Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halo Top: The Most Popular Pint in America

Have you tried Halo Top Ice Cream yet? While it’s had a strong cultlike following since it hit the shelves four years ago, it exploded into market dominance last summer.

Halo Top is low-calorie, high-protein, and low-sugar ice cream, made from all-natural ingredients. Consumers are drawn to it as a healthy alternative to full-calorie ice cream that actually tastes like ice cream. You may want to eat the whole pint, and you can, relatively guilt-free, because all of the pints range from 240 to 360 calories for the entire pint. For reference, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla has 1,000 calories, three times more than the same vanilla pint of Halo Top!
This summer, during the height of ice cream season, Halo Top became the best-selling pint of ice cream in U.S. grocery stores, surpassing popular brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Breyer’s, and Haagen Dazs. “The reason we’ve taken the number one spot is simple: We have amazing fans. We are eternally grateful to them for even allowing us to exist, let alone thrive,” said CEO and Founder, Justin Woolverton. “Our promise to our fans is to maintain the quality they expect from Halo Top and, of course, to bring them some exciting new things in the near future.”  

Based in Los Angeles, Halo Top Creamery was founded in 2012 by Woolverton, a former lawyer turned ice cream aficionado. In the beginning, Halo Top had a strong following of superfans, but in the last couple years, the business has skyrocketed. According to Woolverton, sales jumped about 2,500% from 2015 to 2016.  Halo Top is No. 5 on Inc.’s 2017 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., boasting three-year growth of 20,944% with revenue of $49.1 million.

Halo Top’s success may be attributed to its lean and flexible business model. Production and distribution is outsourced to third parties; the company is then free to focus totally on brand strategy. The company is bare bones behind the scenes as well. Instead of a fancy headquarters, employees work from home or in a low-rent co-working space. “Other businesses are going to realize this and start sharing co-working spaces where you only come in maybe three days a week,” Woolverton said. “It’s just the future, in my opinion.”  

Instead of traditional marketing, Halo Top has grown largely without ads, relying on word of mouth and an enthusiastic social media base. The Company has developed a signature witty voice on Instagram and boasts over 587,000 followers. Halo Top’s Instagram account features colorful pictures of its signature pint-sized cartons against minimalist backgrounds. “Instead of cluttered or busy images with loads of messaging, we focus on clean images that allow our packaging and ice cream to shine through a bit,” Woolverton said.

Halo Top recently released 8 new flavors, including a special one for fall. Here’s a rundown of the options, ranging from classic to delightfully-unexpected: 

Vanilla Bean (the best-selling Halo Top flavor)
Birthday Cake (Woolverton’s favorite)
Lemon Cake
Mint Chip (my favorite)
Chocolate Mocha Chip
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Red Velvet
Oatmeal Cookie
Chocolate Almond Crunch
Cookies and Cream
Black Cherry
Peanut Butter Cup (fan favorite)
Sea Salt Caramel
Cinnamon Roll (new!)
Pancakes & Waffles (new!)
Chocolate Covered Banana (new!)
Mochi Green Tea (new!)
Candy Bar (new!)
Rainbow Swirl (new!)
Caramel Macchiato (new!)
Pumpkin Pie (seasonal flavor!)

Are you hungry yet?  Check out Food & Wine’s Halo Top taste test to see if you agree with their favorites.  Whether you’re drawn to the impressive entrepreneurial story or the delectable flavors of this Instagrammable dessert, you’ve got to try Halo Top.