Ocean Spray has chosen Dr. Geoffrey Woolford -- who has held the top research and development posts at PepsiCo and Mead Johnson Nutritionals -- to help write its brand's recipe for a new generation of healthy beverages and snacks.
Woolford has joined Ocean Spray as vice president of Research and Development, selected from a field of candidates to fill the position left by the retired Y. Steve Henig. He will report to Ken Romanzi, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Ocean Spray's domestic business.
"As we pursue our vision of putting Ocean Spray -- in one product form or another -- in every household in the U.S., we're going to need large and equal parts of marketing know-how and scientific excellence," said Romanzi. "Geoff Woolford brings both to the table."
Woolford, a native of Great Britain who began his career at Quaker Oats in the late 1970s, was a driving force behind Pepsi's "total beverage company" strategy in the 1980s and 1990s. Among other successes, he led the development of Aquafina, a leading brand of bottled water in the United States. He oversaw all product innovations and introductions for Pepsi's domestic brands, including Lipton Iced Tea, Frappucino Iced Coffee, All Sport sports drink, Pepsi One, Fruitworks Juice drinks and various carbonated fruit-flavored sodas.
After 14 years with Pepsi, Woolford was recruited in 1999 to Mead Johnson Nutritionals, where he led a series of innovations in infant formulas, other nutritional products and specialty packaging. He also oversaw regulatory and medical affairs for the company. Woolford left Mead Johnson last year, along with much of the company's upper management team, following its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
"Ocean Spray is fortunate to have someone with such a depth and breadth of technical skills, nutritional knowledge, marketing savvy and leadership experience," said Romanzi. "Our aim is to make Ocean Spray the premier healthy beverage and snack brand, and we will look to Geoff Woolford and his team to create new product platforms in both beverages and foods."
Woolford holds a Ph.D. from the University of Surrey in his native U.K., where he also earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Kent.