Alter Eco hires two CPG pros to lead sales, marketing in new direction

By Kristine Sherred

- Last updated on GMT

The San Francisco-based chocolate maker (and certified B corp) has been making sustainable chocolate since the early 2000s.
The San Francisco-based chocolate maker (and certified B corp) has been making sustainable chocolate since the early 2000s.

Related tags craft chocolate Chocolate Sales Marketing Chocolate bars Artisanal Brands Sustainability Coffee Dark chocolate Paleo

The eco-conscious chocolate company has hired a Blue Bottle Coffee and Primal Kitchen vet, and promoted current marketing director Antoine Ambert to lead innovation and sustainability.

Alex Schildmeyer – a US Army veteran – joins the team as VP of sales after holding that position at Primal Kitchen, a paleo packaged food brand whose sales ballooned by 130% last year. Previously, he held a variety of roles at Annie’s Homegrown and elsewhere at General Mills.

As VP of marketing, Pilar Ochi will oversee Alter Eco's messaging and branding, now a decade-plus in the making.

“As Alter Eco continues to grow and innovate, we’ve been looking for leaders who can take our brand to the next level and who support our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility,”​ said CEO Mike Forbes, who took the helm in 2018​ after years at General Mills and California Olive Ranch.

Ochi previously led the CPG team for Blue Bottle Coffee, a New York City roaster that made a splash in RTE coffee drinks. There, she propelled product innovation and distribution across retail channels, including other foodservice. Before entering the food world, Ochi worked at Visa and home cleaning brand Clorox.

Integral to this ‘new evolution,’ the duo boast “tremendous experience catalyzing brand growth and a passion for the space that is a perfect culture fit for our team,”​ said Forbes.

Sustainability and Innovation in one

ConfectioneryNews has spoken with Alter Eco’s Antoine Ambert just this year about its push for compostable wrappers​ and its coalition to save additional swaths of the Amazon​ rainforest.

A ‘longtime pillar’ at Alter Eco, Ambert will transition from his role as marketing lead to senior director of innovation of sustainability. Notably, he will jumpstart the Alter Eco Foundation next year.

"I have always been particularly passionate about Alter Eco’s sustainability and environmental justice commitments and love charging headfirst into solving problems in these areas, like I did with helping to develop our compostable truffle wrappers and Gone4Good pouches,"​ Ambert told ConfectioneryNews regarding his promotion. "The ability to focus my efforts on furthering Alter Eco’s founding commitment to holistic sustainability with a cradle-to-cradle model, while pioneering new solutions for the food industry, is an exciting one. Establishing the new Alter Eco Foundation from the ground up is the other responsibility I’m greatly looking forward to in the coming year."

In addition to fresh packaging design and the launch of its Superdark collection, the chocolate maker in 2019 has expanded its footprint plus various foodservice channels, including the corporate offices of tech giants like LinkedIn, Google and Uber.

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