Upfield North America announced the recent appointments of Andy Reichgut as general manager of the Violife® vegan cheese business; Dan Bajor as president, Upfield Canada; and, Jim Breach as chief operating officer, Upfield US to lead key areas of growth for the business.
Andy Reichgut is responsible for building Upfield’s dairy-free cheese business in the US retail and food service channels through its portfolio of Violife 100% vegan cheese products. The plant–based cheese market in the US grew by 10.4% in 2019* and has accelerated to 35.5% by July 2020**, according to SPINS data. Violife is transforming the plant-based cheese category with high performing, tasty plant-based products that range from traditional sliced and shredded products to blocks of Parmesan, Feta and Mature Cheddar flavors, and cream cheeses. Violife products are free from dairy, lactose, GMO, gluten, nuts, soy, and preservatives. Andy joined Upfield from Veggies Made Great®, bringing over twenty years of CPG brand management experience from Mars, Reckitt Benckiser, and Pinnacle Foods.
Dan Bajor is responsible for delivering continued growth in the Canadian market with a product portfolio that includes the iconic Becel® brand, which most recently launched Becel® Plant-Based Bricks, and Violife. Dan has served as president of sales in Canada since Upfield was first created in 2018 and has acted as the interim business head since that time. Dan brings sales and marketing, and operational experience from Sun Products and Unilever.
Jim Breach takes on the newly created role of chief operating officer (COO) for the US market, adding to his current responsibilities as president of North American Sales. Jim will be responsible for leading an aligned end-to-end approach for operations supporting the retail and food service channels, providing critical line-of-sight and disciplined coordination across the business to achieve operational excellence and meet and surpass customer demands. Jim joined Upfield from a long career at Unilever.
These appointments mark another milestone for Upfield as the leading producer of plant-based spreads and margarines and plant butter, as a prominent presence in growing vegan cheese category, and as a growth company that is introducing natural, new plant-based products in the United States and Canada.
* based on 52-weeks data, week end 7.14.19; **based on 52 weeks data, week end 7.12.20