HIPPEAS Organic Chickpea Snacks has raised $50 million from The Craftory Limited. The financing consisted of direct investment and secondary purchases of shares from existing HIPPEAS shareholders, including CAVU Venture Partners.
HIPPEAS, known for its iconic yellow bag with a chickpea smile, debuted in Q2 of 2016 in the U.S. and the U.K., with a line of Organic Chickpea Puffs that quickly took over grocery aisles with unprecedented traction. In 2019 the brand launched HIPPEAS Organic Tortilla Chips, chickpea-based tortilla chips. Both lines are USDA Organic, certified gluten-free and vegan. To date, the brand has secured shelf-space at 50,000 stores such as Starbucks, Whole Foods, Target, CVS, Wegmans, Stop and Shop, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Thrive Market and on Amazon.com. HIPPEAS Tortilla Chips can be found at Whole Foods and on Amazon.com in the U.S.
Chickpea plants naturally release nitrogen back into the soil, so they are good for the earth, just by being themselves. HIPPEAS is also proud to support local Feeding America food banks across the country by donating food and aiding in disaster relief efforts.
"HIPPEAS has grown from a disruptive start-up to a true challenger brand in very competitive snack categories with innovative products, delicious flavors and nutritional offerings that consumers want–the brand has the potential to become a household name with its loyal millennial fanbase," said Livio Bisterzo, HIPPEAS founder and CEO. "The pandemic has been very difficult for many brands; HIPPEAS has been fortunate to have seen strong growth and we are delighted to have partnered with The Craftory as we head into 2021," he continued.
Greg Buscher has come on as chief financial officer. Greg is an entrepreneurial CFO with 25 years' C-suite leadership experience. His career leverages a strategic business perspective, operational orientation and deep background in manufacturing and distribution to create enterprise value through top and bottom-line growth.
César Melo has also joined HIPPEAS board of directors. César holds vast global operating experience having held senior leadership roles at Colgate-Palmolive, was president at Mondelez and PepsiCO and was CEO of Foster Grant International. César currently focuses on investing in and advising early-stage companies in the areas of better-food, better-planet and better-technology.
Elio Leoni Sceti, co-founder and chief crafter at The Craftory, noted, "I am delighted to add HIPPEAS to the Craftory's great portfolio of cause driven brands. If ever a category has been left behind by the zeitgeist it's this one. The consumer agenda in snacking has fundamentally changed and HIPPEAS stands out as a clear leader. HIPPEAS offers zero compromise of flavour and texture, no need to change consumer habits nor expectations, while also being healthier and more sustainable than the more traditional alternatives–that's a great proposition and a proven recipe for success. We are happy to welcome Livio and the HIPPEAS team to the Craftory family. We look forward to amplifying this bold CPG challenger as they positively disrupt the status quo. Eat good, do good, what could be more Craftory than that?"
Jonathan Miller, craft partner at the Craftory commented, "HIPPEAS are that rarest of things–a healthier snack which actually tastes good. Really good. Too often, the healthy option which you know is better for you just leaves you feeling 'I'd rather not have anything'–but HIPPEAS snacks are delicious. And not only better for you–they're also better for the planet. We're excited to be partnering with the business, to help bring their better breed of snacks to more people, on more occasions, around the world."