Emerging beverage brand Rob’s Really Good has fired its top two sales and marketing hires, Marty Jay Zirofsky and Tim Larsen. The pair had been among the brand’s earliest employees.
Owner Robert Ehrlich, who also started the highly successful Pirate’s Booty brand of snacks, said the termination of the two beverage industry veterans is part of a decision by Rob’s Really Good Inc. “to restructure its brand” and broaden its base of distributors beyond beverage DSD in the markets in which it is sold.
Rob’s is sold in six metro areas, adding Chicago-based powerhouse River North Distributing as of today – but Ehrlich would like to see his brand sold by wholesalers used to servicing categories beyond beverage.
“We are going to maintain our DSD approach but also add natural and specialty distributors,” Ehrlich said, comparing the hybrid model he seeks to build with that of specialty, short shelf-life juice brands like Odwalla and Naked Juice, both of which were forced to find alternative routes to market in their early days.
“They had to reinvent the model a bit,” Ehrlich said. “And we’re going to do whatever it takes.”
In the case of Rob’s Really Good, that might entail recruiting multiple distributors to cover a single geographic area – the kind of arrangement that beverage DSD distributors try to avoid.
Zirofsky and Larsen, who were working as Executive Vice President and West Coast VP, respectively, came from a more traditional beverage background, having joined Rob’s Really Good from Function Drinks after working in a variety of capacities at companies like SoBe and Fuze.