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These Are the Pet Trends to Watch in 2019

The Michelson Found Animals Foundation conducted a survey.

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LOS ANGELES — As humans become more tech-connected and embrace alternative health practices and diets, these trends are extending to pets, a new survey has found.

Michelson Found Animals Foundation, which commissioned the research, predicts that the top pet trends for 2019 will be smart tech, alternative therapies, and pets eating more like their owners. Michelson Found Animals is a non-profit social enterprise committed to saving pets.

“Pets bring so much joy to our lives, it makes sense that we would treat them as we treat ourselves. But this goes beyond the humanization of pets; these predictions are about people leveraging emerging trends to make it easier to be a good pet parent and take the very best care of their pets,” said Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of Michelson Found Animals Foundation. “The macro trend of health and wellness and the increasing number of millennial pet parents are changing the way we care for our pets, and it’s an exciting time.”

A particularly interesting finding: More than half (52 percent) of owners believe they feed their pets better than themselves. Millennials are more likely to say this (60 percent vs. 48 percent for 35+), as well as dog owners (56 percent vs. 48 percent for cat owners).

The survey included 1,000 dog and cat owners.

Tech

Intrigued by pet tech and its ability to give them a better grasp on their pet’s health and wellness, pet parents are motivated to give pet tech a try, according to a press release from Michelson Found Animals. Of those who do use health-related pet tech, they are interested in nutrition apps (47 percent), vet telemedicine (46 percent) and fitness trackers (31 percent) to maintain the health of their fur babies. Over half (53 percent) are interested in getting a pet tracking device or a microchip (52 percent) and four in 10 (40 percent) are interested in pet monitoring cameras. With one in four pet parents admitting they spend more on tech for their pets than for themselves, the future of pet tech is very bright.

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Alternative Therapies

Pet owners who have tried alternative therapies themselves are likely to use them on their pets as well, so it can be expected that pet applications will grow as the human trend continues its explosive growth. For instance, CBD- and hemp-based products are a growing trend among humans, and of those who have used these alternatives themselves, 74 percent have used them on their pets as well.

Food

As people’s growing awareness of food’s effect on health and wellness leads them to try new diets and eating plans, this trend is expected to continue to extend to their pets as well. Of those surveyed, 45 percent admit to personally following a diet and 70 percent of those admit to putting their pet on a special diet too. For example, almost half of pet parents who eat organic also feed their pets organic (47 percent vs. 12 percent average).

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Pet Supplies Chain Signs 22 Franchise Agreements

The deals will result in 46 stores.

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LIVONIA, MI — Pet Supplies Plus announced that it welcomed 46 new franchise store deals in the first half of 2019.

Twenty-two new agreements represent the 46 locations.

The stores will be developed across Texas, Florida, California, Michigan, Kentucky and New Hampshire.

Pet Supplies Plus stated in a press release that it has attracted franchisees from varying backgrounds, including former corporate positions, military veterans and entrepreneurs. Additionally, four franchise brokers have signed on to open their own Pet Supplies Plus stores.

The brand currently has 460 locations, according to the release.

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“We consistently add 30 stores a year, in part because franchise candidates know our tagline, ‘Minus the hassle,’ also refers to our franchise opportunity,” said Pet Supplies Plus CEO Chris Rowland. “We ‘minus the hassle’ out of business ownership and handle the back-office duties like merchandising, marketing, supply chain, promotions, pricing and managing social media allowing our franchisees to focus on what they love to do – engaging with neighbors (a term Pet Supplies Plus uses for customers) and building strong store teams.”

Additionally, six existing franchisees signed franchise agreements further investing in the brand. These six current franchise agreements account for 22 of the new store deals, with one franchise group committed to adding 15 more locations.

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Pet Food Maker Opens $200M Plant

It’s located in Richmond, IN.

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RICHMOND, IN — Natural pet food brand Blue Buffalo announced the opening of its $200 million manufacturing plant in Richmond, IN.

The 400,000-square-foot plant will create 165 full-time jobs in food processing, quality assurance, maintenance and plant management. The 125-acre campus increases the U.S. production capacity of BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics and BLUE Freedom dry dog and cat foods.

“Blue Buffalo is focused on enhancing the health of pets by providing dog and cat food made with the highest quality wholesome, natural ingredients,” said Billy Bishop, president of Blue Buffalo Pet Foods, a division of General Mills Inc. “Our new state-of-the-art plant in Richmond exceeds industry standards in food safety and product quality, and will allow Blue Buffalo to feed more pets and reach more pet parents wherever they shop.”

The plant has the capacity to produce more than 1 million pounds of dry dog and cat food per day.

“With this expanded manufacturing capability, General Mills and Blue Buffalo can better meet the growing demand for pet food made with natural ingredients,” said Jeff Harmening, General Mills chairman and CEO. “This new plant is another example of General Mills accelerating the growth of our natural and organic brands. As an Indiana native, I’m also proud that Blue Buffalo is creating jobs and fueling the local economy in Richmond and surrounding areas.”

Construction of the plant started in 2016. It is Blue Buffalo’s second company-owned manufacturing plant, with the first facility located in Joplin, MO. Blue Buffalo products can be found at pet specialty stores and grocery, drug store and mass merchandise retailers in North America as well as Amazon.com, Chewy.com and other online stores.

“Job creators around the world continue to choose to grow their operations in Indiana because of our low costs and highly-skilled Hoosier workforce,” said Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “Companies like General Mills and Blue Buffalo are taking notice, and we’re thrilled for them to make their premium pet food in the strongest manufacturing state in the country. Blue Buffalo’s Indiana growth will provide quality career opportunities to Hoosiers, and we look forward to their many years of success in our state.”

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Pet Care Product Company Acquired

MiracleCorp purchased the Natural Chemistry Pet & Home brand.

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MiracleCorp has announced the acquisition of Natural Chemistry Pet & Home brand, known for its natural flea and tick, grooming and pet care products, from Muntech Products.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to integrate the Natural Chemistry Pet & Home line into our Miracle Care brand,” said Patricia Weimer, COO of MiracleCorp. “We expect this to be a seamless transition over the next 6 weeks where we expect to provide incredible products along with MiracleCorp’s extremely high fill rates and comprehensive top of class customer service.”

Alison Cremeans, marketing manager at MiracleCorp, added, “Their premium, natural products complement our Miracle Care assortment perfectly. These products are both very effective and affordable which will resonate with retailers, pet parents and pet professionals.”

“We are delighted to pass along the high preforming Natural Chemistry Pet & Home assortment to the very capable team at MiracleCorp, so that we may shift our focus to other strategic initiatives,” said Christian Shaffer, COO of Muntech Products.

All Natural Chemistry Pet & Home products are now available through MiracleCorp and ready to ship from their Dayton, OH, headquarters. Natural Chemistry Pet & Home products will be on display at SuperZoo in the MiracleCorp booth 4159.

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