Adult Beverages

Drinks Taps Kroger's Amber Roberts to Lead Platform Expansion

Blake Hunter to lead personalization engine
wine.kroger.com screen capture

Drinks, the “wine-as-a-service” (WaaS) company powering ship-to-home sales of adult beverages on behalf of retailers, has hired Amber Roberts, the former head of marketplace for Kroger, to a new role as VP of enterprise.

Roberts, who joined Los Angeles-based Drinks last month, since August 2020 had headed Kroger’s online Marketplace, which brought offerings of non-food items such as toys, outdoor goods and cooking gadgets from third-party sellers to its Kroger Ship online platform. She held other roles in e-commerce sourcing and strategy for the Cincinnati-based retailer since October 2017.

At Drinks, Roberts will leverage her digital expertise to help lead the expansion of its WaaS platform and provide ongoing support for the company’s enterprise partnerships, Drinks said.

Kroger is among the retailers using Drinks to power its wine.kroger.com ship-to-home wine business. Other retail clients include Boxed.com, Thrive Market and Macy’s.

Additionally this week, Drinks announced the appointment of Blake Hunter to the role of senior director of data science. Hunter was previously a senior manager of global analytics for Activision Blizzard and a lead senior data scientist for Microsoft. Hunter will manage the Drinks IQ platform, including its Predictive AI Retailing (PAIR) engine, that reveals insights on purchasing behaviors, market trends and the relationship between wine, labels and customers, and enables a personalization framework, the company said.

“I am delighted to welcome Amber and Blake to the Drinks team,” said Zac Brandenberg, co-founder and CEO of Drinks. “Driving digital transformation in the beverage alcohol industry requires experienced, innovative leaders who can effect change. As we enter the next phase of growth at Drinks, Amber and Blake will play integral roles in executing our customer-first, data-driven vision for this industry.”

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