January 27-30, 2019

La Cantera Resort & Spa
San Antonio, Texas



Following the keynote sessions each day, join your colleagues for a series of breakout sessions to hear about the latest initiatives, legislation and current events affecting the pet industry.  Highlights include:

Independent Retail Chains on the Rise—Discover Their Growth Secrets

The phenomenal growth of pet specialty chains is remaking the retail landscape throughout the U.S. What’s driving the growth of these unique brands? How are they out-competing big-box stores and online retailers? What are they doing to attract today’s pet owners and keep them coming back?

The leaders of some of the most dynamic pet specialty chains will answer these and other questions as they reveal their secrets to success. Moderated by Pet Business magazine’s publishing director and editor in chief Mark Kalaygian, the panel features Brad Kriser, Kriser’s Natural Pet;  Lars Wulff, Mud Bay; AdreAnne Tesene, Two Bostonsand Bob Hartzell, Chuck & Don’s.

Regulatory Issues Update

With issues ranging from antibiotic resistance and invasive species to international trade and responsible sourcing, federal agencies and lawmakers continue to provide the companion animal community with all kinds of threats and opportunities.  Join PIJAC president and CEO Mike Bober for a discussion of some of the ways in which we’re changing the conversation in Washington to demonstrate leadership on animal care, environmental stewardship, and the benefits of the human-animal bond.

Tariffs and Trade Wars: Effect on Pet Products Import/Export

The pet industry has developed great opportunities by sourcing products from overseas, and selling and exporting goods to overseas markets. But the
new administration in Washington has increased tariffs and duties on products from many countries, including China. Thomas A Cook, Blue Tiger International, has over 20 years’ experience in the pet industry and will offer guidance on how best to mitigate the impact of these tariffs and duties and continue a path of global expansion in sourcing and in foreign business development.

Generational Report Results

Come learn what makes Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Builders tick when it comes to their pets! With Millennials representing a growing proportion of pet owners, it is more important than ever to understand them as a unique group of pet product consumers. Led by Julie Springer, APPA Market Research Analyst, this session will feature data from Volume 2 of APPA’s Generational Report. We’ll take a deep dive into pet ownership by generation, exploring topics such as spending habits, how pet owners learn about new pet products, online purchasing, personal attitudes, demographics, and pet product and service usage. The presentation will continue with an in-depth look at the generational differences among dog and cat owners.

Improving Pet Care Community Perceptions

The Pet Leadership Council commissioned national research firm LRW to conduct a study of consumer attitudes to establish a baseline understanding regarding perceptions of the pet care community. The goal was to discover:

  • What are overall perceptions of the pet industry?
  • What’s important to pet owners? 
  • How can the industry use this information to shape its messaging to consumers?

The study results are surprising, challenging and ultimately affirming that pet owners care deeply about their pets and expect pet industry companies and organizations to do the same. Join LRW vice president Jennifer Valenzuela as she explores these findings and discusses their implications for
your company and the broader pet care community.

MAPP Compliance - Why the Pet Industry is Different Than Most

Due to the highly diverse nature of companies and individuals with access to pet products, it should be no surprise that there is a large population of online sellers. Unfortunately, most of these sellers are unauthorized, gray market entities whose business tactics have upended the brick and mortar channel, diminished profit margins and decreased brand equity.

 In this session, Ron Solomon, CEO of MAPP Trap will give a detailed explanation of industry challenges and explain how poor visibility into seller identities, and a growing number of drop-ship and data-feed sources are contributing to poor channel control. He will also present some concrete ideas on how to give brands and distributors more fire-power in protecting their products.

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