Elmwood Park, New Jersey-based Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods has appointed Andy Reichgut to CEO, effective immediately. Larry Praeger, founder, has moved into a special advisor role and will remain an active board member. The Praeger and Somberg families will retain their ownership stake in the company, which is a portfolio company of Vestar Capital Partners.
“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. We look forward to his continued contributions as a special advisor and active board member.”
Reichgut is a CPG executive who brings more than 25 years of experience from the packaged food industry. He was most recently general manager for Violife, a vegan cheese company owned by Upfield. Prior to Violife, Reichgut was EVP at New Classic Cooking, where he led the Veggies Made Great business. Under his leadership, the business experienced significant growth fueled by the repositioning of the brand and strong innovation.
“Dr. Praeger’s is a brand I have admired for many years and am excited and honored to join the organization as its CEO,” Reichgut said. “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.”
“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,” Praeger said.
“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.”
For more information, visit drpraegers.com.