Actor Leonardo DiCaprio and a private equity firm located in Chicago, Strand Equity Partners, have both contributed substantially to Hippeas chickpea puff snacks.
The CEO and Founder of Green Park Brands Inc., Livio Bisterzo, declined to comment on the exact amount of these contributions. Green Park is the parent company of Hippeas. Bisterzo did say that $2.5 million has been raised thanks to various investors and friends of the company.
Hippeas are currently available in stores such as Vons, Starbucks, and Albertsons. Green Park plans to offer Hippeas at Target and Kroger Co. later this year. Various stores also sell the snacks in the UK, and the company has an office there.
A Different Sort of Snack and Company
Investment in Green Park Holdings comes at a surprising time for the chickpea. Sales of chickpea-based snacks are up more than 150 percent according to 2016 data. Bisterzo believes he is one of the first to tap into the new snack craze, and he’s also proud to remind consumers that chickpeas replenish depleted soil with much-needed nitrogen.
Green Park donates two cents to Farm Africa for each bag of Hippeas sold. Farm Africa helps African farmers grow sustainable and eco-friendly crops. Bisterzo believes this philanthropic gesture to be essential to his company’s success.
At the moment, Livio Bisterzo has product branding on his mind. He plans to use the new funds from Strand Equity and Leonardo DiCaprio to build up distribution networks, marketing, and general product branding. Strand Equity believes that Hippeas is an almost ideal snack food. They’re good for you, they’re good for the environment, and the product represents a donation to help Africans.
Livio Bisterzo’s family originally came from Italy, but he moved to the UK to study at London’s University of the Arts. He eventually created an events business, and his business portfolio ranged from consumer brands to hospitality services. Bisterzo’s brands were featured in Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, and many other high-profile sources. He got out of the event business in 2010.
In 2011, Bisterzo acquired a Danish beverage business called Little Miracles. Little Miracles offered a unique organic blend of tea and juice. The brand quickly grew across Europe, and it won several international awards. Bisterzo moved to Los Angeles in 2016, and he began his US-based work with Green Park and the Hippeas brand.