First Beverage Group:
First Beverage Ventures, the private equity arm of First Beverage Group, is pleased to announce that Bob Nakasone has joined the firm as a managing director.
Mr. Nakasone joins First Beverage Group from KeVita, where he helped accelerate the company’s already steep growth trajectory, culminating in the successful sale of the company to PepsiCo at a significant premium to revenue and with over $100 million in retail sales. As senior vice president of sales at KeVita, he led the team responsible for gaining distribution in the nation’s largest conventional retailers while maintaining thought leadership with the brand’s early adopters in the natural channel. Prior to KeVita, Mr. Nakasone spent 17 years at PepsiCo in leadership positions across business development, customer development, strategic planning and product commercialization, where he developed a strong track record for architecting and staffing teams for growth, as well as leading them to above-plan results. He designed and implemented an emerging brands development team and strategy that had a unique focus on strategic markets and channels of distribution for PepsiCo’s stable of emerging brands, which included IZZE, O.N.E. Coconut Water and Naked Juice, where revenue nearly tripled during his five-year tenure.
“Bob embodies a real passion for our industry and a thoughtful commitment to the growth of emerging brands, together with a deep and professional set of operational skills,” said Bill Anderson, founder and CEO of First Beverage Group. “I know that he will create real value across many areas for our portfolio companies and bring them a high level of industry intelligence and experience from his nearly 20 years in the industry. Bob is an excellent addition to our team and our dynamic, entrepreneurial culture at First Beverage.”
“Bob brings an outstanding level of experience and expertise in building winning brands and understands the path to creating value through the full lifecycle of growth and development,” added Kyle Wheeler, managing partner of First Beverage Ventures. “We have strong momentum in our portfolio and our new business pipeline as we move into 2017, and we are excited to have Bob aboard in a lead role as we continue to expand our team’s capabilities.”
“The beverage industry continues to be extremely dynamic, and the opportunity to be a part of the First Beverage team was immediately compelling,” said Mr. Nakasone. “Consumers continue to demand better products, and Bill’s creation of a beverage-focused value proposition for both entrepreneurs and investors helps maximize growth and unlock the full potential of emerging brands. I could not be more excited to join such a talented team and to help build upon the success of the firm.”