People Moves: CEO Shakeups At AQUAHydrate, Live Soda, Moonshine Sweet Tea

Hal Kravitz Leaves AQUAhydrate

Hal Kravitz has departed as CEO of premium alkaline water brand AQUAhydrate.

Kravitz confirmed the news, first reported by industry newsletter Beverage Business Insights, in a call with BevNET but declined to comment further.

Kravitz joined AQUAhydrate in January 2015. During his tenure, the brand expanded distribution nationally with C-store retailers including Rite Aid and Speedway, and regionally in large conventional chains, including Target and Walmart. In June 2016, AQUAhydrate appointed fitness personality Jillian Michaels as the company’s Chief Wellness Officer, joining a group of celebrity backers that includes entertainment mogul Sean “Puffy” Combs and actor Mark Wahlberg.

Kravitz has been a member of the board of directors for fitness energy drink brand Celsius since 2016. He is also a member of the management team at beverage advisory firm InterContinental Beverage Capital (IBC).

Prior to joining AQUAhydrate, Kravitz spent over 30 years at The Coca-Cola Company, where he served in various different roles, including leading operations for Glaceau following its $4.1 billion acquisition by Coke in 2007.

Remmy Castillo Shifts Out of CEO Role at Moonshine Sweet Tea

Remmy Castillo has stepped down as CEO of Austin-based iced tea company Moonshine Sweet Tea.

In a call with BevNET, Castillo explained that he decided to step down as CEO of the company to spend more time with his family and pursue other business interests within beverage. He said he retains an equity stake in Moonshine.

A source at the company has already appointed his successor that will be announced in the coming days.

Moonshine, which launched its six-SKU line of ready-to-drink iced teas in 2015, has grown from an initial grocery presence in Texas chain H-E-B to over 11,000 stores nationwide. Last year, the company rolled out the entire line to 1,472 Target stores nationwide.

Trevor Ross Out at LIVE Soda

Trevor Ross has left as CEO of LIVE Soda, the kombucha and probiotic beverage company he founded in 2012.

Ross confirmed the departure in an email sent to BevNET. Neither he nor company representatives responded to requests for further comment.

Since its inception, LIVE Soda has used familiar soda flavors, such as cola and root beer, to position the brand’s lines of kombucha and sparkling drinking vinegar as better-for-you alternatives to traditional carbonated soft drinks. At Natural Products Expo West 2018 in March, Live launched a new five-SKU line of zero-calorie probiotic sodas, which contain one billion colony forming units (CFUs) of probiotics.

Before creating LIVE Soda, Ross founded Boundless Nutrition, a better-for-you snack company which released products such as Oatmega bars and Perfect Cookie. The company was acquired by Amplify Snack Brands, Inc. in 2016.

Amanda Sains Joins Vive Organic

Swapping East Coast for West, Amanda Sains has left protein smoothie brand B’more Organic to join Santa Monica, Calif.-based juice shot company Vive Organic as its director of marketing.

Sains, a graduate of West Virginia University, joined B’more Organic as director of marketing and operations in 2016, before being promoted to director of marketing and business development the following year. During that time, B’more Organic redesigned the packaging on its 12.8 oz. bottles and launched in over 200 7-Eleven stores throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Andrew Simpson In As VP Of Sales at Sunshine

Better-for-you energy drink brand Sunshine Beverages has hired Andrew Simpson as vice president of sales, according to a press release.

Simpson, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, will work out of the company’s main office in Winston-Salem, N.C. He will lead the sales team and serve as the primary contact for key accounts.

“With the backing of Teall Capital, we have tremendous expansion momentum happening at Sunshine, and Andrew will be instrumental in keeping the business on the fast track,” said Lizzie Ward, President of Sunshine, in a press release. “Andrew will lead our territory sales teams and manage key retail accounts, including grocery and convenience store chains.”

Nestle Waters North America Sustainability Chief Switzer Departs

Nelson Switzer, the vice president and chief sustainability officer for Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA), has exited his position to join Loop Industries, a Canadian technology company working to develop sustainability solutions for the plastics industry.

According to an NWNA spokesperson, in a notice to employees, company president and CEO Fernando Mercé praised Switzer for helping the company develop relationships with environmental organizations, supporting its revised Siting Framework, and helping NWNA “continue its work as a leader in water stewardship and environmental management.”

Switzer will serve as Chief Growth Officer at Loop, where he will lead the commercialization of the company’s technology and increase awareness of the brand, according to a press release. He will work with Loop founder and CEO Daniel Solomita on issues related to strategic development, innovation, marketing, customer engagement, relationship management and government relations.

“I am very excited to join Loop to help the company bring this groundbreaking sustainability technology to market,” Switzer said in the release. “It is clear that the prospects of growth for Loop are exceptional and demonstrates clearly that transitioning to the circular economy is both

achievable and profitable.”