Houston Entrepreneurs Expand Reach Through Purchase of Local Health Food Company

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Three Houston-area serial entrepreneurs aim to bring their all-natural low carb and heart healthy food and snacks to grocery stores through the recent purchase of Dixie Diners’ Club

Dixie Diners' Club

Dixie Diners' Club

The purpose of this purchase (of Dixie Diners' Club) was to launch BeefJerky.com even further by mass distribution...

After a massive re-branding of a recently acquired online beef jerky company, three Houston-area business partners have purchased a whole foods distributor in hopes to market their beef products in local grocery stores, while diversifying their snack food distribution portfolio.

Aman Dhuka, Roger Janik and Mark Martin, owners of BeefJerky.com, have purchased Dixie Diners Club earlier this month and are working on re-launching the brand as Dixie Foods, LTD.

Dixie Diners’ Club was launched in the early 1990s when the original owners began marketing and selling its “healthy” snack food line to consumers through direct mail orders and eventually, through its online shop.

“We took a company that had a great history behind it and we want to take it even further,” Dhuka said.

The new owners hope to expand the current product line by adding their line of beef jerky products to the distribution - making this the first time BeefJerky.com jerky will be available on local grocery store shelves in the future - a move co-owner Roger Janik described as strategic.

“The purpose of this purchase (of Dixie Diners' Club) was to launch BeefJerky.com even further by mass distribution through Dixie Foods into grocery stores,” Janik said. “All while we continue to focus on what the (original owners) built the last 20 years.”

Janik’s partner, Martin elaborated on the plan.

“What we want to do is take these health food products - these great products that they created - and do the same thing we did with beef jerky and re-invent the labeling and packaging and continue to serve the current customer base through distribution channels that we have on the internet and start bringing these products onto store shelves,” Martin said. “We can co-market the beef jerky and Dixie products at the same time and through various channels.”

Since the acquisition, the new owners have implemented a three-phase overhaul of the brand which began with a closer look at how operations were ran by the previous owners and where the new owners can make improvements.

“First we want to look at operations to see what we can do to lower overhead,” Martin said.
“In the first two weeks since we’ve owned (Dixie Foods), we've already identified quite a few things to save five to ten percent of the operating costs.”

From there, Martin said the plan for phase two is to evaluate the sales of the products and begin rebranding and repackaging of the top ten selling Dixie food items.

Until now, Dhuka said Dixie Diners’ Club products, which range from low carb, low-fat foods and mixes, were available for purchase by consumers exclusively through the website but the three endeavor to expand on the brand's retail exposure by marketing to the masses via grocery stores as a part of their third phase.

The partners will begin assessing the market this week by launching Dixie Foods and BeefJerky.com in select stores throughout the Houston area.

“We want to test the market in these stores,” Dhuka said. “The next step is to go to the larger grocery and big box stores to push the Dixie Foods line as well as BeefJerky.com"

Once the testing period concludes, team members will begin talks with local distribution routes to begin pushing the products on to the shelves of different retail markets throughout the Houston area.

In addition to stocking grocery stores with Dixie products, the three plan on delivering a complete overhaul of the existing Dixie website and an overhaul on not just the packaging of the top ten selling products but also packaging of the entire product lineup.

Dixie Diner’s Club launched their line of healthy foods in 1993 with products designed for the Atkins diet menu.

“Dixie at that time was the number one distributor of Atkins diet compliant products,” Martin said. “(The original owners) worked with Dr. Atkins to create specific food formulas that fit the Atkins diet plan and that is why a lot of the loyal customer base is still strong.”

Dhuka, Janik and Martin, who solidified their partnership through the purchase BeefJerky.com in October 2016, intend to market their beef snacks to the same customer base.

“Historically people never looked at the package and question what was in it but nowadays there’s a trend going towards craft-niche foods that cater not only toward the health conscious but also the anti-preservatives and glucoses and sugar,” Martin said. “We want to take these health food products along with beef jerky and co-market Dixie and jerky to these people.”

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