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The DFW CPG Insider – Community News May 2023

DFW CPG News Updates

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage MonthAsian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is a commemoration of the culture, traditions and history of Asian American and Pacific Islander people.  DFW CPG joins communities across the country to note the achievements and contributions of some of our members including DFW CPG community brand founders Chi Nguyen (Purpose Tea), Quynhthoa (QT) Truong (QT Cookshop), and Aman Singh (Kaurina’s Kulfi), just to name a few.

Brand Spotlights

Ohla! FoodsDallas-based Ohla! Foods founder, Lauren Schwalb, has announced the launch of her products across the SW region of Whole Foods Markets, including stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The early read on sales suggests strong performance from new consumers discovering the brand and loyalists excited to find their favorite flavors of Almond Flour Crackers in Whole Foods. No doubt the company’s new eye-catching packaging has really brought the brand essence to life.  Congratulations to Lauren and her team!

Melinda's FoodsIrving-based pepper sauce brand, Melinda’s, announced a line expansion for its New Orleans-style sauces and spicy ketchups that will coincide with a roll out to 4,100 Walmart locations nationwide. In addition to its Ghost Wing Pepper Sauce, Ghost Pepper Sauce, Black Truffle Hot Sauce, the brand added five spicy ketchup products in Black Pepper, Habanero, Chipotle, Jalapeño and Ghost Pepper flavors. The company will also launch a Fire Roasted Garlic & Habanero Sauce, Louisiana Red Cayenne Hot Sauce and Mexicana Hot Sauce at Walmart and online. Wow, our collective mouths are burning!


Thank you

Event Photos


Photos courtesy of Iryna Brochu

Thanks so much to Kat Weaver and speakers Ellen Smoak and Katie Dunn for a fun and informative Main Event all about Angel Investing at the Network Bar on April 19. The new venue allowed for mixing and mingling and everyone had a great time meeting new and catching up with old friends and acquaintances.


Also, by all accounts, last week’s “Ask The Experts” virtual Huddle was very engaging and informative. DFW CPG committee leaders and in-house “Experts” shared insights on a wide range of topics covering questions from the value of participating in Accelerator programs and when brand founders should apply to get the most value, to where organizations should focus their efforts to get the most bang for their buck if resources are limited. Panelists included DFW CPG co-founder Richard Riccardi, Tim Prager, Brandi JenniskensKathy Galloway and moderated by Jenica Oliver, DFW CPG’s Executive Director.

If you missed the May 11th Huddle, you can view it here.

PleziAccording to New Hope Network, longtime healthy food advocate, Michelle Obama, is entering the CPG arena with a new healthier food and beverage company, Plezi Nutrition. The brand will launch with 4 flavors of a nutrition-based kids’ beverage that have “75% less sugar than the average leading fruit juices and no added sugar”, Tropical Punch, Sour Apple, Blueberry Blast and Orange Smash. From the White House to CPG, sounds like Mrs. Obama is making headlines again! Is Barack her taste tester?

BREAKING NEWS: Two retail Natural Grocers stores closing due to competitiveness in the DFW market (underperforming stores). Learn more.

Women of Color Outreach InitiativesApplications to join the next cohort of the Women’s Business Council – Southwest’s  Women of Color Mentorship Program are now LIVE! The program is a great no-cost way to learn about the benefits of certification and meet other women business owners. So if you’re looking to get certified but prefer a little more guidance, the mentor program is for you! Learn more and apply at https://lnkd.in/gcPqCX2D


Consumer VC

Don’t miss the upcoming The Consumer VC Summit in Dallas, May 23, hosted by Mike Gelb and Marc Nathan who are gathering leaders in the CPG industry to share insights and trends in the consumer investing landscape. DFW CPG is one of the sponsors of this event. The Summit will feature successful founders and top investors who will share their experiences with attendees. A great opportunity to connect with the CPG community. Click here for free registration.


Join SKU Austin (Virtually or In Person) for their Food & Beverage ’23 Showcase on May 23rd. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear pitches from six impressive founders including Dallas-based Roro’s Baking Company. A panel of investor judges will have $1M in “Monopoly Money” to invest in each company. The in-person event will be followed by a party with complementary food, drinks and a sampling pavilion from the featured companies. Click here for more info.
Also, are you a PetCare products company that wants to grow your brand?  The first SKU PetCare track (apparel, supplies, toys, and food) is kicking off this summer, and the application deadline is June 4th. Register to be considered for this exciting new track!  Plus watch the virtual SKU Dallas Showcase pitch video here to see the local graduates of the last year’s SKU Dallas cohort. You’re sure to gain some inspiration for your own pitch as you watch these creative entrepreneurs.
Lastly, spread the word – BeyondSKU Track 4, Fall 2023 is an in-person 12-week track is for companies and mentors in the New York TriState Area.  Learn more here.
SantanderDallas College has partnered with Santander Bank’s Cultivate Small Business program to provide resources, capital, and mentorship to early-stage woman-, BIPOC-, and immigrant-owned food businesses in the DFW area. This exciting and innovative program is free to participants. Graduates earn a $2,500 grant upon graduation. The 12-week virtual course is accepting applications through June 15th for classes beginning in September. Learn more here.
Naturally NetworkOn May 24th, Naturally Austin will host its 4th Annual Pitch Slam, showcasing five early-stage brands in a shark-tank-style pitch competition. Attendees can watch the competition, hobnob with 300+ of the natural-products community’s best and brightest, and lots of other benefits. Tickets are $75 and include a one-year membership to Naturally Austin. Register here.

Pipeline Agnels

Pipeline Angels is changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for trans women, cis women, nonbinary, two-spirit, agender, and gender-nonconforming founders. Their signature pitch summit series is an opportunity to present your for-profit social venture for a chance to secure funding from the Pipeline Angel members. Founders can apply here. $40 processing fee.

Sweets and Snacks

Registration is now open for the 2023 Sweets & Snacks Expo from May 22 – 25 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. The Sweets & Snacks Expo is the can’t-miss event for the candy and snack industries – the best place for attendees to discover brand new innovations, gain actionable insights and benefit from unparalleled access to category and retail industry professionals. Booth costs start around $50/sq ft.

IDDBA 2023The largest Dairy, Deli and Bakery food show (IDDBA) will be in Anaheim, CA on June 4-6.  If interested in attending and you have questions – we can connect you to one of our Executive Committee members who has attended and can provide insights. Email us at admin@dfwcpg.com.  A listing of past retailer participating companies from 2022 and a registration form can be found on IDDBA’s website.

The GO TEXAN Expo will be featured in the Dallas Market Hall during the Total Home & Gift Market taking place Wednesday, June 21, 2023 through Saturday, 24, 2023 with a special GO TEXAN Expo Featured Day on Thursday, June 22! Meet and sample Texas-made products, enjoy networking and workshops for GO TEXAN partners on topics geared for all types of food, health and beauty, home and textile product businesses. Registration is free. Learn more and register here. Just FYI, booth space is sold out.


SFAThe Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show returning to the Javits Center in NYC, June 25-27. Promoted as the largest B2B gathering of U.S. specialty food makers and buyers, tens of thousands of products will be on exhibit. The show will also focus on everything from supply chain remedies to trending brands to new research, providing incredible insights into the state of our industry. Learn more here.

SMUThe SMU Venture Finance Certificate Course: Fundraising for Startups will be held on Thursday evenings in July on the SMU campus. Taught by, Dr. Simon Mak & Brian Bartles, this 4-week program, is designed to give entrepreneurs the tools to raise capital for their startups. This course is being offered for $495, half the usual cost due to a generous underwriter.  Register early before the class fills up. Course starts on July 6, 2023. For more information, contact Nancy J. Hong or call 214-768-3330.


Emerging Brands Summit


Emerging Brands Summit 2023 is a one-day event in Las Vegas on Sunday, September 10, 2023, prior to the start of PACK EXPO, designed for fast-growing emerging brands seeking to scale their manufacturing operations. One $50,000 grant will be awarded onsite at the Emerging Brands Summit. Learn more about the grant program at the Emerging Brands Alliance, or download a sample application.