In March this year the international trade fair VIV Asia 2017 in Bangkok will offer practical expertise and product information about the healthcare and feeding of dogs and cats, in addition to its core focus on the feed-to-food chain of producing and processing animal proteins for human consumption. The pets package is to be presented as a content-rich Satellite Event called Pet Health and Nutrition that will combine a dedicated pavilion at the exhibition with conference presentations and a post-show short training course.
“As an international platform that is all about animals in the Asian region, we were well aware of the overlaps that exist between animal feed and pet food and between animal health and pet health,” says Show Manager Zhenja Antochin. “These overlaps mean that quite a number of the people attending VIV Asia are involved in or interested in Asia’s multi-billion-dollar pets business. In fact, the statistics for VIV Asia 2015 demonstrated that as many as 6,000 of our visitors had links to pet health or pet food.
“So there is obvious value in making sure that the professionals in these sectors will again find something at the March 2017 edition which suits their interests. Pet Health and Nutrition has been created for this exact purpose. We call it a Satellite Event because it is outside the show’s main profile, but it remains an integral part of VIV Asia in the sense of occurring at the same place and time and being available to every visitor.”
Networking and training
Separately under the general Pet Health and Nutrition banner there is to be a stand-alone conference at the Okura Prestige hotel in downtown Bangkok on Tuesday 14th March. Organized by a partnership between VIV worldwide and pet industry publication PETS International, this conference is PETSConnect Asia 2017, offering insights into the global and Asian pet markets plus a valuable networking opportunity for people from inside and outside the region’s pets business.
Supporting partners of the event are Buhler, Wenger, Tyson, Sonac and Lazada Group.
Conference on label claims
On the second day of VIV Asia, the Satellite Event also offers an afternoon conference at BITEC discussing the claims made on pet food labels regarding a product’s ingredients or intended benefits. Speakers at this Pet Health and Nutrition Conference starting at 13:00 on Thursday 16th March include Dutch experts Anton Beynen of Vobra Special Petfoods, talking about trends in pet food supply and the role of health claims, and Ronald-Jan Corbee of Utrecht University’s faculty of veterinary medicine on the subject of dental health claims made for pet foods. Also from The Netherlands, Guido Bosch of Wageningen University will be covering behavioural health claims.
“One of its features will be the Pet Health and Nutrition expo pavilion,” he reports. “This pavilion is being located within the large area of the show assigned to Animal Health and Feed Ingredients and Additives. The signage on the pavilion will differentiate it from the VIV Asia exhibits and make clear that it specifically contains the stands of companies marketing health or feed products for pets.
“Pet Health and Nutrition has arranged to host guests from important pet companies in a number of Asian countries. The pavilion will be where hosted buyers such as from Japan, Thailand and Korea as well as thousands of trade visitors can meet 20 or more expert suppliers of pet health products and pet foods.”
Interactive training seminar
An interactive training seminar for pet food professionals, veterinarians and consumer advisers completes the satellite features when it is held on Saturday 18th March. It is a full-day Pet Health and Nutrition Course, taking place in Bangkok and led by Anton Beynen, which will examine the positioning statements and health claims made about pet foods. Among important questions is whether common positioning descriptions such a natural and holistic stand up to scrutiny, attendees will hear. Equally, is there a competitive advantage if, for example, a pet food is grain-free or contains no meat meal? What is the efficacy of veterinary therapeutic foods and how valid are health benefits claimed for functional food ingredients?
Booming pet food industry
“A key part of the scenario for the Pet Health and Nutrition satellite is that Asia’s pet food industry is booming,” Zhenja Antochin remarks. “Its current value is estimated at 9 billion US dollars, but its growth in places from Japan and Korea to Thailand, India and China is expected to see this increase to 18 billion dollars within the next 10 years. “Just like the Asian food animal producers visiting VIV Asia 2017, pet owners want the best care and nutrition for their dogs and cats. These shared concerns will discover an impressive line-up of knowledge and products for both sectors at the show in Bangkok in March.”