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Olympic snowboarder Shaun White invests in Sonoma jerky Krave, becomes brand ambassador

Action sports icon Shaun White is joining the Sonoma-based jerky venture Krave as investor, adviser and global brand ambassador, the Sonoma-based jerky venture announced Wednesday.

White will get his own Krave flavor, expected to hit shelves this coming winter, the news release said. The snacks venture, part of the Sonoma Brands portfolio, also is set for a “brand refresh” and launch of new products in the second quarter.

The athlete is said to be a a longtime fan of the brand and is known to eat a large steak before competition finals.

"KRAVE is the original brand to go the extra mile to create a better-tasting, flavor-forward product that really turned jerky on its head – that's what first drew me to the brand," said White in the announcement. "That's also what makes KRAVE such a great fit for my lifestyle and is a big part of why I wanted to bring my perspective and unique experience as an athlete and entrepreneur to the brand. We have some exciting things in the pipeline with some really cool new packaging and going grass-fed."

Jon Sebastiani created Krave in 2009, sold it to Hershey in 2015 for $232 million then bought the brand back last year for an undisclosed sum after Hershey moved Krave to Texas.

"We are beyond thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented Shaun White to our team, and we see a lot of synergy in our lighthearted, fun-yet-serious approach to flavor and the way he puts his bold and unique twist on what it takes to be a professional athlete and entrepreneur," said Rusti Porter, chief marketing officer of KRAVE. "KRAVE has a lot of exciting news to come in 2021, and Shaun joining Team KRAVE is certainly among the biggest."

White is a three-time gold medalist and one of the most decorated athletes in X Games history, known primarily for snowboarding for the better part of his ongoing career that spans more than two decades.

The action sports pioneer has been recognized for his entrepreneurial endeavors including corporate partnerships, signature products and fashion lines, and a global sports and music festival. White has been named among Bloomberg BusinessWeek's 100 Most Powerful and Marketable Athletes, Forbes' Most Valuable Sports Brands and 30 Under Thirty among others.

Born with a congenital heart defect, tetralogy of fallot, he is an advocate for children battling illness and is an active supporter of St. Jude's Children's Research Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Krave products are available online at kravejerky.com and Amazon, and on the shelves of select Target, CVS, natural and conventional grocers nationwide.

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