sooner they think about who will care for the animal during the family vacation, the better. It is also important to clarify whether keeping animals in the home is permitted or whether there may be an allergy.
Thank you very much for the interview!