REBBL, a San Francisco-based beverage brand specializing in adaptogen-powered herbal elixirs and tonics, has a new CEO. Sheryl O’Loughlin, who has been on the company’s board of directors since January, has taken the reins at REBBL, while its founder Palo Hawken has relinquished his title of CEO for a new role as chief innovation officer, a switch indicated on Hawken’s LinkedIn profile.
O’Loughlin’s 25-year career in food and beverages began with stints at food giants Kraft and Quaker Oats, followed by a decade at Clif Bar, the last three years of which she spent as CEO. Following her tenure at Clif, O’Loughlin co-founded organic baby food brand Nest Collective (now Plum Organics), which was acquired by Campbell Soup Company in 2013. Since then O’Loughlin has served on the board of a handful of food startups and taught entrepreneurship at Sonoma State University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, among other educational institutions.
“[After joining the board], the more I learned about the brand, I just saw a company that had the magic I had seen work in companies that I’ve run and the boards that I’ve been on,” O’Loughlin said in a call with BevNET. “Which is an amazing team of smart people with the grit that it takes to grow a company, a brand anchored in great taste while organic and healthy, and a purpose, of helping to eradicate modern day trafficking through its partnership with Not for Sale.”
O’Loughlin’s appointment comes as REBBL targets investors for its first significant capital raise outside of friends and family. In speaking on the brand’s plans for a cash infusion, O’Loughlin named in-store sampling and social media as vehicles for REBBL to ramp up its marketing efforts.
“We want to get out there and do more sampling. We want to use social media to build our voice as a brand. We have to help the discovery process of this product happen,” O’Loughlin said.
REBBL’s founder Palo Hawken discussed the company’s ongoing fundraising round with BevNET’s John Craven during last month’s Natural Products Expo East trade show in Baltimore, saying “We’re at that revenue stage, that validation point in terms of velocity and distribution where we feel like putting some serious, institutional, strategic money is the right thing to do.”