Just over one year ago a new toy called PetBloon first came to the attention of the pet trade when it appeared as a prototype at PATS Telford 2017.
Fast forward 12 months and this innovative product is set to become a bestseller in pet stores this Christmas.
PetBloon was officially launched at Interzoo in May where it became a sell-out success, attracting interest and orders from more than 20 countries, including North America, South Korea and Singapore as well as mainland Europe.
Now PetBloon is targeting UK dog owners, especially those looking for a special gift for their pet during the festive season.
Created following the highly successful launch of a toy for babies called the BubaBloon, which works on similar principles, PetBloon is a playful and colourful light fabric cover for balloons.
Lorna Edwards, CEO of BloonCo Limited, has been the driving force behind both BubaBloon and PetBloon, and appeared on BBC2’s hit TV series Dragons’ Den with the baby product.
“I got really positive feedback from Deborah Meadon. She got the product and understood I was a businesswoman who knew what I was doing,” said Lorna. “Peter Jones was his usual self, trying to make his point, and they showed him stamping on the product with his size 13 feet and it burst.”
Despite Peter Jones’ reservations BubaBloon became a success, especially overseas with 95% of the products manufactured being directed to the export market. And it was this success that led to the birth of PetBloon.
“I have an amazing business partner, Jane Johnstone, who has an Airedale hound,” added Lorna. “Jane took a BubaBloon home one evening and the dog got hold of it. Whilst he did burst it she got on the phone to me and said she thought we could change the fabric and dogs could have fun too.”
It was during a visit to the Pet Asia Fair in Shanghai in 2016 that Lorna realised there was potential in the PetBloon concept.
“I was amazed at the size of the show but astonished at the lack of innovation in the pet toy market,” she said.
“Indeed that year it was clear that the route suppliers were taking was in the diversity of pet foods and grooming products. I returned from that trip thinking that we were definitely onto something with PetBloon.
“In 2017 we introduced the concept at PATS Telford, ideally for customer feedback on product and packaging. It exceeded our expectations and attracted over 200 stand visitors. The rest is history. PetBloon is born, the pup is here.”
Lorna and her team tested the prototype version with a number of dog owners, who all gave the product the thumbs-up, especially those with smaller breeds (under 10kg), although larger dogs still had fun playing with PetBloon.
Here are some of the comments from product testers:
- My little Schnauzer doesn’t have the best attention span in the world and is scared of most things but this gets her engaged right away!
- My Dachsie totally loves her PetBloon, in fact it’s her favourite toy.
- Great idea. Perfect for playing inside and in the garden. Great value too!
- 5-star entertainment for dog and owner
The PetBloon comes with a cover and three balloons and has an RRP of £9.99.