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March 4, 2020

Review of Global Pet Expo 2020

MHT Partners  | Consumer Investment Bank

I recently attended Global Pet Expo and came away with the following thoughts and observations.

Overall, the show was slloooow. Traffic was down significantly, palpably, depending on your location on the floor, due to, not surprisingly, coronavirus fears (yes, there was some bad weather in the Midwest as well, but that was not the main issue). Not only was the section of the floor typically reserved for Chinese vendors completely unoccupied, but several, notable large retailers (spanning the spectrum of channels) had smaller-to-nonexistent contingents at the show as well.

Over and above the aforementioned, certain themes continue to play out. In the consumables category, raw, dehydrated, and to a lesser extent, supplements, continue to garner a lot of attention. On the supplement front, while the cannabidiol (“CBD”) element was certainly present, I felt it was less so than last year (where it was almost ubiquitous). Dilated cardiomyopathy (“DCM”) continues to be a topic of discussion though less so as the year anniversary approaches and comps lap. On the durable side, as is the case every year, evolutionary change continues to manifest, though nothing of “revolutionary” nature.

Additionally, in the midst of a week of tremendous stock market volatility, a certain “macro” calm did exist at the show given the “recession resistant” status of the pet sector….the economy will go up and down, the stock market will go up and down, but Buddy will continue to get his toys and treats every day.

MHT Partners, a leading consumer growth investment bank, will remain highly active in the pet space and would welcome a conversation with you (Craig Lawson, clawson@mhtpartners.com).

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