NULO FOUNDER AND CEO HONORED FOR
LEADERSHIP AND INNOVATION
Michael Landa, founder and CEO of Austin, Texas-based Nulo Pet
Food, was named Best CEO by the Austin Business Journal, in the
mid cap category.
Four award recipients were selected from 74 finalists in the Central
Texas area. Judges selected the winning CEOs in each category—
nonprofit, small cap, mid cap and large cap—by evaluating various areas
including revenue growth, company culture, community involvement and more in order to determine the final CEO selections.
Under Landa’s leadership, the company has experienced a landmark year in new product development, retail distribution and consumer marketing, said company officials. In 2017, Nulo developed
more than 100 new products, including three new categories for the
company such as functional treats, limited-ingredient diets and freeze-dried recipes. The brand has increased distribution significantly and
expanded internationally into Canada in September. In addition, Landa has built a community of 22 Olympic and elite athletes who are
evangelists for the brand and its mission. Nulo’s most recent addition
was Michael Phelps, who joined as an investor in the company.
“Michael is an outstanding CEO that exemplifies perseverance,
leadership and drive,” said Zac Fellabaum, CFO and COO of Nulo
Pet Food. “He has built a company from nothing, to an internationally
recognized brand in one of the most competitive industries around.
I’m proud to work for him and am very much looking forward to the
bright future ahead for Nulo.”
PETCO LAUNCHES PET SELFIE APP
Petco has expanded its digital offerings with the launch of Heads
& Tails by Petco, an iOS app where pet owners can receive a
gift card and donate to help animals in need by simply having
fun taking cute pet selfies. By posting selfies with their pets, pet
owners whose photos receive 100 likes in a month will receive
a $25 gift card from Petco, with an additional $25 going to the
“We know the internet can’t get enough of pet selfies, which
is why we’re excited to introduce the Heads & Tails app celebrat-
ing the joy of pets in our lives,” said Brock Weatherup, executive
vice president of strategic innovation and digital experience at
Petco, which has headquarters in San Diego. “By encouraging pet
parents to take more selfies with pets, we’re finding new ways to
reward our fans and, more importantly, creating a new way for
people to help animals in need.”
To use the app, users simply take a selfie with their furry, feath-
ery or scaly best friend and post it to the Heads & Tails app. While
the Heads & Tails app will display all approved selfie submissions
in its timeline, users can also share the published selfie via Face-
book and Twitter, and soon via Instagram. Heads & Tails by Petco is available for free in the App Store.
All pet selfie contests start at 12 a.m. (PST) on the first of the month and end at 11: 59 p.m. (PST) on
the last day of the month. Uploaded selfies must include at least one human and one pet to be eligible to
win and be entered in one of nine categories: Best Dressed, Funny, I’m in Petco!, Most Photogenic, Nap
Time, New Pet, No Dogs Allowed, Summer Fun and Twinning. Users must also create a profile page
that will display all posted selfies and pet details, including breed, age, weight and a profile picture.
EINSTEIN PETS RELOCATES
Einstein Pets, a Sarasota, Fla.-based
pet treat brand, has relocated its
headquarters to a larger space in
Sarasota. The move brought the
company into a new area of the city
that is booming with successful entrepreneurs, said company officials.
Offering the Einstein Pets team
plenty of room to grow, the new
warehouse is more than three times
the size of the original space, which
was acquired in January 2017. The
new space will also serve as the
company’s corporate headquarters.
“The best part of our new loca-
PRIVATE LABEL PET FOOD COMPANY PLANS
tion is the opportunity to increase
our treat inventory,” said Kelly Ison,
founder and CEO of Einstein Pets.
“We outgrew our original space in
less than six months due to custom-
er demand, and as we’re expanding
the business, we want our space to
grow with us.”
Einstein Pets hopes to double the
number of distributors and retail-
ers carrying the brand in 2018. The
move helps ensure the company
will have the capacity to efficiently
and successfully service them and
their customers, according to com-
$38 MILLION EXPANSION IN KANSAS
Simmons Pet Food, a supplier of custom and private label pet
food solutions in the U.S. and Canada, recently broke ground
on a facility expansion at its Flexible Packaging Facility in Emporia, Kan. The $38 million investment will increase operations
by 200,000 square feet and create approximately 100 new jobs
in the Emporia area. The company expects to begin operations
in 2019. Simmons Pet Food currently employs 500 people at its
The Emporia Flexible Packaging Facility expansion will increase Simmons Pet Food’s capacity for flexible production and
packaging for select wet pet food products, said company officials. With demand for cup, tub and pouch packaging formats
projected to exceed the existing capabilities, the expansion will
add substantial capacity to ensure Simmons Pet Food meets
The expansion will increase yearly facility output to an estimated 12. 4 million cases of wet pet food cups and 2.4 million
cases of tubs when it reaches full capacity in 2022.
PET RELEAF STRENGTHENS
INDEPENDENT PET STORES
Pet Releaf is furthering its
commitment to independent retailers. As a supplier
of CBD-infused products for
pets, Pet Releaf is dedicated
to forming long-term relationships with retailers in order to
educate them about its product and the benefits they have for their customers’ pets.
“Because our products are at such a high-quality level, they can
only be truthfully explained by independent retailers who pride
themselves on knowing and understanding the products they car-
ry in their store,” said Steve Smith, president and co-founder of
the Denver-based company. “We view our relationships with in-
dependent retailers as a two-way street where we rely on them to
understand the Pet Releaf difference and, in return, our products
will only ever be found in their stores.”
The company’s allegiance to independent retailers means Pet
Releaf products will never be found in big-box stores and can never
be purchased on sites like Amazon and Chewy, which have both
approached the business about selling Pet Releaf products on mul-
tiple occasions, said company officials.
Pet Releaf’s CBD-infused products are made from hemp oil
extracted from the largest USDA certified hemp farm in the U.S.
Through utilizing the entire hemp plant, extracting the oil using a
super critical CO2 method, and making products using all natural
and organic ingredients, the company has created human-grade
products with proven positive results for animals, officials added.
Tomlyn, a manufacturer of health and
for pets, has partnered
with cat expert and
animal advocate Jackson Galaxy to promote
Tomlyn’s Pill Masker
paste for cats and dogs.
“Jackson has been a fan of our Pill Masker product for years,
so we’ve jointly created a Tomlyn Pill Masker package featuring Jackson and furry friends to promote this partnership,” said
Tabitha Cromer, marketing manager at Tomlyn in Forth Worth,
As part of the partnership, Galaxy will participate in Facebook Live events, where he’ll answer questions about cats while
providing tips to create a harmonious home for cats and their
owners. Tomlyn will also be hosting a sweepstakes for one grand-prize winner to receive a 30-minute Skype session with Galaxy to
help solve their cat problems, along with a selection of Tomlyn
cat health products.