AQUA 2015 New Product Awards revealed
The winners of the AQUA 2015 New Product Awards were chosen by a panel of highly respected aquatic retail judges, who arrived at the show before 9am on Wednesday, October 14, in order to make their choices from a record number of more than 100 new products entered...
The winners of the AQUA 2015 New Product Awards were chosen by a panel of highly respected aquatic retail judges, who arrived at the show before 9am on Wednesday, October 14, in order to make their choices from a record number of more than 100 new products entered.
Their decisions took into account a number of guideline criteria such as product innovation, design, quality, packaging and value for money.
The judges agreed that the New Product Showcase had produced a high calibre of entries with a tremendous amount of innovation. They were pleased to see such a wide range of products, and felt the majority of items on display showed some great innovation.
Here is a full list of the winners together with the judges’ comments:
Winner: Seaming Courses
Entered by: Gordon Low Products
Judges said: This product is innovative, relevant, and educational for the trade.
Winner: FTS Tivoli 100 Musical Fountain
Entered by: FTS Aquatics
Judges said: It stands out from the crowd, has excellent workmanship and is very well priced for its quality.
Winner: AquaMax Eco Titanium
Entered by: OASE
Judges said: This product has full control and flexibility on the performance ratio, and the power consumption was impressive. All this sets it apart from its competitors.
Winner: ProfiClear Premium Compact
Entered by: OASE
Judges said: Quality workmanship and innovative design make this a stand-out product.
Pond Food, Care & Accessories
Winner: Floating Fish Dome
Entered by: Velda BV
Judges said: A good and unique product that creates extra interest to pond keepers.
Aquaria & Furniture
Winner: MiniReef 90
Entered by: Aqua One
Judges said: Stylish, sensibly priced and a good piece of kit that would fit in most people’s homes.
Highly Commended: biOrb HALO 15 MCR, entered by Reef One Ltd.
Winner: ASAP Filters
Entered by: Aquael
Judges said: It is very easy to maintain and has a price point that’s accessible to a wide market.
Highly Commended: Aqua One J-Bar 80 LED, entered by Aqua One.
Aquarium Food Care & Accessories
Entered by: NT Labs
Judges said: This is a good range with an innovative pour or shake feature, innovative packaging, has colourful packaging and a great price point.
Highly Commended: SHRIMPLAB, entered by Sharnbrook Shrimp.
Winner: ProRep Species Specific Life Series Substrates
Entered by: Peregrine Livefoods
Judges said: Very well package with a wide species-specific range and is very well priced.
Highly Commended: Zoo Med Cavern Kit with Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate, entered by Peregrine Livefoods.
The opening day of AQUA 2015 has been hailed as a huge success by exhibitors who unveiled an amazing array of products to visitors flocking to Telford International Centre.
There was a continued buzz throughout the exhibition as a record number of items were entered into the New Product Showcase.
Show organiser Gordon Thomas said: “This has been the biggest New Product Showcase ever and it is fantastic to see more than 100 products entered.”
One of the success stories was OASE, who picked up two New Product Awards for its new display stand. Managing Director Chris Wright said: “We’re delighted to be recognised for winning the awards for the best pond pump and the best filter. The exposure has certainly helped to create lots of interest on our stand.
“AQUA is always a pleasure to exhibit at and a great chance to catch up with our valued customers. Already the show is proving to be a great success in more ways than one.”
Janusz Jankiewicz, of Polish company AquaEl, has also been amazed by the response to the company’s new launches, in particular their New Product Award winning ASAP Filters. “It’s the first time we’ve exhibited here and we think this show is fantastic,” he said. “It’s the biggest and best specialist aquatic trade event in my eyes.”
Pictured above: An amazing display of lego on the TMC stand.
Another international company exhibiting for the first time is Bimex BV from The Netherlands. Ton Dielissen admitted: “The show has exceeded all our expectations already. We have visited AQUA in previous years to see if it would be worth us exhibiting, and I have to say the decision to show our products this year is paying off in a big way.”
Ruth Low, a director of Gordon Low said: "It has been a fantastic first day. As soon as the doors opened, visitors were flooding into the exhibition hall. I haven’t stopped talking to new and current customers and I’m really happy with how things have gone.”
One of the products that created a lot of interest on the first day was the FTS Tivoli 100 Musical Fountain, much to the surprise of FTS Aquatics managing director Michael Caffyn-Parsons. The fountain creates variable fountains that move in time with music, and Michael admitted: “It didn’t think this product would provide such interest but it has been amazing. We have gained some great leads at the show, from both garden centres and aquatic retailers.”
And visitors were equally ecstatic about the show. Andy Hales, of Andy’s Aquatics and Reptile Centre, from the Wirral, Merseyside, said: “This AQUA has more variety than ever before and the stands are of a higher quality.”
Mike Nuttall, of Reef & River Aquarium, Morecambe, said: “It’s my first visit to AQUA and there is so much to take in. I’m here for both days and it will certainly be a worthwhile visit.”
The show is open for a second day on Thursday, October 15, from 9am to 4pm.
Following the BBC Watchdog exposé of shocking animal welfare standards at the Bradford puppy farm, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging the Government and pet owners to take action.
BVA is calling on the Government and enforcement agencies to take all necessary measures to enforce legislation and protect animal welfare standards in dog breeding and trading establishments across the UK.
BVA President Sean Wensley said: “The neglect of the puppies shown in BBC Watchdog is unacceptable, with the breeders prioritising profit over animal welfare.
"The Government and enforcement agencies must employ all measures to ensure breeding establishments comply with the Animal Welfare Acts and pet breeding legislation.
"Pet owners should always consider how a puppy has been reared and cared for before buying, and use the Animal Welfare Foundation/RSPCA Puppy Contract to help them. If a seller is not willing to provide information, this should be considered a red-flag and you should walk away.”
BVA has also issued a list of top tips for anyone thinking of buying a puppy:
The BBC Watchdog exposé can be viewed at the following link and is featured at 15; 30; and 50 minutes in:
- Ask at your veterinary practice about the right pet for you, your lifestyle and your family.
- Download the Animal Welfare Foundation/RSPCA Puppy Contract to help you ask the right questions: www.puppycontract.org.uk
- Do not buy a puppy from anyone else but the breeder, and ensure you always see the puppy with its mother and any littermates. If buying from a breeder, use a breeder that is registered with the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme.
- Ask to see the puppy’s health records (including records of vaccination, worming and flea treatment as well as other veterinary treatment).
- Check everything thoroughly when you see the mother and puppy, for example how the puppies interact with the mother and her reaction to them. If you have any doubts do not buy the puppy.
- Consider getting a rescue dog from one of the recognised rehoming charities.
Award-winning Manchester pet store Betty & Butch has taken selling on to another level with its plans for Halloween, which includes a specially-themed video.
“Halloween for us has now become an event that our customers wait for, guessing just what we are going to do this year," said general manager Angel Moore.
"It’s a crazy time. We introduce event specific products and go to town on transforming the shop.
“This year we are going all out and the whole Betty & Butch team are behind the event. There will be traditional Halloween games, treats for dogs and humans, dressing up and a competition for the spookiest dog.”
Betty & Butch have gone one step further this year by releasing a Halloween trailer filmed recently. The final part of the film will be released on the day. You can see it by clicking on the following link https://youtu.be/gQXNuk626R8
“Making the film was hilarious. We closed the shop but people kept peering in the windows wondering just what we were up to this time," added Angel.
“From a retail perspective, it’s really important to keep putting this kind of effort in. It makes our customers feel that we are motivated to have fun and to engage with them. Retail doesn’t have to be all about the hard sell, it can be great fun at the same time, as we hope the trailer shows.”
Beaphar UK has created a short video to promote the benefits of Beaphar’s Calming Spot on for cats during the firework season.
Business manager Sue Huggett says: "Our social media campaign starts on Monday, highlighting the video and running competitions for both dog and cat owners.
We’d be more than happy for retailers to use the video on their own web sites.
To watch the video click here
Beaphar has developed a range of natural products to effectively help calm pets, harnessing the immense power of nature for happier cats and dogs.
Beaphar Calming Spot On for Cats (3 x 0.4ml) RRP. £5.99.
Beaphar Calming Spot On for Cats naturally and effectively calms and reduces problem behaviour in cats of all breeds and ages. Containing valerian extract, a herbal supplement noted for its calming properties, a single application will calm your cat for up to one week. Can also help alleviate problems such as vertical scratching on furniture, urine/scent marking in the home, excessive meowing and boisterous behaviour. It will also help your cat feel less apprehensive during difficult times such as visits to the vet or cattery, fireworks, thunderstorms, travelling in the car, party season or moving house. One pack contains three applications.
Beaphar Calming Spot On for Dogs (3 x 0.7ml) RRP. £5.99
Beaphar Calming Spot On for dogs naturally and effectively calms and reduces problem behaviour in dogs of all breeds and ages. Containing valerian extract, a single application will calm your dog for up to one week. Beaphar Calming Spot On for dogs can help alleviate problems such as excessive barking, destructive behaviour and inappropriate marking. It will also help your dog feel less apprehensive during difficult times such as visits to the vet or kennels, spending time alone, fireworks, thunderstorms, travelling in the car, or moving house. One pack contains three applications.
Beaphar Calming Tablets (20 tab) RRP. £4.49
Beaphar Calming Tablets are a herbal supplement for cats and dogs. The tablets contain Melissa officianalis, also known as Lemon Balm, which is recognised for its calming properties, along with other beneficial ingredients including rosemary, hop flowers & lime tree blossom. Calming Tablets can help alleviate nervousness, for example, during firework parties, thunderstorms and other noisy occasions, without causing drowsiness. One packet will treat a large dog for three days at full dose rate or a small dog for fourteen days.
NEW Beaphar Calming Cat Treats (35g) RRP. £2.99
Beaphar Calming Cat Treats are a delicious meaty treat, formulated to reduce anxiety in cats during stressful times. Cats can be especially sensitive to changes in their environment which can lead to problem behaviour and health complications. Beaphar Calming Cat Treats contain valerian, hop flowers and the herb Melissa (Lemon Balm). These natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals promote relaxation, relieve anxiety and restore calmness during stressful situations.
The Beaphar Calming Range has been re-branded in well designed, lavender packaging for instant consumer recognition of their primary purpose. For further information about the range, or to buy into the current retail promotion with eye-catching point of sale materials to maximise sales in the run up to Bonfire Night, contact your Local Area Sales Executive or call the Customer Care Team on 01440 715700. Alternatively, email us via email@example.com or visit www.beaphar.co.uk
When a hungry pooch gobbled down a chocolate egg there were no prizes for guessing which toy was lurking inside his stomach after an x-ray revealed a Minion hiding within the plastic shell.
Eleven-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Chase from Romford, helped himself to the despicable treat, which was meant for a family member. But despite chocolate being toxic to dogs and having swallowed a whole plastic egg, Chase showed no symptoms of his crime.
Owner Terry Shad, said: “Chase ate the Kinder Egg whole and although the chocolate didn’t make him sick, we were all really worried that the plastic egg inside could be dangerous for him so I took him to PDSA in Romford.”
The veterinary team at Romford PDSA Pet Hospital, The Julie and Robert Breckman Centre, x-rayed Chase to find out where the egg was in his body before operating to retrieve it.
PDSA’s Head Nurse, Sarah Burt, said: “When Chase came to us you wouldn’t have known he was in danger because he was very alert and lively, but thankfully his owners had seen him swallow the egg and brought him to us. We took an x-ray which showed not only where the toy was in Chase’s body, but we could also make out roughly what the toy was.
“Thankfully the egg and Minion toy were still in Chase’s stomach, because if it had moved into his intestines it could have caused a blockage which may have created worse problems and even been fatal.
“Surgery of this nature is very invasive so we had to keep Chase in overnight, but the operation went well and he should be back to his usual self again very soon.”
Terry says: “I’m so grateful to the vets and nurses at PDSA, there’s no way we could have afforded private veterinary fees for the treatment he has needed, so I don’t know what we would have done without PDSA. My children have been really worried about Chase, so it’s reassuring to know PDSA is there in an emergency.”
Romford PDSA Pet Hospital provides free veterinary treatment for more than 8,000 pets at a cost of £1 million every year. The charity relies solely on voluntary donations to provide this service.
For more information about PDSA’s veterinary services go to www.pdsa.org.uk or call 0800 731 2502.
Dr David Pool has received an OATA Lifetime Achievement Award.
He was presented with the award by Keith Davenport, chief executive of OATA, in front of 700 guests at the AQUA 2015 dinner in Telford last night.
David said: "It is a great honour to be recognised in this way."
Now running his own company FishScience, David has a distinguished career in the aquatic industry, including a period at Tetra.
It’s been 18 months since Happy Paws launched their award-winning Easy-Tie at PATS Sandown 2014 and what a year it has been! Now selling in 16 countries across the globe, the team is excited to roll out its new innovations to the world.
PATS Telford 2015 was a huge success where they gained 80 new trade customers who were excited to stock their new products! Happy Paws launched their new GoSafely and AquaTech lead, collar and harness range which makes pets and owners lives Safer, Healthier & Happier. With premium quality and brilliant margins to match this range is essential for any pet shop, large and small!
The company also has the world’s most advanced dog ball hitting the market in six months time, which will be a real game changer! No more time wasted searching for your dog’s lost balls, and more time to play with your four legged friends. It will be available across Europe, the UK and is a must have for all traders so watch this space!
The brilliant GoSafely range is a follow-on product from Happy Paws multi-Award Winning Easy-Tie, focusing on safety, comfort & convenience. Incorporating Easy-Secure functionality into a premium quality, highly reflective, padded lead with matching collars and harnesses. The strong bungee design of the lead ensures that there is reduced tension on both the dogs and owners’ neck that can be caused when dogs pull. On top of this, it reduces the force exerted on the owners’ elbow and back. The matching collars and harnesses incorporate premium padding, highly reflective webbing and are fully adjustable, ensuring maximum ease, safety and comfort.
The AquaTech range is a 100% waterproof lead, collar and harness set focusing on health, comfort and convenience. Using innovative technology, water is repelled from the webbing with benefits including; no more damp-smelling leads/collars/harnesses; no more irritation to dogs; less risk of infection caused by excessive scratching; less risk of skin conditions caused by wet collars and harnesses; easy wipe clean; and no running colours – meaning the items stay attractively bright! This preventative and innovative brand means that dogs are at far lesser risk from developing skin conditions that are caused by wet collars and harnesses.
The GoSafely and AquaTech sets have very attractive recommended retail prices ranging from £5.49 - £14.99 and equally attractive margins ranging from 62%-74%. The Happy Paws products are a must have for all dogs and owners who want Safer, Healthier & Happier lives.
You can contact the Happy Paws team to pre-order your GoSafely and AquaTech range which is arriving in the 1st week of November 2015 or order on their website:
+44 (0)1792 346226 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org | www.happy-paws.net
Campaign to protect hedgehogs
The RHS and The Wildlife Trusts are working alongside the British Hedgehog street campaign to show the importance of protecting our hedgehogs...
Over the past 10 years, the amount of hedgehogs have dropped by around 30%. In aid of this, The RHS and The Wildlife Trusts are working alongside the British Hedgehog street campaign to show the importance of protecting our hedgehogs. The campaign will take place during the Wild About Gardening Week, from October 26th to the beginning of November. Many organisations are getting involved to promote the week to encourage people to prevent hedgehogs from suffering a further decline, especially during the winter months.
They are reaching out to gardeners to create safer parts in your garden to protect hedgehogs, as each night they can travel more than a mile. The basis of the week will be around hedgehog themed talks and workshops. Firstly, the week is starting to encourage us to make small cuts in fences by around 5 inches for hedgehogs to cut through. Also, there are instructions available for making a hedgehog house.
A competition is being held throughout the week which is targeted to schools, individuals and groups to make a hedgehog home. The competition will draw attention to the week especially as schools are involved as it will draw in local communities.
There are many tips available to ensure the safety of hedgehogs. Instead of erecting a fence in your garden, a hedge will be a safer option and will allow the hedgehog to always fit through. They also suggest to use organic slug pellets to prevent the hedgehogs from being poisoned. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society have suggested that in your garden you could create a wildlife pond, but fill it will rocks to prevent them drowning whilst they're enjoying the water.
Hedgehogs eat insects from the garden, which live in long grass, so it is important not to mow your lawn too short. They also live off plants which attract pollinators, which is a factor to considering when investing in your flower garden.
For information on hedgehogs and how to encourage them into your garden visit http://www.birstall.co.uk/blog/how-encourage-hedgehogs-into-garden/
Police are investigating a burglary which happened at Contact Pets on Deeside Industrial Estate, Flintshire, last week (Thursday, October 8).
It's the second time the Contact Pets mini-chain has been targeted after thieves made off with £15,000 of stock in July from their Blacon premises.
Three men, thought to be aged in their 20s, prised open a bolted fire escape to get in before ransacking the premises and making off with £100 cash and a broken laptop.
Owner Dave Clark, who runs the store with partner Sarah, says the crooks went straight for the money.
He said: “They opened the till and got around £100, £80 of which was in change.
“They also went upstairs and made a right mess and took a laptop with a broken screen.”
Contact Pets, which opened last November, is home to exotic reptiles including fish, snakes and lizards.
Dave added: “The only product they tried to take was an aquarium but the handle on the box broke so they just left it behind.
“They didn’t touch anything else.”
CCTV shows the trio inside the property for around four minutes, with Dave and Sarah arriving four minutes after that.
Dave said: “I saw the bin was by the fire escape door so I used the car to push the bin in front of the door, hoping I’d trap them inside if they were still there.
“We rang the police and they came straight away but the thieves had already got out.”
Sarah said: “We were absolute wrecks yesterday after the break in. We’d only just started to recover from what happened in Blacon.
“It took a long time to replenish the stock that was taken and of course we lost business because of it.
“We don’t know if it’s the same people this time or someone else but we think they were local and they were definitely professional.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact North Wales Police on 101 with the reference number RC15154600 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Pictured: One of the men tries to cover his face in the CCTV footage.
A letting agent has claimed that a lack of rental properties where pets are welcome has led to a huge price premium on deposits.
Prime Central London lettings specialist EJ Harris’ “pets & pads” survey revealed that a huge rise in the number of London tenants who have dogs, combined with a lack of supply of flats whose head-leases allow pets, is resulting in huge price premiums on deposits (up to £25,000+) for properties which allow dogs.
EJ Harris said the celebrity-driven craze for ‘handbag dogs’ has led to a huge rise in lettings enquiries from dog-owning tenants. 10 years ago none of the firm’s London tenants had dogs. Five years ago just 2% of the firm’s tenants were dog owners; three years ago the figure rose to 5%; two years ago to 10%; last year to 20%, and this year 30% of all tenants seeking a London flat to let are dog owners.
EJ Harris claims that rental property supply is not keeping up with the rising demand for pet-friendly pads. This is because 40% of all Prime Central London flats do not allow dogs because it is written into the head lease that pets are disqualified.
This growing imbalance between demand and supply of pet-friendly flats has led to significant price premiums being commanded and paid on deposits for flats where the head lease allows for pets. The higher deposits for dog-owning tenants are also to cover any unforeseen damage to the property caused by the pets.
EJ Harris found that for a one-bedroom flat in Central London available to rent for £500 per week (where the head lease allows for pets), the typical non-pet six week deposit is £3,000, whereas a dog owning tenant would be asked to pay £5,000.
For a two-bedroom apartment let for £1,000 per week, the average deposit is £5,000, compared to £10,000, for a dog owning tenant.
For a three bedroom flat for let at £2,500 per week the deposit for a dog-owning tenant rises to £25,000 or more, compared to a deposit of just £15,000 for a pet-free tenant.
In addition to a premium on their deposit, E J Harris says that the majority of London landlords who allow pets also include a professional cleaning clause in the tenancy agreement that requires pet owning tenants to make an extra, non-refundable payment at the start of the tenancy in order to cover the costs of sanitation and professional cleaning when the tenants move out.
Elizabeth Harris, managing director of E J Harris, said: “We have seen a significant rise in the number of dog owning tenants looking for private rental accommodation in Central London.
“These tenants want luxury pads situated close to Hyde Park or The Regent’s Park, where they can regularly take their pets for walks. Despite the stigma surrounding tenancies with pets, in our experience tenants who own dogs make for reliable and responsible tenants who take good care of the property and keep their pets pampered and well trained. We always advise dog owning tenants to create a ‘pet CV’ that provides a detailed description of the pet and outlines key facts regarding behaviour, health and grooming, which can help alleviate the landlord’s concerns.”
Shares in pet drugs supplier Animalcare jumped nearly 10 per cent following strong annual results, boosted by encouraging sales of new products.
The York-based firm said pre-tax profits jumped 13 per cent to £3.0m in the year to June 30.
The group has made a name for itself by bringing out innovative drugs that boost the health and happiness of the nation’s dogs, cats and other family pets.
Animalcare has high hopes for its new Pet Remedy range of over the counter products, which contain valerian to calm down pets. Animalcare said it can be used across all species and has proved very effective in domestic and veterinary settings.
Chief executive Iain Menneer said: “It’s a very effective, calming product that works across species. If an animal is anxious or has existing behavioural problems, it calms them down. Valerian is a natural product that can be sprayed into the air. It’s proving very effective in vet waiting rooms.”
Other new products include Synthadon, a methadone-based pain relief and pre-medication for cats and dogs undergoing a general anaesthetic, and anaestamine - a ketamine-based sedation drug, also used in general anaesthetics for cats, dogs, cattle, goats, guinea pigs, hamsters, horses, mice, pigs, rabbits, rats and sheep.
The group has also launched Clavubactin, a general antibiotic for cats and dogs, and Fungiconazole, which treats fungal skin conditions.
Mr Menneer said that although the four drugs are in the first few months of their launch phase, sales are progressing well.
The latest industry figures show that dog numbers in the UK have declined by 4.7 per cent to 8.5m and cat numbers have fallen by 6.8 per cent to 7.4m. This trend appears to be the same across other pet species.
Mr Menneer said there are no clear reasons for this at a time when the economy is getting stronger after several years of recession, but national dog and cat charities believe the changes reflect their campaigns promoting responsible pet ownership.
He added that responsible pet owners will always require pet drugs so the decline has had little impact on Animalcare.
The Licensed Veterinary Medicines division generated strong sales which rose 8.8 per cent.