To say that the 21st century has been good to the pet industry would be an understatement. In fact, pet-related spending among U.S. consumers has more than doubled over just the past 15 years and is expected to surpass $60 billion in 2015, according to the American Pet Products Association. While much of this success has been driven by a record level of pet ownership among U.S. households, the vital role that ongoing innovation in the retail pet care category has played in strengthening the bonds between humans and all things furred, finned or feathered cannot be ignored. Year after year, pet product manufacturers continue to raise the bar on what it means to provide the best possible care to our companion animals, oftentimes making the job of delivering that level of care easier along the way.
That is why Pet Business has made it an annual tradition to honor some of the pet industry’s best manufacturers and most ground-breaking products with its Industry Recognition Awards (IRA). Now in its 14th edition, the IRA program highlights innovation in a wide assortment of categories, from dog apparel to aquarium maintenance products. However, products do not represent the only award-worthy efforts put forth by this industry’s manufacturers. With this in mind, Pet Business also includes awards to recognize best-in-class merchandising displays, packaging designs, websites and, for the first time this year, charitable efforts.