Hippeas picks former Annie’s and PopCorners head as new CEO

Dive Transient:

  • Paul Nardone is the brand new CEO of chickpea snack model Hippeas, the corporate mentioned in an announcement. Nardone has greater than 30 years of experience in a wide range of meals, beverage and shopper packaged items firms, together with CEO roles at Annie’s and PopCorners proprietor BFY Manufacturers. 
  • The CPG veteran will concentrate on rising Hippeas’ portfolio, increasing manufacturing and opening new channels of distribution. Founder Livio Bisterzo has transitioned into the chief chairman position the place he’ll concentrate on strategic initiatives.
  • The naming of a brand new CEO continues what has been an energetic yr for the snack maker. In January, Hippeas raised $50 million in an funding spherical from The Craftory Restricted, and named Greg Buscher, who has 25 years of C-suite expertise and a background in operations and manufacturing, as CFO.

Dive Perception:

Hippeas has grown right into a $100 million model because it was based 5 years in the past, and its latest government appointment gives contemporary proof that it is banking on trade expertise to assist additional its growth. Bisterzo has beforehand mentioned the corporate, which started promoting puffed chickpeas, needs to evolve right into a snacking platform with a presence throughout a number of classes.

An enormous a part of its early success comes from the truth that its wholesome snack merchandise supply most of the qualities shoppers are in search of, together with natural, gluten free, non-GMO and vegan. However assembly these wants is not sufficient to ensure success in in the present day’s market. Younger firms want a pacesetter who cannot solely assist them navigate and compete with smaller rivals and deep-pocketed CPGs but in addition help them in advertising their choices, cope with altering shopper habits and work with retailers, each on-line and within the retailer. 

Nardone seems to have the expertise Hippeas will want following his prior expertise at Annie’s Homegrown, Stirrings, Immaculate Baking and PopCorners. Throughout his time at Immaculate Baking, he grew the corporate into the top-selling pure model within the $2 billion refrigerated dough class earlier than it was acquired by Normal Mills. At PopCorners, which was bought as a part of BFY Manufacturers by PepsiCo in 2019, he prioritized leading and rising modern meals and beverage manufacturers, with a concentrate on gross sales, advertising and model constructing. 

One thread that binds a lot of his prior meals expertise at these firms collectively is wholesome meals and drinks. Hippeas’s presence within the better-for-you snacking class will undoubtedly profit from Nardone’s information in fostering these manufacturers. 

The tempo of acquisitions has been notably energetic in meals with CPGs bulking up their presence in more healthy consuming. Up to now a number of months, Mondelez Worldwide bought Hu Grasp Holdings, a maker of premium snacks and goodies created from easy substances; Nestlé acquired Freshly, a supplier of fresh-prepared meal supply companies within the U.S.; Danone added to the combination plant-based pioneer Comply with Your Coronary heart; and Mars bought bar maker Type. 

Hippeas has lengthy been rumored as an acquisition goal, however to date has managed to stay a standalone firm. It is doable Nardone is being introduced in to the on-trend Hippeas to additional enhance income that might drive up the value tag a possible acquirer could be keen to pay. Not less than two firms he has ties to up to now had been finally devoured up by massive CPGs whereas he was CEO.

Hippeas’ worth is little doubt on the rise as shoppers look to eat more healthy and snack extra, a pair of traits which have gained momentum in the course of the pandemic. With a contemporary spherical of money in hand, in addition to new management in a CEO and CFO, the longer term for Hippeas seems promising, both as a standalone enterprise of as half of a bigger firm. 


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