US – Harvest Food Group (HFG), a frozen food producer company headquartered in the US, has appointed former Velocity Snack Brands chief executive Amit Pandhi, as its new CEO.

The company, based in Naperville Illinois, was sold to US private equity firm Industrial Opportunity Partners earlier this year.

Pandhi’s most recent operational role was as CEO of US snacks business Velocity Snack Brands, where he oversaw a portfolio of brands including Popchips.

According to Pandhi’s LinkedIn profile, he held that position from October 2019 to December 2022.

Before that, he was the president and chief executive of Arctic Zero, a low-calorie frozen dessert maker, for nine years.

Norman Young, the chairman of Harvest Food Group, said Pandhi has a proven track record of driving growth and innovation in the food space.

HFG supplies frozen vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and herbs to food manufacturers. The company also sells to food service operators and has co-packing and private-label contracts.

According to Pandhi, HFG makes incredible products across so many verticals, and I look forward to building upon its long history to grow our private label, food service, contract manufacturing, branded, and ingredient businesses.

“I also look forward to deepening our relationships with existing customers, from the largest retailers and best global food companies, as well as serving the most innovative emerging brands in frozen,” he said.

Jason Eckert, who co-founded HFG in 1999 will move from his role as president to board member. He said: “Amit will infuse a new source of energy and expand the vision for what HFG can become. His experience in building organizations and maximizing growth and profitability will help position Harvest Food Group to tackle the challenges that our industry faces heading into the future.”

Pandhi takes up the role during a market shift from fresh produce to frozen fruits and vegetables in the United States as these products are more immune to microbial spoilage and free from any contamination and moisture penetration.

The United States frozen fruits and vegetables market according to IMARC Group is primarily driven by the introduction of new technologies, like individual quick freezing (IQF).

This technique has enhanced the process of freezing food as it provides a better and natural appearance along with enhanced food safety, energy efficiency, and high nutritional value.

Additionally, the easy availability of frozen products in the region that are additive-free is also providing a positive impact on the market. Furthermore, the growing sedentary lifestyle has escalated the demand for packaged food, such as frozen fruits and vegetables with extended shelf-life.

Moreover, with the well-established e-commerce sector, frozen fruit and vegetable retail vendors across the country are focusing on the new internet-savvy.

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