Quinn shuffles executive team

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Quinn has recently added gluten-free Maple Almond Filled Pretzel Nuggets and Plant-Based Cheezy Filled Pretzel Nuggets to its expanding 100% natural product lineup. Pic: Quinn
Quinn has recently added gluten-free Maple Almond Filled Pretzel Nuggets and Plant-Based Cheezy Filled Pretzel Nuggets to its expanding 100% natural product lineup. Pic: Quinn

Related tags: Quinn Snacks, pretzels, Sustainability, Transparency, Gluten-free, Organic, non-GMO, microwaveable packaging

The Colorado-based snack producer has appointed Mike Kewon as its new chief executive officer, allowing Kristy Lewis’ to step up as chief vision officer to get back into why she started Quinn in the first place: to challenge the status quo in the food industry.

Since 2010, Lewis has shaken up the snack industry with a vision that farmers are the starting point in driving sustainability in the supply chain. The natural snack brand is known for reimagining classic snacks, using only 100% real ingredients without the use of synthetics and pesticides. In 2012, Lewis launched the company’s Farm-to-Bag transparency policy, following with its regenerative farming initiative ‘Be Better. Do Better.’ in 2019.

She has also built the Boulder-headquartered company into the #1 driver of growth in the pretzel subcategory and the 5th largest growth driver of the entire salty snack category in both the natural channel and whole foods market by delivering multiple industry firsts.

Industry firsts

These include organic microwave popcorn made in a patented bag made from compostable paper that is free of chemicals, plastic and heat-conducting susceptors; and gluten-free pretzels, today available in whole-grain (with naturally gluten-free sorghum) and as nuggets filled with peanut butter, maple almond butter and plant-based cheezy variants.

Lewis is now transitioning into the CVO role – and taking on the mantle of chairwoman of the Board – to take the brand to the next level, handing the CEO reins to veteran industry expert Mike Kewton.

“After 11 years of leading Quinn, this is a chance for me to lead where my heart is and to exclusively focus on turning Quinn into a company that stands for the greater common good,”​ said Lewis.

“I am beyond grateful to be in a position where my job is to help build Quinn with a primary focus on Being and Doing Better in everything that we do.  I am thrilled that Mike believes in our vision, and I am really looking forward to working with him as we continue to lead as innovators and game changers in this space.” 

Vision for the future

Keown brings with him over 30 years of CPG leadership, having started in sales management at Procter and Gamble in 1984 and moving up to CEO of Honey Stinger, a fast-growing sports nutrition brand. His career has also included successful stints at companies like Welsch’s, Minute Maid, Dean Foods, E&J Gallo Winery and WhiteWave Foods, among others.

Like Lewis, Keown also believes in a mission that will not only better our soil and planet, but also our families and our farmers. 

Keown said, “When I first met Kristy, it was clear we shared many of the same values and I was excited to see her vision for the future. I could not be more excited to help bring that vision to life, lead the terrific team she put together, and do so in beautiful Boulder Colorado, a town we love.”   

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