This article was published in Pet Food Processing’s October 2022 Buyers Guide. Read it and other articles from this issue in our October 2022 Buyers Guide.

For more than 60 years, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) has supported the pet products industry through thick and thin. The association clocked total pet industry sales at $123.6 billion in 2021, marking two consecutive years of record-breaking sales for this sector, despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, continued supply chain disruptions and economic uncertainty. This growth is expected to continue, and APPA stands poised to meet the changing needs of the industry by providing its members with access to key market research, consumer insights and networking opportunities.

“At our core, we provide a wealth of services and programs to help our members prosper,” said Pete Scott, chief executive officer of APPA.

APPA has nearly 1,000 members spanning pet product manufacturers, importers, livestock suppliers and other industry stakeholders. The association’s biennial National Pet Owners Survey is a key resource for the industry, detailing consumer behavior and product consumption data to help pet product companies, distributors and retailers stay on top of the latest trends. APPA also publishes a Generational Report, highlighting the distinct purchasing behaviors and product sentiments seen among pet owner cohorts, and launched a series of COVID-19 Pulse Studies in 2020 to gauge the ongoing impact of pandemic-era conditions on pet ownership and purchasing behavior.

“At our core, we provide a wealth of services and programs to help our members prosper,” said Pete Scott of APPA.

Aside from these recurring resources, APPA is focused largely on fine-tuning its annual Global Pet Expo tradeshow to support the industry as it continues to evolve and grow. Scott noted his team expects an increase in exhibitor and buyer attendance for the 2023 show, slated from March 22 to 24 in Orlando, Fla.

“Attendees can expect a larger show floor with expanded specialty sections in Natural Pet, The Boutique and What’s New to meet increasing demand in these trending product categories,” Scott added.

APPA is also invested in promoting responsible pet ownership and the bond between humans and their furry companions. This is evidenced in the association’s Pets Add Life (PAL) initiative, through which APPA is promoting the joys of having pets with playful digital ads and other consumer-facing content.

The association supports a number of other pet-focused initiatives through its APPA Gives Back program, which provides funds and resources for the PAL initiative, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), Pet Care Trust and Pets in the Classroom, the Pet Advocacy Network and others.

“The pet industry is a bit unique in its willingness to embrace different opinions, develop strong relationships and partnerships, team up on likeminded ventures, and step back to put advancing the lives of pets and those who love and care for them first,” Scott said. “I am extremely pleased to be a part of this growing, thriving community and look forward to all that we will accomplish together.”

Scott joined APPA in August with two decades of leadership experience under his belt. Earlier in his career, he served as chief operating officer of the North American Veterinary Community, a role that introduced him to the pet industry.

“Many associations are struggling with the same issues — driving member value, becoming digital-first organizations, fostering strong cultures and becoming more relevant throughout the year,” he said. “I am excited that APPA’s strategic plan prioritizes addressing these key business areas, and I look forward to implementing them soon.”

Read more news from associations and agencies in the pet food sector.