C.P.G. veterans join chickpea snack brand

by Monica Watrous
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Joseph Serventi, Hippeas
Joe Serventi has been named general manager of Hippeas.

LOS ANGELES — Joe Serventi has been named general manager of Hippeas, a brand of organic chickpea puffs from Greek Park Brands. Joining him at the company are Josh Francis, named vice-president of sales, and Luke Ledyard, named director of sales. In these roles, Mr. Serventi, Mr. Francis and Mr. Ledyard will be responsible for driving cross-channel distribution of Hippeas snacks in traditional, natural and club retailers and growing revenue in the United States.

Previously, Mr. Serventi was executive vice-president of corporate development at barkTHINS, leading the growth of that brand from $8 million in sales to more than $70 million in sales between 2014 and 2016, culminating in its sale to the Hershey Co. last April. Prior to barkTHINS, he was a member of the Pirate Brands senior management team, helping the company quadruple its sales before it was acquired by B&G Foods for $195 million in 2013. From 1999 to 2008, Mr. Serventi was director of business development at Glaceau, where he helped grow the company from $100,000 in sales to over $700 million before it sold to the Coca-Cola Co. for $4.1 billion in 2007.

“Joe’s success in growing and refreshing C.P.G. companies is incredibly impressive and will be instrumental as Hippeas continues its expansion in the United States,” said Livio Bisterzo, founder and chief executive officer of Hippeas. “We look forward to furthering our mission to revolutionize the snack food industry, and with Joe at the helm, Hippeas will reach epic proportions in no time.”

Josh Francis, Hippeas
Josh Francis, vice-president of sales for Hippeas

Former colleagues of Mr. Serventi at Pirate Brands, Mr. Francis most recently was director of business development at Babyganics, and Mr. Ledyard was director of national accounts at Cookie Chips and director of sales, East at Krave Jerky.

“I’ve watched the entrance and growth of Hippeas to the C.P.G. market since its launch and have truly admired its approach to building a brand-first proposition,” Mr. Serventi said. “Alongside Josh and Luke, I’m enthusiastic about the prospect of introducing new retailers and consumers to Hippeas and solidifying its rightful position in the marketplace — at the top.”

Luke Ledyard, Hippeas
Luke Ledyard, director of sales for Hippeas
Hippeas launched in July 2016 with Starbucks Corp. and has grown its footprint to more than 18,500 retail outlets, including Whole Foods Market, Wegmans and Kroger. With 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per serving, varieties include Pepper Power, Far Out Fajita, Sriracha Sunshine, Maple Haze, Happenin’ Hickory and Vegan White Cheddar. 
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