HIPPEAS Organic Chickpea Puffs announced the growth of its internal brand team with three significant executive level hires. Led by CPG veteran Joe Serventi, who has been appointed general manager, HIPPEAS has invested in expanding its sales force nationwide with the addition of Josh Francis as vice president of sales and Luke Ledyard as director of sales. In these roles, Serventi, Francis and Ledyard will be responsible for driving cross-channel distribution among traditional, natural and club retailers, and growing revenue in the United States.
Prior to joining HIPPEAS, Serventi served as the executive vice president of corporate development at barkTHINS, where he built out the larger organization and infrastructure while establishing the disruptive snack brand in the competitive marketplace. As a key member of the executive team, Serventi drove 775 percent revenue growth, culminating in the company’s sale to Hershey’s. Before barkTHINS, Serventi was an instrumental member of the Pirate Brands senior management team, where he revitalized the stagnant brand and quadrupled sales.
“Joe’s success in growing and refreshing CPG companies is incredibly impressive and will be instrumental as HIPPEAS continues its expansion in the United States,” said Livio Bisterzo, founder and CEO 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.”
Former colleagues of Serventi at Pirates Brands, Francis and Ledyard come together to reunite the dream team of sales and business development. Before joining HIPPEAS and following Pirates Brands, Francis acted as the director of business development at Babyganics and Ledyard held the role of 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 CPG market since its launch and have truly admired its approach to building a brand-first proposition,” said Joe Serventi, general manager at HIPPEAS. “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.”
Following its launch in July 2016 with Starbucks, the bright yellow bag with the chickpea smile is officially taking over the grocery aisle. With presence in over 18,500 doors, HIPPEAS can now be found at premium retailers including Whole Foods, Wegman’s, HEB, Shaw’s and Central Market, and has recently secured distribution in Kroger.