­NEW YORK — Better Choice Company, the owner of TruDog and Halo Pets, is strengthening its distribution partnerships in key Asian markets. The company announced March 9 it has agreed to minimum purchase agreements with distribution partners totaling $25.6 million in sales from Jan. 1, 2021 through 2022.

These key Asian markets include China, Korea and Japan, all of which have booming pet product markets. Distribution partnerships in these countries are focused on Better Choice’s Halo brand, which has been popular in the region based on the brand’s nutritional differentiators.

"We are incredibly excited to be able to build and expand upon our already strong relationships with our distribution partners in Asia,” commented Scott Lerner, chief executive officer of Better Choice Company. “We believe that recently agreed-to minimum purchases will provide the basis for our continued rapid growth in China, Korea and Japan, and will also give us a footprint to help further growth in other international markets.

“Better Choice’s success to-date in Asia has been driven by leveraging our solid marketing foundation and commitment to delivering high quality pet food to discerning pet owners with country-specific distribution strategies and category expertise,” Lerner added.

The Halo brand grew sales in Asian markets by 95% in 2020. Sales specifically in China represented more than 50% of the brand’s total sales throughout Asia. Better Choice received Product Import Registrations for 15 Halo dog and cat food products in June 2020, which drove dramatic sales growth in China.

Since obtaining the registrations, Better Choice has expanded its partnership with Penefit International, Co. and added Halo products to e-commerce platforms and brick-and-mortar pet stores throughout the country.

“In China specifically, our partnership with Penefit has been instrumental in taking Halo from a new entrant to the Chinese market in 2018 to a leading brand in the super premium category today,” Lerner said.

Allen Chen of Penefit International said, “Our relationship with the Better Choice Company and the Halo brand is a key strategic partnership for us as we continue to build our presence in China’s rapidly growing animal health and wellness sector.”

Recently, Better Choice has made several new leadership appointments in key positions to support the company’s pet portfolio sales.

“With our recent corporate improvements and a focus on our international supply chain we are prepared for growth of this magnitude, and more,” Lerner said.

Stay up to date on the latest pet food processing industry headlines on our News page.