Reichgut brings over 25 years of CPG industry experience to the role, having most recently acted as General Manager for Violife cheese, an Upfield subsidiary (see our recent interview with Andy here regarding Violife and the vegan cheese category). He previously held the role of Executive Vice President at New Classic Cooking, where he headed Veggies Made Great, and prior to that worked in brand management and innovation at Pinnacle Foods, Mars and Reckitt Benckiser.
“Dr. Praeger’s is a brand I have admired for many years and am excited and honored to join the organization as its CEO,” states Reichgut. “At a time when consumers are searching for healthier and more environmentally friendly foods, Dr. Praeger’s is positioned extraordinarily well to leverage these tailwinds. I look forward to working with the Company’s strong leadership team along with our partners at Vestar to fulfill the promise of this business.”
Founder Larry Praeger, who will take a Special Advisor role and will remain an active Board member of the Company, comments: “I’m excited to welcome Andy to Dr. Praeger’s. His vision, coupled with a phenomenal team who care so deeply for our brand, will continue to bring delicious and healthy plant-based food for generations to come.”
“When my father put his name on a veggie burger 26 years ago, he could not have predicted the plant-based revolution that was to come. I am so proud, as I know he would be, of the part Dr. Praeger’s has played in bringing delicious, nutrient-dense food to homes all over the country. Dr. Praeger’s has truly been able to meet the moment, and I’m confident it will continue to do so in this exciting next chapter,” adds Praeger.
“Andy is a smart, thoughtful, innovative and resourceful business leader with a deep appreciation for strengthening organizational capability, and a strong track record of building brands and businesses,” said Jeffrey Ansell, Dr. Praeger’s Chairman and Vestar Strategic Executive Advisor. “I’m excited to work with Andy again, and I’m confident his vast packaged foods experience, including plant-based and better-for-you brands, will set him up for success at Dr. Praeger’s. I’d also like to sincerely thank Larry for his incredible vision and passion for the brand, which experienced transformative growth under his leadership.”
The Praeger and Somberg families will retain their ownership stake in the Company.