Three months after Carl Sweat stepped down as CEO of the company, FRS continues to reorganize its executive team and has brought back a familiar face to head up its sales department. Richard Libonate, who held the position of General Manager, Retail Sales for FRS from March 2008 to June 2010 has returned to the company as its Senior Vice President of Sales. Libonate had spent the last three years as the head of sales for protein/energy bar marketer Promax Nutrition and previously held leadership roles with Stroh Brewery, The Snapple Beverage Group and Cadbury Schweppes.
Libonate’s hire comes as the company looks to refocus its attention on its core Healthy Energy line and marketing the benefits of quercetin, the key functional ingredient in the products. And while the company hopes that its recent acquisition of supplement manufacturer Nutravail will expand its platform for chews and powders, FRS CMO Matt Kohler told BevNET in January that beverages will remain a major part of its portfolio; it’s a big part of the reason that Libonate, with sales and distribution experience in beverage, nutrition and natural channels, is back on board.
“Given our value proposition, it made sense to have someone with that breadth of capability,” said Dave Henderson, CEO, The FRS Company told BevNET. “Rich knows how to get product in distribution in places where there is a lot of opportunity to sell the whole FRS story.”
Here is FRS’ statement on the hire of Libonate:
SAN MATEO, Calif., April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the FRS Company announced that Richard Libonate will rejoin the Company as Senior Vice President of Sales. In that capacity, he will oversee all sales activities for FRS.
Following the acquisition of Nutravail in December, FRS continues to strengthen its positioning as a nutrition platform for a healthy active lifestyle, and to extend its reach beyond the beverage aisle. Libonate’s depth of experience working with both beverage and nutrition products is an excellent fit for this strategy.
Libonate is returning to FRS after spending 3 years at Promax Nutrition, where he was head of sales and served on their Board of Directors. He previously held leadership positions at Cadbury Schweppes, The Snapple Beverage Group, A&W, and Coca-Cola. He also served as Chairman of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
“ Rich Libonate has strategically built sales organizations to win distribution in beverage, HBC, nutrition and natural channels,” said Dave Henderson , CEO of The FRS Company. “He is a detail oriented, strategy focused, hands-on sales leader, and we are thrilled to have him back on the executive team.”
“I’ve always been a big believer in the brand, and I’m delighted to be back at FRS,” said Libonate. “FRS’ value proposition goes well beyond beverage, and I’m excited to help the company realize its full potential.”
The FRS Company is committed to healthy nutrition for an active lifestyle. Our core product is FRS Healthy Energy®, a full line of products that provide natural, sustained energy without the crash. Featuring a patented blend of the powerful antioxidant quercetin, found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, FRS has been scientifically proven to deliver sustained energy, increased endurance, and immune system support. FRS is championed by elite athletes, wellness experts, and anyone wanting to live a healthy, active lifestyle. For a free trial of the product, visit www.FRS.com.
Nutravail is a contract manufacturer serving national retail chains and brands. Nutravail’s products focus on delivering a growing menu of nutritional ingredients in great-tasting formats. The company’s portfolio includes soft chews, spun matrix flakes and ingredient encapsulations, each produced with a patented process. The company’s flagship product is the uncooked soft chew which is produced at temperatures below 100°F and low water activity, which vastly expand the types of nutritional ingredients that can be incorporated. Nutravail’s spun matrix flakes have had a similar impact on beverages, allowing the use of otherwise insoluble ingredients in a beverage. With the benefit of a seasoned product development group and a stable of process patents, Nutravail constantly challenges itself to develop delicious, highly functional products for its customers.
Major investors in The FRS Company include Oak Investment Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm, and its founderTom Lines .