Original Uncle Dougie's, LLC, makers of award-winning Uncle Dougie's brand products, has named Rob Johnson as its CEO. Johnson joins Uncle Dougie's directly from ConAgra Foods, where he was Brand Director for ConAgra's Gourmet Food Group portfolio of natural & organic brands, including Alexia Foods, Frontera Foods, Blake's All Natural Foods & Wicked Kitchen.
"We are very fortunate to have a CPG pro like Rob Johnson join the company at this stage of its growth," said Tim Condon, CEO, SCCventures, the equity firm that has funded Uncle Dougie's expansion. "His brand management instincts and understanding of broker/distributor/retailer channels will bring great value to the business as it continues to grow."
SCCventures acquired a majority interest in Uncle Dougie's in 2012. The brand has expanded its geography from the Midwest, adding distributors across the U.S. In 2015 the brand launched nationally in Canada (YTD is up 20 percent over 2016). The brand counts Whole Foods as one of its top retail partners.
“Uncle Dougie’s has built its brand on the strength of its award-winning taste and super-premium, ‘No Crap’ clean label quality,” said Johnson. “I’m excited to push forward with our consumer-driven mission of incredible taste and product integrity, and look forward to working alongside Doug and the rest of our leadership team.” Uncle Dougie's Founder and namesake Doug Tomek will continue in his role as President and Culinary Director.
Uncle Dougie's was founded in 1989, by Tomek (Uncle Dougie), with a vision to craft small-batch, super-premium products without chemicals and shortcuts such as high-fructose corn syrup. Thanks to Uncle Dougie’s zero-fat, no-fry Wicked Good Wing Marinade, the brand made a splash in the industry, and inspired a cult-like grassroots following.
Since then, Uncle Dougie's has introduced BBQ sauces, hot sauces, rubs and cocktail mixes that have won numerous awards in taste competitions across the country. This includes awards for Uncle Dougie's BBQ sauces at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue competition in Kansas City, and for the brand’s Rich'N Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, which was named “Outstanding Beverage” at the Specialty Foods Association awards. "I am very excited to have Rob on board. He believes, as do I, that enduring brands with integrity, are built from the heart," said Tomek. "We have a lot of retailers looking at us, and a lot of people out there who would love our products."
"Uncle Dougie's is well-positioned for the fast-growing segment of consumers that are seeking healthier alternatives that deliver on taste," said Johnson. "All of our products are naturally lower in sugar and sodium than the category leaders, as well as gluten-free and non-GMO, and we absolutely smoke them on taste. There is a lot of opportunity out there for the Uncle Dougie's brand."