Augusta, Georgia-based Hart Dairy, the largest single-source producer of 100 percent free-range, grass-fed milk in North America, has announced a new investment from Next Gen Nutrition Investment Fund and the addition of James Cali and Andrew Towle, the firm’s general partners, as chief marketing advisors.
The food and beverage executives will act as special advisors to Hart Dairy’s board to control multichannel marketing and innovation for the company during its continued expansion of better-for-you milk products.
Hart Dairy milk is produced by cows that are never confined, environmentally sustainable, roam free and are grass-fed 365 days a year.
Cali and Towle launched NGN earlier this year to capitalize on high-growth and early-stage food and beverage companies that offer nutrition with a reduced impact on the planet.
Cali has a 34-year record of success in general management, sales and marketing, and innovation in leading food companies such as Cadbury, Kraft/Mondelez and Kellogg’s.
Prior to entering venture capital two years ago, Cali led Kellogg’s global snacks category team. His past leadership roles included president of Cadbury Adams Japan, as well as EVP and global director of Cadbury’s $5 billion gum and candy business.
Cali has a proven track record in launching new businesses, building brands and business turnarounds and has been responsible for billion-dollar global brands such as Trident Gum, Halls cough drops and Pringles.
Towle has spent his professional life creating value for some of the world’s best-known CPG companies, including Procter & Gamble, Heinz, Georgia-Pacific and Kellogg’s. He has led transformational growth on international brands such as Tide, Pringles, Heinz Ketchup, Quilted Northern and Special K. Towle also ran the Australia/New Zealand business for Kellogg’s from 2013-15.
“We are delighted that both James and Andrew will join the Hart Dairy team as investors and strategic advisors,” said Tim Connell, CEO. “We will benefit from their partnership and longstanding industry expertise to strengthen our overall business as we further develop our brand positioning and messaging while we continue to expand our retail footprint.
“Their 60 years of collective experience will be invaluable to our company and help us further attract world-class talent to our growing team, along with new business opportunities.”
As the new marketing advisors, Cali said he and Towle “believe strongly” in the future of Hart.
“Their 365-day grass-fed program and regenerative agriculture regimen improve milk’s nutrition and have a positive impact on the planet,” he said. “These are strong consumer benefits, which we are proud to invest in.”
Towle added, “We have spent over a year getting to know Tim and his team. We are impressed with his vision for the company and believe we can help Hart Dairy reach its full potential through NGN’s investment and guidance to help them build strong branding, marketing and innovation into the future. The brand is a remarkable story, and we believe it will be a leader in ‘better for you’ dairy.”
The announcement of their new roles as marketing advisors comes on the heels of Hart’s recent partnership with Island Ventures, a national supplier of specialty eggs that supports logistics, supply chain management and innovation.