From 7 – 9 June, members of Armitage's Export department visited the trade fair ExpoZoo in Paris. Since its first exhibition in 1979 Expozoo has attracted over 19,000 visitors from 45 countries, all keen to show off and discover new products.
Mel and Neli were keen to practice their (admittedly rusty!) French and showcase Armitage's oldest and loved product: our Choc Drops, completely safe chocolate for dogs, as well as our Christmas range. Christmas in France has not traditionally been as large an event as it is in the UK, but it's very quickly growing in popularity, and the novelty of Advent calendars and treats for pets went down a real treat.
While Expozoo's human visitors loved the brightly designed Christmas products, there was only one thing on the minds of the many weird and wonderful dogs that attended: how to get their paws on more choc! "Monsieur, s'il vous plait, I want some more!"
Yes, we've been producing the dog safe choc drops for half-a century; and generations of dog owners have used and trusted our famous drops for training and rewarding their best friend.
It all started when Armitage purchased Good Boy Pet Foods Ltd; and the drops were developed to be a 'dog safe' alternative; being low in fat and vitamin enriched. In 1965 production started in the purpose-built Good Boy Factory at Colwick and has continued ever since; we now make over 2 billion drops a year and the range includes Sugar-Free, Yoghurt and Milk drops as well as the original choc drops.
In April 1967 Queen Mother was photographed in a taxi, coming home from hospital with Choc Drops on the front of 4 national newspapers; and this led to a huge surge in sales and a flurry of exciting marketing activity. 1976 was a proud year for the company; as Armitage was awarded the Royal Warrant as Pet Food Manufacturer to Queen Elizabeth II.
Look out in the shops for some exciting offers and the eye-catching choc display stand!
Last night Armitage Pet Care were on Channel 4's Food Unwrapped talking about what makes Choc Drops dog safe.
Adam Jaggar, Sales and Marketing Director said "it was a great opportunity for the public to see what goes in our choc drops and for them to know that it is completely safe for their dogs to eat and won't poison them like human choc does".
Human Chocolate contains Theobromine, a naturally occurring compound found in the cocoa bean, and it is this that is poisonous to dogs. Figures from the Veterinary Poisons Information Service show that vets across the UK reported 568 cases of chocolate poisoning in dogs in 2014; a statistic that we are hoping will not increase this year.
You can catch up with this episode on 4 on demand (www.channel4.com/programmes/food-unwrapped) ……and for more information about Good Boy Choc please visit www.safechocfordogs.co.uk or you can find us on facebook (Good Boy) and twitter (@armitagegoodboy)
On June 7-9 2015 the next edition of Expo Zoo fair trade will be held at Paris Porte de Versailles – the unavoidable meeting place of the pet market professionals.
Armitage are registered in this new and welcoming edition which happens while the French market appeals more and more foreign professionals: By now, Expo Zoo has over 45% of international exhibitors.
So if you are heading there next year do drop by and see us at stand F10.
Armitage Pet Care have been manufacturing a wide variety of Cat, Dog and Small Animal drops here in the UK for almost 50 years; offering a huge range of flavours, colours, sizes and packaging.
And now, having jumped through many hoops to obtain the AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) import permit, Armitage Australia is now up and running with Stuart Chamberlain at its helm. We are certainly off to a good start - at the very first trade show, PIAA Pet Expo in Sydney, our Good Girl Catnip drops received the Outstanding New Product Award in the cat category.
These incredibly popular drops make the ideal treat or reward for any cat and now with a whole new continent of cat owners to attract - the Good Girl Catnip Drops are sure to be a huge success!