People Moves: Mark Nunn Leaves Nutpods

Mark Nunn Leaves Nutpods, Starts Consulting Business

Nutpods VP of sales Mark Nunn told BevNET in a phone call this week that he has left the plant-based creamer company, effective last month. The food and beverage industry veteran plans to launch his own sales and marketing incubator for CPG brands, tentatively named Nunn Consulting.

When Nunn joined Nutpods in June 2017, the brand was primarily an ecommerce business with placement in only 600 retail accounts. During his tenure, Nunn built out the brand’s sales team and broker network while expanding distribution to just under 13,000 brick-and-mortar stores. His departure comes just weeks after the company closed an investment round with VMG Partners, a development that Nunn said contributed to his decision to leave.

“I’ve been in the industry for 20-plus years and I’ve always felt this need to be someone to help these emerging businesses to not only build out a sales structure but really do it right,” Nunn told BevNET. “I’ve seen the mistakes made where you push out distribution too fast, maybe into some of the wrong retailers, and it doesn’t quite create the story and velocity that you want.”

Nunn said his new consulting business will work with early stage food and beverage startups to help young brands develop their sales strategies and pricing strategies, create trade spending plans using syndicated data, build broker networks, and target the “right retailers” to facilitate growth.

Prior to Nutpods, Nunn served as VP of sales for Alive & Radiant Foods. He has previously held sales leadership positions at Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, Food Should Taste Good, Immaculate Baking Company, and Oregon Chai Inc.

“I feel like my skill set across so many categories and subcategories and channels — whether it’s been food service or club or mass or grocery or natural and conventional — I feel like I’ve got that total exposure and package now to implement something like [a consulting business],” Nunn said. “With the accumulation of my skill set now I feel like this is the time to do it.”

Humm Hires Matt Witherell as President

Humm Kombucha announced this week that it has named Matt Witherell as president. Witherell most recently served as the SVP of retail sales for Red Bull from January 2017 to September 2018. Prior to Red Bull, he spent 11 years in executive roles at MillerCoors.

As president, Witherell will oversee sales, marketing, operations, human resources, and finance strategies. Speaking to BevNET, Witherell said he was attracted to the Oregon-based brand due to the large growth potential for the kombucha category and what he viewed as Humm’s unique positioning to attract new consumers to the space.

“Growth is good, and growth in beverage is harder to come by these days, but there’s a nice tail wind for the functional beverages that people want,” Witherell told BevNET. “When you think about where the growth is coming from, Humm is especially well positioned because it’s drinkable and delicious. It’s designed as accessible.”

Dean Foods Names New CEO

Dean Foods Company has named Eric Beringause as president CEO, effective July 29. Beringause, who most recently served as CEO of dairy producer Gehl Foods, replaces outgoing Dean CEO Ralph Scozzafava.

“We believe Eric is the right leader to drive the transformation of the business as the Company continues to execute on its enterprise-wide cost productivity plan and its previously announced exploration of strategic alternatives,” said Jim Turner, non-executive chairman of the Dean Foods board, in a press release. “He has a long track record of creating value in dairy and consumer products companies, as well as a unique combination of turnaround and operational expertise.”

Former Coke Exec Joins Glucose Health Board

Hal Kravitz, the former CEO of AQUAhydrate and a veteran of the Coca-Cola Company, has joined the board of directors of Glucose Health, Inc., the company announced in a press release last week. Glucose Health is the maker of GlucoDown, a functional beverage designed to reduce blood sugar levels for diabetic consumers.

At Coke, Kravitz served as the president of Glaceau Vitaminwater and Smartwater and also oversaw brands such as Powerade and Fuze. He served as the CEO of AQUAhydrate from November 2014 to April 2018. He is also currently a board member of Celsius, Hoist Rapid Hydration, and Certified Management Group.

“GlucoDown is on the leading edge of the evolution of the beverage industry; providing delicious and nutritious drink choices to consumers with specific health concerns,” Kravitz said in a press release. “I am so pleased to be a part of the team and offer my contribution in building the GlucoDown brand.”

FloWater Names New Chief Sales Officer

Water dispenser company FloWater has named Mike Derro as chief sales officer, the company announced last week in a press release. Derro most recently served as the VP of sales at Serta Simmons Bedding.

The Denver-based company recently raised $15 million in a series B round to “fuel its rapid growth,” according to the press release.

“Mike’s terrific background in growing national accounts and developing sales organizations will be a key catalyst in our domestic expansion,” FloWater CEO Rich Razgaitis said in a press release.

O2 Sports Recovery Names New VP of Sales

O2 Sports Recovery Drink has named Kimberly Burck as VP of sales. According to a press release, Burck previously served as the national account manager for the Annie’s brand at General Mills.

“I see significant opportunity in the area of active recovery beverages in the grocery channel, and I’m looking forward to being involved in the space with a brand that’s spearheading change within the beverage industry,” Burck said in the release. “While O2 has strong brand recognition in the CrossFit industry, there’s endless opportunity with boutique gyms in the HIIT, yoga, and spin verticals that will be exciting to explore and develop as well.”