We’ve put together a list of CPG entrepreneurs and brands we admire and that call Austin home!
In 2020, Austin, Texas is one of the best places in the U.S. to launch a food, beverage, or wellness brand (also referred to as a Consumer Packaged Goods brand)! And, we’re not just saying that because we love it here. 😉
New businesses are flocking here for a few reasons!
It has been in large part due to the city’s flagship Whole Foods store and wealth of mentorship and funding opportunities (Inc. Magazine). A lower cost of living also continues to draw in entrepreneurs once based in New York and California (Crunchbase).
This on top of the presence of startup accelerator programs, like SKU and Naturally Austin – which we highly recommend checking out!
Fact: Yellowbird’s sauces hit differently. They’re always made from farm-fresh fruits and vegetables – no fillers needed – and that’s what we love about them.
CPG Entrepreneurs Erin Link and George Milton launched their brand with a clear mission in mind: “to nix the junk, get back to nature, harvest fresh and organic fruits and veggies, and create a pure, flavorful line of sauces in the process.”
Given its huge health-conscious demographic, Austin was a natural fit for their headquarters and product launch.
Favorite Product: Yellowbird Sauce Serrano Hot Sauce
CPG Entrepreneur Tito Beveridge was born and raised in San Antonio – just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Austin! Around 1992, he was making flavored vodka and passing it out to friends at parties.
And, his liquor was such a hit that he started going to liquor stores and asking managers if they’d buy his flavored vodkas. But, flavored vodka just wasn’t selling. Instead, they said if he could, “make a vodka that was so smooth you could drink it straight.” Then, they might be interested.
So, Tito accepted the challenge and his final product was a hit. Already local to Austin, this is where he would stay and grow his brand’s reputation to this day.
Favorite Product: Well, Tito’s Vodka – of course.
SkinnyPop Popcorn was founded in 2010. Their mission is simple (just like their ingredients list): create snacks that not only taste delicious, but are good for you!
This brand has seen such banging success that their parent company (Amplify Snack Brands) was acquired by Hershey in 2017.
Hershey reported a boost in sales following the acquisition, but not much news has come out on this brand since 2018. We’ll eagerly be awaiting an update – and popping corn in the meantime.
Favorite Product: Microwave Popcorn
CLEAN Cause is on a mission to support those in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction by, “creating a sustainable source of funding for recovery efforts.”
In fact, they funnel 50% of their profits to fund an in-house giveback initiative: CLEAN Kickstarts. This initiative funds sober living scholarships to support individuals coming out of rehab, homelessness, or incarceration.
Favorite Product: Blackberry Organic Sparkling Yerba Mate
CPG Entrepreneur and Restaurateur C.B. Stubblefield, also known as “Stubb,” opened a BBQ joint in Lubbock, TX.
Later in life, he moved to Austin, Texas and was urged by friends to bottle his signature sauce. He started doing this by hand, reusing old whiskey bottles and jam jars!
50 years later, the Stubb’s brand still invests in quality ingredients and careful craftsmanship – and that shows in their wide availability in retailers across the U.S.
Favorite Product: Stubb’s® Sticky Sweet BBQ Sauce
How it started: for a little girl named Cece (founder Mason’s daughter) to get more veggies.
How it’s going: veggie (and non-veggie) lovers around the country packing their meals with even more nutrients with help from these traditional noodle and rice substitutes.
Not only do these pre-made veggie noodles make it easier for home cooks, Cece’s has a patented technology to create the highest quality rice and noodles that last longer on the shelf.
Two carrots up for less waste and more nourishment!
Favorite Product: Organic Butternut Spirals
Plant-based snacks that are healthy and taste good – we’re here for it.
For Rhythm Superfoods, it all started in a local juice bar’s kitchen where the founders first experimented with their beloved Kale Chips. People loved it, and the rest is snacking history.
Rhythm received another investment in mid-2020 with plans to drive growth with innovation and marketing. We can’t wait to see those plans in action because, well, we’re hungry for more.
Favorite Product: Organic Kale Chips Kool Ranch
If you can believe it, this meat-centric brand was founded by former vegetarians.
After trialing vegetarian and vegan diets, founders Taylor and Katie found success in maximizing their athletic performance (endurance running!) when they tried the Paleo Diet and created a product that was lacking on the grocery store shelves: a 100% grass fed meat snack with added fruits and nuts that was perfect for on-the-go.
After only three years of making these meat snacks, General Mills purchased the company for $100 million.
Now they live their lives on the ranch a couple hours away raising bison and preaching the regenerative agriculture word as far and wide as they can.
Favorite Product: Duck Fat
In short, that’s a look at some of our favorite CPG brands founded in Austin, Texas!
If you’re into this list, there’s a pretty good chance you’d dig our podcast: Umai Social Circle.
Now, check out our latest episodes here.
And, shoot us a DM on Instagram if there’s an Austin-based brand that you’d like to see featured on this list or the Circle!