In 2015 Livio Bisterzo, an Italian entrepreneur, founded Green Park Holdings. The mission of Green Park is to bring healthier for you food brands to the broad consumer market. While living in London, where he grew up, Bisterzo began working on a product he thought would appeal to the Vegan market. Working with beans and legumes, he came up with the current product and the Hippeas brand was born.
Bisterzo brought a wealth of experience to the new venture, having successfully launched numerous consumer products over the last decade. Bisterzo was able to utilize his marketing experience and connections to place Hippeas into stores quickly.
The Hippeas brand, a line of healthy chickpea snacks that is Organic, no-GMO and Kosher, attracted the attention of Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio, an ardent environmentalist, is not new to the health food arena. His previous investments include an interest in a sustainable sea food company, Love in the Wild.
DiCaprio was drawn to the Hippeas brand and he, along with Strand Equity Partners (a Chicago based private equity firm), invested an undisclosed amount in the company. This latest round of funding will enable the company to begin much wider distribution of the product.
Starting in March of 2016, Hippeas began selling its products through various outlets including Starbucks, Vons and Albertsons. They are also sold in the UK where the company has an office. This new funding allowed the company to begin expansion into Target, Kroger and approximately 18,500 stores.
The product is designed to appeal to the younger, millennial consumer. The company’s core philosophy is that “taste good” and “do good” can be in the same sentence. This aligns perfectly with the millennial generation’s more healthful and socially conscious approach to life.
In line with its vision to “do good”, Hippeas has created a partnership with Farm Africa. A portion of the proceeds of every pack sold will help support east African farmers.
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