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Kyle O'Brien

Kyle O'Brien
Executive Vice President
La Colombe

To those in the food and beverage industry, Kyle O’Brien is considered a modern-day visionary. He has a unique ability to identify great entrepreneurs and industry-changing products before they launch and help bring them to market. From Greek yogurt, to sliced and bagged apples, Kyle has carved an impressive notch across the food and beverage landscape. His approach is simple: combine natural ingredients, innovation, and a human element to yield market giants and epic brands.
At 22 years old, O’Brien first focused his talent alongside a young entrepreneur whose plan it was to preserve sliced apples by using natural ingredients, such as Vitamin C, and suspending them in gas-flushed, breathable pouches. Kyle then pitched it to accounts from McDonalds to major school districts across the country, and the rest is history.
O’Brien then met another talented craftsman, Hamdi Ulukaya, and was introduced to his yet-to-launch Greek yogurt company, Chobani, which would fundamentally change the world of yogurt. As a Partner and EVP of Sales, O'Brien built the sales and distribution structure and grew the business from its first cup into America’s #1 selling yogurt, capturing nearly 40% market share.
His drive and commitment didn’t stop there, and O’Brien is not one to retire early. Next, O’Brien identified a new category-changing product and visionary entrepreneur, the Draft Latte, invented by Todd Carmichael, Co-Founder and CEO of La Colombe.
O'Brien seamlessly assumed the role of Executive Vice President of Sales at La Colombe and immersed himself in the product and culture. Within months, he assembled a sophisticated nation-wide logistics, brokerage, and distribution network, paving the way for La Colombe’s Draft Latte to assume its position on every shelf and refrigerated case in America.  

Future of Innovation: Where Insights Meet Actions for "Crave-Worthy" New Products

Although the retail and foodservice channels are distinctively different, product developers share the same goals—to identify actionable consumer insights and create the ultimate crave-worthy product. Listen in as SRG Managing Director/Partner Amy Shipley profiles two Philadelphia-area legends: retail coffee giant La Colombe Coffee Roasters, and VEDGE, one on the nation’s leading vegetable-based restaurants. Shipley talks trends and tastes with La Colombe Executive Vice President Kyle O'Brien and James Beard nominated Chef and VEDGE Co-Founder Rich Landau.