- Online grocer Hungryroot has appointed its first chief marketing officer and a new chief digital officer as it ramps up its expansion plans following a $40 million funding round this summer, according to a news release on Thursday.
- Alex Weinstein, who was previously senior vice president of growth at Grubhub, will take the top digital role while Stephanie Retcho, formerly chief marketing officer at travel booking site Kayak, will lead marketing for Hungryroot.
- The appointments reflect Hungryroot’s drive to further hone its personalization technology and to reach more digital-savvy shoppers.
Like other companies rapidly scaling up in online grocery, Hungryroot is bringing in executives with experience at major firms to help it expand and meet growing consumer demand.
Both new executives have experience navigating sharp growth with digital brands. Weinstein helped restaurant ordering platform Grubhub grow its top line business from $500 million to $2 billion. He also spent nearly three years leading marketing technology and personalization efforts at eBay and spent seven years working in program management roles at Microsoft, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Retcho, meanwhile, helped lead Kayak’s marketing department through the company’s public offering in 2012 and sale to Booking Holdings a year later, and oversaw an international team at the company. Before Kayak, she held management positions at ad agencies like McCann and TBWA Chiat Day.
In its announcement on Thursday, Hungryroot said it aims to continue refining its proprietary technology that personalizes shopping lists for its members. Unlike the marketplace shopping model that most online grocers utilize, Hungryroot’s artificial intelligence chooses products and meals for its customers on a weekly basis. These assortments, which are based on an extensive intake survey and can be adjusted at any time, help save time, cut food waste and promote product discovery, according to the company.
In an interview, Retcho said her job will be to communicate Hungryroot's differentiated model to more people and expand the company’s marketing department. She declined to specify customer growth targets at this point, noting that she’s focused on learning more about Hungryroot’s consumer profile. In conversations with members, she said many express their appreciation for offloading the mental load of shopping and meal planning.
“Traditional grocery shopping is a lot of work,” she said. “You walk into a store and there’s 40,000 SKUs. You have to have done your meal planning and made your list, and you still can end up buying things you don’t need.”
Hungryroot plans to expand its product assortment, which currently stands at around 300 products, according to Retcho, by 60% this year. Over the next few years, the company aims to expand to around 3,000 items, she said. Hungryroot plans to open a fourth distribution center in 2022.
Hungryroot may have its eye on a public listing. In a recent LinkedIn post, Weinstein said Hungryroot brings in around $200 million in annual revenue and is “well-positioned to IPO next year.” Competitor Thrive Market is reportedly mulling an IPO, while online club store Boxed made a deal in June with a special purpose acquisition company.
Along with its new executive appointments, Hungryroot recently elevated two current managers to C-suite level titles. Dave Kong, who has worked at the company since its founding, was promoted to chief technology officer, while Luke Vaccaro, an Amazon veteran who worked in supply chain and operations for Hungryroot beginning in 2019, according to his Linked profile, is now chief operating officer.
In June, Hungryroot announced that it raised $40 million in a Series C funding round led by L Catterton, which has also invested in online retailer Public Goods.