LISTEN: Boulder Food Group dishes on snack brands worth funding

By Kristine Sherred contact

- Last updated on GMT

Boulder Food Group has invested in several snack brands that pair thoughtful brand stories with better-for-you taste, says BFG's Dayton Miller.
Boulder Food Group has invested in several snack brands that pair thoughtful brand stories with better-for-you taste, says BFG's Dayton Miller.

Related tags: Snacks, New product development, R&D, Private equity firm, Private equity, Investment, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Quinn Snacks, Bobo's

From better-for-you to permissible indulgence, snack SKUs have ballooned in recent years. The Colorado investment firm tells BakeryandSnacks what makes a brand worthy of investment.

We spoke to Dayton Miller, a managing partner at Boulder Food Group (BFG), about what the private equity firm looks for in potential investees.

“Taste, when you’re talking about food and beverage, is still critically important,” ​he told us. Viable brands worth an investment tend to have really authentic stories, too, and they always fill a legitimate void or need in the consumer marketplace.

thumbnail_Dayton Miller
Dayton Miller, managing partner of Boulder Food Group

“There are 100 different ways to win,”​ added Miller, but the ability to scale matter when it comes to a potential investment.

Take, for instance, Quinn Snacks, a female-owned brand making sorghum-based pretzels and organic microwave popcorn. Founder Kristy Lewis started the company as a means of finding a better snack for her son. BFG invested in the brand in part because it has “really gone after traditional snacks in a unique and innovative way with a really authentic story,”​ said Miller.

BFG has also invested in the likes of Bobo’s oat bars, banana snack brand Barnana, Bear Naked granola, tortilla/dough maker Caulipower and Chameleon cold brew coffee, among others.

How Boulder Food Group approaches snack investment

As an investor, BFG does not take operating positions in the companies they choose to support.

“We can be a really thoughtful advisor and someone who is hopefully the first to phone when things go wrong – or when they go right.”

Miller and his team – many of whom have started CPG food brands themselves – support entrepreneurs and their typically small workforce in taking the brand to the next level. That means human resource support and finding the right people as the company grows, as well as business strategy such as as retail sequencing and price-pack architecture.

Ultimately, BFG wants its structure to nurture each brand’s value proposition for consumers.

“Anything and everything is normally what is involved with us,”​ said Miller. 

Catch our full conversation with Miller to hear details on how BFG views potential investees, what advice he has for entrepreneurs looking to break through the void, and emerging trends in snacks and the broader packaged food industry.

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