OMG! Pretzels with Stephanie Kreibel and Tali Benjamin feature #27 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature #27: OMG! Pretzels presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on OMG! Pretzels
Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS was joined by Stephanie Kriebel, Co-Founder and Tali Benjamin, Chief Content Creator, of OMG! Pretzels. OMG! Pretzels creates an elevated snacking experience with their “ridiculously delicious” gourmet flavored sourdough pretzel nuggets. As a women and family-owned business, OMG! Pretzels prides themselves on using only premium ingredients and keeping their products 100% made in America. There are no pretzel nuggets on the market quite like OMG! Pretzels as each pretzel bursts with unbelievable crunch and flavor. Recognized as an award-winning product with strong consumer satisfaction, these pretzels are a must-have in every retail location. Mother/daughter partners, Lynn and Stephanie Kriebel, founded OMG! Pretzels in 2014 after years and countless requests from friends and family to make their gourmet pretzels available for sale. The company is named “OMG! Pretzels” because Once you pop one in your mouth, OMG! comes popping out! Our eight bold and innovative flavors include: Garlic, Sweet and Salty, Sweet & Spicy, Cheddar Jalapeno, Chesapeake Bay, Sweet Chili, Lemon Pepper, and Salty Butterscotch OMG! Pretzels partners with local and national merchants to provide these mouthwatering snacks to retailers, customers, family, and friends. Their partners are grocers, grocery stores, supermarkets, fine gifts, fine foods, gourmet foods, convenience stores, delis, sandwich shops, gift baskets, beer distributors, liquor stores, and more.
Stephanie and Lynn started out in Lynn's kitchen. With a traditional single oven, Lynn would make 2 pans at a time. The first two years were strictly two flavors, Garlic and Sweet & Salty. By year 3, they realized a move to a commercial kitchen was required to meet the demand for OMG! Pretzels. The pretzel-making team was comprised of Lynn’s retired friends from church who worked on a part-time basis. After a few years with this set up, the company had once again outgrown their space and partnered with their first copacker.
This move allowed OMG! Pretzels to transform from a regional company to a national company. Being able to scale was a huge success for the duo, but they also understood that presented new challenges. The amount of raw materials they now had to source, being required to manage all of that, and ultimately figuring out the logistics of getting their products into the hands of their retail partners.
Stephanie told us that one of the instrumental strategic moves was partnering with FAIRE wholesale marketplace online. This decision helped with their national brand exposure in 2020. The products are sold mainly at independent retailers, specialty boutiques, specialty groceries, family-owned groceries, and small chains throughout the US including Alaska and Hawaii. This segment accounts for about 90% of their sales with the remaining 10% courtesy of DTC on their own website and Amazon.
The company stressed the importance of scaling strategically. Stephanie told us that the next goal is to become an international brand. However, it is crucial to value their partnerships with the right retailers. Being a premium brand with a gourmet product means they want to have the right shelf space, the right fit, the right appeal to consumers. Despite the strategic approach from the team at OMG! Pretzels it has not stopped them from growing over and over again.
The OMG! Pretzel's Experience
We asked Stephanie and Tali to describe what their product stands for, and both told us "It is part of your lifestyle. It is natural to pull out our pretzels when hosting, but the best thing we feature on top of unbelievable taste is sharing those moments with those you love in your life. Being able to enjoy the product and the moment is the perfect formula for us." The company even goes above and beyond and sends out recipes and pairings that go with their 8 bold flavors. Tali jumped in here as she is the resident "foodie" of the team. "A few mornings ago my breakfast consisted of pretzels and marinara sauce, trying out a new combo for our community!" We all joked it doesn't hurt getting to enjoy delicious tasting products for the sake of creating new recipes and pairings for the community :)
We were curious as to what makes OMG! Pretzels unique. On top of being the only seasoned sourdough pretzel in the market, the crunch and bold flavors were the first two answers, but also the "duality" as Tali told us. "Lemon Pepper is my favorite and at first you get the sweet from the citrus and then with each bite the pepper comes in. The intensity amplifies and each bite is layered flavor." Quality is a staple of this company and it goes back to when the products were made prior to the business even being created.
These are family recipes. As Stephanie was clear to point out, "we are very generous with the seasoning." These are a treat to maximize the amount of flavor with each nugget, and are gourmet indeed. Stephanie also mentioned that the company strives on innovation, but not only with the product and flavors.
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Not only is OMG! Pretzels a women-owned business, it is staffed with a team of fractional consultants across the U.S., who are also all women-owned businesses, all working remotely, which shows their commitment to growing the company. As we recently alluded to, innovation is one of the company's strengths. Stephanie told us the team does a great job of generating ideas and excitement and then building on it by not only creating but sustaining momentum. The execution was attributed to the cohesiveness of the team. Tali told us, "It is the ability to have creative freedom. We bounce ideas off of each other and experiment, we see what works, what doesn't and change our approach. But having the platform and belief to not only give but try our ideas is really special."
The company recently began seasonal entertaining guides. The first was around the holiday season and then another one just released for spring. The goal is to provide more inclusivity for their community, with new fun ways to experience the product. Both Stephanie and Tali told us how important their community is and the organic content from their community has had a huge impact on the business continuing to grow.
OMG! Pretzels believes in giving back as they continually donate pretzels to their local police and fire departments, and support Laurel House, a local domestic violence shelter for women.
One thing that was very apparent in our chat was how much the team cares. Everyone is invested. It starts at the top with Stephanie, and her reasoning was really profound. "I'm a serial entrepreneur, have owned four successful businesses and have held over 80 jobs in my life, but this industry (CPG) has been the most challenging. Despite the challenges, one of the most important things is caring about our people. I'm insistent on making sure there is ample time for vacation and mental health. Our inclusive culture is one of openness and communication. While we all have the one main goal to grow the company we make sure we thrive by disconnecting. OMG! Pretzels is very supportive in supporting time off, being and remaining refreshed."
What is next?
The company is still working hard to expand the brand of OMG! Pretzels. TThey are in the works of onboarding a new copacker which is SQF Level 2 certified. They will have unlimited capacity which is just another rung they have managed to climb in this business. They also have worked diligently on some rebranding, a new bag size, and are coming out with a new flavor.
One of their biggest advancements is that 7 of the 9 flavors will be non-GMO. Stephanie told us this was in preparation for the new markets they plan to advance into. We were curious if they were worried about the taste, texture, etc changing. "We aren't and believe it or not the blends taste even better. It takes an incredible experience and just elevates it to a new level." WATCH OUT!
They are working to get into more doors for 2023. Stephanie told us that they had an "aha moment" at the Philadelphia Gift Show earlier this year. "Our target audience we found attend these shows, so we have another few similar to this we are going to exhibit at and hopefully it brings us to another level." She also told us being a member of the WBENC network provides them with opportunities to get in front of the right type of partners.
We ended our chat with Stephanie and Tali by asking if they had a favorite moment about the journey of OMG! Pretzels and Tali started talking about the aforementioned World's Greatest video. "We were doing the video shoot to be featured for World's Greatest and were using different people. Lynn's husband (Stephanie's Dad) was part of the process and to just see his face...the pride and joy he had on it watching what his wife and daughter have created. It was...IS a whole family experience and it was just beautiful."
Not surprisingly, Stephanie's moment also centered around family. "I'm so proud of the fact that my mom took the leap. She is a great matriarch of the business. So proud of the product she made that got us to where we are today. My goal is to take the business as far as we can while she is still here with us. I believe this will be the icing on her "life" cake."
Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
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Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
We want to thank both Stephanie and Tali for their gracious time and stories of OMG! Pretzels. This wonderful family start-up turned family business was a joy to learn about.
You can keep up to date with OMG! Pretzels courtesy of their social media below!
Klimson Logistics Solutions - OMG! Pretzels with Stephanie Kreibel and Tali Benjamin feature #27 of Together Talks
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign "Together Talks" if you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
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