Education Event: Natural Brands and the Mass Channel: Let’s Crack the Code

Thursday, Jun 18, 2020
Natural Brands and the Mass Channel

To continuously provide education for real world situations, we present our series of Education Events. Learn from the experts how to succeed with your business!

Natural Brands and the Mass Channel: Let’s Crack the Code

When: June 18, 2020 8:15 PM EDT / 7:15 PM CDT / 6:15 PM MDT / 5:15 PM PDT
Where: Zoom online video conferencing

Register here
Subject Track: Sales, Marketing & Distribution

In this rapidly evolving retail landscape, how is a team passionately building a natural brand supposed to know if, when and how to start partnering with huge “big box” Mass Channel retailers like Wal-Mart and Target?
When is it the right or wrong time to try?
How does one even begin to hope for time and engagement from multi-billion dollar category buyers?
What are the right and wrong ways to get started and grow?
Can it be done without alienating the smaller retail partners that collaborated with you on your brand’s journey thus far?
Please join your community for a lively discussion on all of these challenges and more, including panelists with deep expertise and experience with both Wal-Mart and Target.

Learn from the Experts

Natural Brands and the Mass Channel Experts
Christopher Algea
– Founder, Keen One Quinoa
Mike Katz – Founding Member, The Stable
Tim O’Brien – Partner, New Nexus Group

Meet the Experts

Christopher Algea
Christopher is a natural products entrepreneur whose company, Keen One Foods, was hatched in a product development class at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007. Keen One offers a retail line of Smart and Simple quick cooking organic savory meal cups, made from organic quinoa, vegetables and specialty grains. Keen One also provides schools systems, restaurants, manufacturers and regional grocery chains with wholesale organic bulk quinoa and custom blends for food service.

Mike Katz
Mike is currently the Head of Retail Stores and one of the founding members of The Stable, which is a consumer brands agency located in Minneapolis that works with the leading retailers across the United States including Target, Amazon, Walmart, Meijer, etc. His primary responsibility is providing consultation to brands that are looking to launch/grow into those big box stores and leading a team of 20 people who help manage the growing stores business. Prior to joining The Stable, Mike worked for over 12 years in merchandising at Target as a buyer/supply chain manager/senior buyer/director. His career spanned many areas at Target including food/beverage, personal care, electronics/entertainment, commodities and healthcare.

Tim O’Brien
Tim is currently a partner at NewNexus Group, a consumer brands and strategic retail partner agency based in Bentonville, AR. Originally from Olean, New York, Tim relocated to Northwest Arkansas in 2004. He has over 30 years of experience in the consumer-packaged goods industry, having taken on a variety of roles — everything from engineering to product development, working supply chain, brand management and sales leadership. Tim earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and holds an MBA from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Prior to New Nexus Group, he worked for companies such as Cadbury Beverages, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and IRI.

Moderator: Lizzi Ackerman
Lizzi Ackerman is co-founder & CMO of Birch Benders, the #1 natural pancake & waffle mix brand and fastest growing frozen waffle brand in the US. Under her leadership, Birch Benders’ diverse portfolio has expanded to include pancake and waffle mixes, frozen waffles, snack cups and monk fruit sweetened syrups. Birch Benders products are available in over 15,000 retail locations, including Walmart, Costco, Target, Whole Foods, Kroger and more. With seven first-to-market launches in the past 5 years, Lizzi and the Birch Benders brand have built a reputation for innovative, delicious, clean-label and functional products. Lizzi graduated from Yale University with Honors in History of Science, History of Medicine and was a 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient. When not brainstorming new innovation with her husband and co-founder Matt, Lizzi enjoys skiing, hiking, running and spending time with her 6-month-old baby boy, Waylon.


Participants will be able to see and hear the presenters, but participants’ cameras won’t be on, and their mics will be muted. Participants will be able to communicate with each other using the Chat box and type questions to our featured panelists via the Q&A box.


If you have used Zoom previously but not recently, you may want to make sure you’ve downloaded the latest version for optimal results. Click here for specific instructions on how to proceed. While you can access Zoom via your computer’s browser (Chrome is preferred) without creating an account, you may have a better experience if you download the Zoom interface to your computer and log into your free account. The Zoom app is also available for your smartphone. Note that the quality of the Webinar will fluctuate both based on your internet connection and that of the presenters.

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