David Yaskulka, vice president of marketing communications for Halo, Purely for Pets, discusses how the company strives to produce the highest-quality pet diets while helping homeless animals across the country.
Pet Business: What separates Halo, Purely for Pets and its products from other competitors in the marketplace?
David Yaskulka: Halo’s company philosophy is “Be Good, Do Good.” This means we provide high-quality, nutritious and natural diets for pets, and we also “feed it forward” to less fortunate pets in shelters and rescues.
One important component of Halo diets that sets them apart from other brands is that they never contain chicken meal or other rendered animal parts—these “meals” are never permissible in human food. Also, all of Halo’s diets include only natural ingredients, along with vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients—they are all free of artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Through a partnership with Freekibble.com, we donate 1.5 million meals to pets in need each year, as well as support many other philanthropic initiatives. It’s a core part of who we are.
PB: What are the latest and most exciting developments from Halo?
Yaskulka: We’ve just announced a variety of new diets and formulas that we’re excited to share with retailers and pet owners:
For active lifestyle pets, Halo’s new diet, Vigor, includes carefully selected ingredients—from quail and trout to kelp, kale, quinoa and coconut oil—working in harmony to help promote energy, vitality and healthy digestion. Halo’s new Vigor line is available in both canned and dry formulas for dogs, and canned formulas for cats.
For dogs, new dry formulas include Halo Spot’s Stew Healthy Weight Grain-Free Small Breed Whitefish & Salmon; Grain-Free Pork, Peas & Potatoes; and Large Breed Spot’s Stew Wholesome Chicken—in addition to the Vigor Pork, Venison & Salmon dry recipe.
Wet formulas for dogs include two small-breed formulas—Chicken & Salmon, and Turkey & Duck—and two diets for older dogs—Senior Ground Beef and Senior Ground Chicken. There are two new Halo Spot’s Choice recipes, Beef & Chickpea and Pork & Chickpea. The Vigor wet formulas include Chicken & Beef, Salmon & Roasted Venison and Turkey & Roasted Quail.
For cats, Halo has seven new wet diets. There’s the new Impulse by Halo line, now in Quail & Garden Greens and Rabbit & Garden Greens. The active lifestyle Halo Vigor line for cats debuts with Salmon & Venison, Turkey & Quail and Chicken & Trout. Plus, the popular Spot’s Pâté line is extended to include Wild Salmon and Turkey & Duck.
Halo has three new Grain-Free dry recipes: Healthy Weight Whitefish & Salmon, Game Bird Medley and, for older cats, Senior Chicken & Salmon.
PB: How important has the concept of holistic pet care become to independent pet retailers? How does Halo fit in that concept?
Yaskulka: Holistic and natural options have increased substantially, demonstrating the consumer demand for higher-quality nutrition and holistic care for pets. It’s the fast-lane for growth. Independent pet retailers have a great opportunity to offer personalized service and advice to pet owners looking for the best diet and products for their dog or cat.
Halo has a variety of diets and formulas available for many different needs. And, we continue to innovate. We believe education is a key factor in helping pet owners make the right choices for their pets, and we offer retailers a lot of information and content they can share with their customers.
PB: Halo is well known for its many various philanthropic efforts. Can you tell us a bit about Halo’s commitment to charitable causes, including some examples?
Yaskulka: It’s worth mentioning again that Halo partners with Freekibble.com to donate more than 1.5 million meals to shelter pets annually.
These donations are made through individual donations, special events and our annual Holiday Kibble Drop, where we send semi-trucks of food across the country, stopping in eight to 10 cities to donate to shelters and rescues in that area. We partner with retailers in many cities where we pre-select six to eight area rescues and shelters to come and pick up the donations. We work with the retailer to make an event out of it, with specials for customers, media coverage, celebration and more.
In addition to donations throughout the year, Halo finds unique ways to give back including:
The company donated one million meals to shelter pets for the U.S. Postal Service Adopt a Shelter Pet Stamp Program, and sponsors the acclaimed PBS series Shelter Me, directed by Steven Latham.
Halo is the proud sponsor of the Olate Dogs’ 2014-15 Rescue Tour. Most of the Olate Dogs, a performing dog act and winners of America’s Got Talent in 2012, are rescue dogs. Their tour is designed to raise awareness for pet adoption.
Donations of Halo food provide homeless pets the highest-quality food possible, helping shelter pets look and feel their best, sometimes helping them find their forever homes. In fact, in a survey of 85 shelter professionals, 74 percent said that Halo’s food quality “definitely helps” dogs and cats to get adopted.
Success stories like this where good food can help homeless pets find their forever homes is a cause close to Halo co-owner Ellen DeGeneres’ heart. “Pet adoption is something I’m extremely passionate about. I believe that by working together, we can find good homes for the millions of homeless and abandoned pets out there,” she says.
Halo is also a founding sponsor of Loveanimals.org, an innovative and progressive new non-profit crowd-funding website that helps animal non-profits throughout America connect with donors to raise money for critically needed projects.