Moore Ingredients welcomes Shawn Pate, formerly of Cargill/Degussa Flavors, to its R&D staff (www.moorelab.com). Shawn will take over the development of Moore’s organic isolates from David Wolfenberger. David will further his concentration in organic flavor development.
Neil Blomquist, former president and CEO for Spectrum Organic, joined the board for Living Harvest, pioneers of the first 100% organic cold milled hemp protein powder (www.livingharvest.com). He will put to use his expertise focusing on supporting new product launches.
The Center for Resource Solutions announced that Karen Loida will join the CRS team as director of business and promotional services to help with community building initiatives for the renewable energy industry, including the management of the Green-e Consumer Product Labeling Program (www.resource-solutions.org). Keri Bolding, former director of business and promotional services, is no longer at CRS, but continues to act as chair of the 11th National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference.
Mastertaste Inc., a global developer and manufacturer of high-quality flavors and flavor and fragrance bases, announced the appointment of Linda Racicot to account manager for its flavors division.
Racicot brings extensive experience in both the food and flavor industries, having previously held positions in research and development and marketing and sales. Most recently, Racicot was a key account manager with Quest International.
Natural Synergies, the leading network of independent natural, organic and health food retailers has named food industry veteran Eric Gutmann as its new president and COO (www.natural-synergies.com). He most recently served as the director of operations for Oakbrook Sales, an institutional food-service company serving universities, correctional facilities and senior citizen meal programs throughout the United States.
Endangered Species Chocolate, the number one selling brand of all-natural and organic chocolate (SPINS data, July 2006), has hired Becky Kingery as a quality coordinator, overseeing the Good Manufacturing Practices, sanitation program, allergen control and overall quality assurance. Kingery is responsible for the entire sensory experience for this brand of gourmet chocolate, from the taste to smell to visual appearance.
In addition, ESC has promoted Bryan Fuller to director of procurement and Kelly Bredl to marketing manager. The company has also hired Heather Lee as administrative assistant.
Healthy Food Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of buyout shop Catterton Partners, has agreed to buy waffle maker Van’s International Foods Inc. for undisclosed terms (www.vanswaffles.com). Boulder, CO-based Healthy Food invests in food and beverage businesses that focus on healthy, natural and organic products. Van’s makes all-natural and organic frozen waffles.
Price Chopper Supermarkets, one of the country’s premier food retailers and Wild Oats Markets announced today that Price Chopper will be the first independent retailer to sign an agreement with Wild Oats Markets, Inc. to sell the entire line of Wild Oats branded natural and organic products in its stores (www.wildoats.com). Price Chopper plans to offer the Wild Oats brand in all 115 of its stores located in six Northeastern states. The selection of products will range from all-natural cookies and snacks, to natural cheeses and imported Italian sodas, as well as everyday staples that provide natural and organic alternatives to mainstream brands.
Pulmuone U.S.A., a leading organic tofu and soy food company and a subsidiary of South Korean-based Pulmuone Co., Ltd., and Wildwood Natural Foods, a leading U.S. producer and seller of tofu and high protein products, announced the completion of their corporate merger. Young Chul Kang who serves as chief executive officer of Pulmuone USA, will continue in his role at Pulmuone Wildwood. John Breen from Wildwood Natural Foods becomes chief operating officer and Tom Lacina also from Wildwood Natural Foods was named executive vice president of sales and marketing.
PepsiCo Inc., the world’s second-largest soft-drink maker, agreed to buy Naked Juice Co. (www.nakedjuice.com) to expand sales of natural-juice drinks and compete with Coca-Cola Co.’s Odwalla brand. Annual sales for naked have been more than $150 million, and PepsiCo will pay about $450 million, or three times the annual revenue, to purchase the company from North Castle Partners, a private-equity firm based in Greenwich Connecticut.
PMCA, an international non-profit trade association of confectionary companies, has awarded Quality Assurance International (QAI; www.qai-inc.com) staff the tenth Marie Kelso Memorial Award.
The award was given to three QAI staff for an industry paper, “The U.S. Organic Confectionery Marketplace: Regulatory Compliance, Certification Requirements, Challenges and Opportunities for Sweet Success,” which was co-authored by Ellen P. Holton, QAI sales/marketing director and Jessica Walden, QAI technical specialist, and presented by Joe Smillie, QAI senior vice president. Established in honor of Marie Kelso, secretary to the production conference for 38 years, the award is given to the author of a paper that significantly contributes to industry knowledge.
This past November, Sambazon received the State Department’s 2006 Award for Corporate Excellence, recognizing the work the company has done to sustain the Brazilian rainforest and its inhabitants (www.sambazon.com). Sambazon, headquartered in San Clemente, CA, manufactures and sells organic açai, a Brazilian berry, and supplies wholesale açaí puree around the world.