Consumer packaged goods (CPG) jobs are on the rise in Austin. You may be surprised by some of the brands that started right here in the Lone Star capital, including SkinnyPop® Popcorn, High Brew Coffee, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
According to the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, food manufacturing makes up $738 million of Austin’s gross domestic product. Food manufacturing is within the CPG realm but so are non-edible consumer products like Dell computers, YETI® coolers, and even Kendra Scott® jewelry (all Austin-born, by the way).
We want you to be excited about CPG jobs because we think they’re among the best jobs in Austin. Let’s bust through some beliefs that may be holding you back.
Austin CPGs Are Scrappy
You know the large CPGs: Nestle, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and the like. Their products are pervasive in our lives, and working for them is as corporate as it gets. But most CPG jobs—especially in Austin—are with small businesses (even nationally known ones). If you enjoy being part of a small team, Austin CPG jobs are a great bet.
Take Tito’s Handmade Vodka, for example. By 2020, Tito’s had surpassed Smirnoff to become the top vodka sold in the U.S. But, “we still make it in batches, use old-fashioned pot stills, and taste-test every batch to make sure you get only the best,” they proudly admit.
Many CPG Jobs are Tech-Centric
Don’t assume that CPG jobs are only on the production line or in logistics (although those are great jobs, too). These days, many CPG companies are considered tech startups because, well, that’s how they operate. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) products, in particular, rely on digital platforms, AI, and metrics to succeed. In other words, Austin CPGs hire as many developers, UX engineers, data scientists and analytics specialists as other startups do.
“A funny thing happened on the way to 2020…suddenly I’m writing about tortilla chips along with computer chips,” jokes Austin Business Journal’s Mike Cronin, who covers tech and startup news, referencing the wild success of Austin-grown CPG Siete Foods among dozens more. And it’s not just a trend. CPG accelerator SKU Austin and venture capital firm Springdale Ventures are helping the Austin CPG startup environment build a lasting foundation.
If “I’d like to give the world a Coke” isn’t enough of a CPG mission for you, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Austin CPG jobs. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an Austin CPG that doesn’t have a sustainable, healthy, or social-good focus backing everything they do.
YETI is a great example with its focus on reducing plastic and packaging waste and emissions. Healthy and natural food and beverage CPGs are abundant in Austin, including dozens of CPGs that are part of the Naturally Austin CPG community. And several Austin CPGs that are minority-owned/ mission-driven are supported and featured by programs like SKU Elevate and the Siete Juntos Fund.
It’s an exciting time for Austin CPG jobs. Be sure The HT Group has your current resume and interests on file so that we can help you get in on the action.