Pea-Based Chip Company PeaTos Nabs Former Frito-Lay Executive

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

woman covered in peatos chips

Los Angeles startup PeaTos brands its products as an alternative to "junk food" like Cheetos and it just nabbed a former executive from competitor Frito-Lay, maker of the neon orange puffy chip.


David Johnson, a 19-year veteran of Pepsico's Frito-Lay brand, was named chief growth officer of the Westchester-based brand.

As the startup's first CGO, Johnson will focus on driving retail sales and developing a greater presence in foodservice. The appointment comes after Peatos raised $12.5 million in February from Post Holdings, Inc., known for its hand in building out cereal brands like Honey Bunches of Oats. That came just four months after the company raised a $7 million Series A round.

The snack food brand, which is sold online and at retail outlets, has also picked up a steady stream of online subscribers for its fiber and protein-dense chips. In February, PeaTos CEO Nick Desai told dot.LA that the company grew 50% from 2019 to 2020 and expects 100% growth this year.

The flavored crunchy curls and rings are sold in 4,700 retailers including Vons, Albertsons Safeway, Sprouts and Kroger.

"It will be my pleasure to help ensure that all consumers have a choice of PeaTos while shopping their favorite retailers," Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson most recently served as chief executive of beeline North America, a fashion accessory supplier. His last post at Pepsico was as an executive on the Stacy's Pita Chips team.

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