Erin go Bragh. I can’t remember a St. Pat’s Day I didn’t celebrate as a national holiday but I must admit Global Pet Expo is an exciting place to be this year. It’s Day 2 and Year 2 at Global Pet Expo. We’re here to check out all the new products but the big buzz aside from consolidation is the presence of big Pharma – each with a different approach. Last year after so many years working in veterinary medicine, I was suprised to find the number of niche mass market flea and tick product with a fairly low level of sophistication. Rest assured that will no longer be the case.
First up, after announcing its intentions to go over the counter (OTC) last year, Bayer Animal Healthcare has a tremendous booth (as in attractive and highly visible position) on the show floor. The p.o.p. is designed for the retailer — video kiosks with plastic cards that the pet owner brings up to the register for their Advantage purchase, safely secured behind the counter.
The big breakfast announcement today — the formation of the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation (HABRI) is a truly refreshing and bold move. The vision is to achieve formal, widespread scientific recognition that validates the positive roles of pets and animals in the integrated health community. Amen! APPA has teamed up with founding partners Petco and Pfizer Animal Health but it is expected others will join including Hill’s Pet Nutrition, newly announced at the breakfast. Initial research for an online database will be done by Dr. Beck at Purdue University. NIH grant funds, work groups will be formed – in short a large scale initiative. They are also looking for more industrywide collaboration and even individual support at www.habri.org. Kudos to APPA who we are told had the inital idea and the founding sponsors who know we need as much solid data as we can get to support the pets we love and the animals in our care.
Finally, Sargeant’s held a press conference announcing Fiproguard and made significant hay about the low price point and same ingredient message vs. Frontline. Speaker Dr. Tony Johnson, an emergency and critical care veterinarian, said while 1 billion doses of Frontline have been sold, many more pets can be served by a product with the same active ingredient at a lower price point.
All game changers? We’ll see. More on products as the new product showcase winners are unveiled this evening by Dr. Marty Becker. You can check out Dr. Becker’s new web site launched yesterday. For more news, please visit www.goodnewsforpets.com