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Ciao Bologna!

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Spring has scarcely sprung before the European pet supplies sector embarks on a pilgrimage taking it from Paris, where Expozoo played out in cool mid-March temperatures, to DeZooFa in Wiesbaden at the start of May, on to Bologna a week later for Zoomark International and ending up in the Polish city of Lodz at the beginning of June for the Pet Fair. What will we gain from these shows? First and foremost, the realization that the rate of innovation is speeding up, even in the pet supplies business. This is especially noticeable in the accessories segment. Here the focus is no longer on what constitutes the best possible product for pets; rather it is what takes the pet owner’s fancy that dictates whether a dog lead or cat scratching post will make it in the market or not. In other words, manufacturers have to gear their products increasingly to current fashion trends in the furniture, toy and textile sphere. Even innovations in pet food are oriented more and more to what’s popular at present with human consumers. Organic food, pizza and spaghetti, Bach flower remedies – all these are now available for pets too. And anyone who thinks that spa hotels only cater for people should take a trip to Copenhagen, where one well-known four-star hotel is now offering leisure breaks for discerning four-legged clients too. From Copenhagen to Bologna: Zoomark International should be the most interesting and undoubtedly the most international trade show for the pet product sector this spring. Although the show fell far short of satisfying all the expectations of its exhibitors and visitors two years ago, the fair management team has evidently learned its lesson and has made every effort to defend Zoomark’s position as the second most important pet product show in Europe (after Interzoo). The numerous agreements on cooperation entered into with national pet associations make it possible to increase the international spread of exhibitors, and perhaps also of visitors to the show. It is to be hoped this is the case for the organisers and for the industry as a whole. The Italian market is one of the most important in Europe, even if it is no longer growing quite as fast as a few years ago. The retail landscape in northern Italy is also changing rapidly, both in the speciality trade and the supermarket segment. Professionalism is increasing. And scarcely any country in Europe boasts such committed and conscientious manufacturing companies as…
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