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Green Boy Group Opens New Chicago Office Led by Ingredients Veteran Thomas Smit

Plant-based protein supplier Green Boy Group announces it has opened a new office in Chicago, led by the newly appointed Thomas Smit. 

“Their approach to the market is unique”

According to Green Boy, Smit’s career began at agribusiness company Nidera (now Syngenta) in Amsterdam, where he focused on supplying plant-based food ingredients globally. In 2016, Smit joined Royal Ingredients in Chicago as that company’s Managing Director, which has since been acquired by BayWa thanks to strong US sales growth. 

“I am grateful for my time at Royal where I gained a lot of experience on how to start, run and expand an office in a market that is constantly evolving,” says Thomas Smit. “But when Green Boy approached me to head their new office in Chicago, I was getting very excited. Green Boy’s vision to reform the food industry via their functional plant-based proteins, such as Plant-Meat Protein™ and Plant-Dairy Protein™, really resonated with me.”

Green Boy
©Green Boy Group

He continued, “Their approach to the market is unique, Green Boy has a B2B as well as a B2C business, houses an extensive food research lab in Los Angeles, and works with interesting collaborators such as universities and industry-relevant organizations. The company also has big plans for the future, and I wanted to play a substantive role in their ongoing expansion in the US”.

Better plant proteins

Founded in 2016 by Frederik Otten and Peter van Dijken, Green Boy is a global supplier of non-GMO food ingredients, specializing in functional plant proteins. In 2021, it announced it was launching Plant Dairy Protein™ made specifically for alt-dairy products, which could be used to produce nearly product – from vegan cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, and butter to mayonnaise to eggs.

The company’s current line of retail products includes mung bean, chickpea, yellow pea and fava bean protein powders. 

Organic Plant Proteins
©Green Boy Group

“The right person”

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better way to start the new year than being finally able to announce the opening of our Chicago office,” says Peter van Dijken, Co-Founder of Green Boy. “Especially, since Chicago is a city so dear to our hearts and a major natural food hub in the US. Since a lot of our customers are located in the Midwest it was a logical next step. Now we’ll be able to even better serve their needs.”

“It took about three years to get this office ready to go” shared Frederik Otten, Co-Founder of Green Boy. “Mostly because we wanted the right person to lead the Green Boy Chicago office.”

Chickpea protein
©Green Boy Group

He added, “Our eyes were set on Thomas Smit for a while, a food industry veteran with more than a decade of experience in supplying plant-based food ingredients. Thomas is a burst of positive energy and has a proven track record of successfully building up and managing a new office in Chicago.”

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