Jeff Richards
Mooala Brands, LLC

In 2016, Jeff Richards left the world of investment banking to make a splash in beverage innovation. Seeing double-digit growth in plant-based milks, he left a vice president role at BNP Paribas to found Mooala, a Dallas manufacturer of premium, organic, dairy-free beverages to over 6,000 retail stores nationwide. Mooala, most famous for its plant-based Bananamilk, is sold in premier store banners like Whole Foods, Kroger, Costco, Publix Walmart and HEB. Jeff has carved out a unique niche in the plant-based beverage market and has quickly accelerated the business to have the #1 branded organic plant-based almondmilk in the country. Jeff serves on the advisory boards of So Great Foods and Magic Mind. In addition, Jeff is a contributing member of Seed Effect, an economic development organization, and serves in the music ministry at Munger Place Church. Jeff is a passionate venture capital investor in consumer products companies. He is married to his lovely wife Maria.



Accelerating Innovation: What Emerging Brands Need to Get Growing

Although the nation’s COVID pandemic provided a boon to retail packaged foods, the past 18 months proved to be a particularly challenging time for smaller start-ups to bring new products to shelf. One ally in the fight is SKU, an Austin, Texas, product accelerator that supports smaller companies and provides 12-14 weeks of development and advice from industry mentors. Come hear SKU Chief Operating Officer Michelle Breyer lead a panel discussion about new product innovation and how small companies can get hit the ground running in 2022.