HACKENSACK, N.J., Aug. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Upfield North America today announced the recent appointments of Andy Reichgut as General Manager of the Violife® vegan cheese business; Dan Bajor as President, Upfield Canada; and, Jim Breach as Chief Operating Officer, Upfield U.S. to lead key areas of growth for the business.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to have seasoned leaders like Andy, Dan and Jim to help accelerate Upfield's growth as the world's leading producer of plant-based products and expert in plant-based nutrition and and to bring our plant-based spreads, plant butter and vegan cheeses to more consumers," said Tim Brown, CEO and President, the Americas, Upfield. "Nowhere is the opportunity to be an integral part of the plant-based food movement more at hand than in the U.S. and Canada, where more consumers are choosing better-for-you products that are not made from animal ingredients, that taste great, and have less of an environmental impact."
Andy Reichgut is responsible for building Upfield's dairy-free cheese business in the U.S. retail and food service channels through its portfolio of Violife 100% vegan cheese products. The plant–based cheese market in the U.S. grew by 10.4% in 2019* and has accelerated to 35.5% by July 2020**, according to SPINS data. Violife is transforming the plant-based cheese category with high performing, tasty plant-based products that range from traditional sliced and shredded products to blocks of Parmesan, Feta and Mature Cheddar flavors, and cream cheeses. Violife products are free from dairy, lactose, GMO, gluten, nuts, soy, and preservatives. Andy joined Upfield from Veggies Made Great®, bringing over twenty years of CPG brand management experience from Mars, Reckitt Benckiser, and Pinnacle Foods.
Dan Bajor is responsible for delivering continued growth in the Canadian market with a product portfolio that includes the iconic Becel® brand, which most recently launched Becel® Plant-Based Bricks, and Violife. Dan has served as President of Sales in Canada since Upfield was first created in 2018 and has acted as the interim business head since that time. Dan brings sales and marketing, and operational experience from Sun Products and Unilever.
Jim Breach takes on the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the U.S. market, adding to his current responsibilities as President of North American Sales. Jim will be responsible for leading an aligned end-to-end approach for operations supporting the retail and food service channels, providing critical line-of-sight and disciplined coordination across the business to achieve operational excellence and meet and surpass customer demands. Jim joined Upfield from a long career at Unilever.
These appointments mark another milestone for Upfield as the leading producer of plant-based spreads and margarines and plant butter, as a prominent presence in growing vegan cheese category, and as a growth company that is introducing natural, delicious new plant-based products in the United States and Canada.
*based on 52-weeks data, week end 7.14.19; **based on 52 weeks data, week end 7.12.20
At Upfield, we make people healthier and happier with great tasting, plant-based nutrition products that are better for the planet. Upfield is the leading producer of plant-based spreads in the U.S., with iconic brands such as Country Crock®, Country Crock® Plant Butter, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!®, Flora™, and Imperial®; and plant-based margarines n Canada with brands such as Becel®, Becel® Plant Based Bricks, and Imperial®, and; is now introducing its vegan cheese, Violife® 100% vegan following its acquisition of Arivia earlier in 2020. The company is leading in delivering better-for-you products that are great tasting and have superior quality helping it to create a "Better Plant-based Future." For more information, visit www.Upfield.com.