Zoomark is back, in great style. What news do you have in store for visitors to your stand at BolognaFiere?
Despite the war in Ukraine and the challenges in our path, we are still working, and we have rebuilt our production capacity after the relentless bombing and shelling in Chernihiv. We can announce that we are now back to full capacity. Though under heavy attacks, we have not lost faith in Ukraine, our team and our operations. We have returned to work even more motivated, and we were extremely happy to see each other after living in bomb shelters and cellars for weeks. We are ready to take up our mission once more, producing innovative pet products that are a market success in 78 countries.
Indeed COLLAR now celebrates another date: 29th March, when we managed to ship a container of products to Japan, honoring a previous agreement.
Over the last 26 years, the company has gone through some shocks, and I’m convinced that this situation will only make us stronger and more successful. These words were written on our booth at Interzoo 2022, where the COLLAR team displayed its innovative Ukrainian pet products and told the world its story.
Furthermore, we have released several new items in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, blue and yellow, so that people all over the world can express their support for Ukraine. The collection is called “Colors of Freedom” and includes pet apparel, leashes, harnesses, collars, drawstrings, cardholders and more. Everything started with PULLER, an innovative fitness tool for dogs: we broke our strict 11-year rule for the first time, switching from our customary purple rings to blue and yellow. Part of the profits are being donated to fund the removal of mines in Ukraine, thus contributing to the war effort.
We have also created another collection, called “Bravery”, with designs that symbolize the bravery of all the Ukrainians fighting for their independence and freedom. The message of this collection, which includes collars, leashes, harnesses and apparel, is to show the world the courage and invincibility of the Ukrainian spirit.
Why do you think is it important to take part in Zoomark? What are your expectations and what are your goals?
We believe that it is essential to take part in events like this, and have the opportunity to communicate and cooperate with worldwide partners, customers and reliable friends. Networking helps us overcome challenges, and tell the world our story, showing how Ukrainians are staying strong even in wartime. We want to prove that Ukrainian firms can take part in international events like this, working to a high standard even in these circumstances.
We will be representing Ukraine, and showcasing our innovative products to visitors. Cooperation and support from international partners is something that helps us get through these difficult times.
Can you tell us about your vision of the pet market: what are your predictions for the industry from now to Zoomark 2023? What challenges await us in the coming months and what opportunities?
I expect the pet market to follow recent worldwide trends, such as sustainability and digitalization. There are many consumers who are willing to pay more for sustainable products that reduce manufacturing pollution. We have sustainable products in our assortment, such as the ribbons in the Re-Cotton line, made from environmentally friendly recycled raw materials.
Almost all our WAUDOG products are equipped with pet tags with QR passports. This technology allows pet parents to find pets more easily if they get lost. We are also very excited about the launch of our WAUDOG Smart ID app. This application allows pet parents to register their pets in an international database and create an online profile. The profile keeps all the necessary information about a pet and its owner, such as contact information, photos, pedigree, pet care diary, and veterinary documents. Pet owners can also activate and register a QR passport, consult scanning history and report pets missing.
Due to the war in Ukraine, I expect inflation to increase in the coming year. But I’m sure the Ukrainian pet market will grow, as it has recovered fast even in wartime and after months of severe disruption.
I think private labels are on the rise, and there is great scope for more premium products in this category. We expect to see more innovative products on the market too.
The COLLAR Company is happy to present innovative, value-added pet products at Zoomark and we are all looking forward to this event.