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Perrigo Assures Availability of Store Brand Formula (COVID-19)

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In this challenging time Perrigo Nutrition has issued an official statement reassuring shoppers that Private Brand infant formula has no current or pending disruptions to the supply chain

A Message from Perrigo Nutrition Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Perrigo cares about the health and safety of families, employees, retail partners, and suppliers. You are a top priority for us, especially as the COVID-19 global health crisis and national emergency evolves. We are closely monitoring developments, and we want to assure parents and caregivers that we are doing everything we can to produce and distribute safe infant formula products for babies at trusted stores and online outlets across the country.

Perrigo manufactures all store brand infant formula in the United States. We are not presently aware of any current or pending disruptions to our supply of formula because of this situation. We are aware that some individual stores have experienced periodic shortages of infant formula. We are working with our retail partners—including Walmart, Target, Sam\’s Club, Costco, Kroger, Aldi, Amazon.com, and others—to replenish shelves as quickly as possible.

As the world continues to work through this health crisis, we wanted to share some important information.

  • Perrigo continues to ship infant formula to stores nationwide. If one store is out of formula, try another store or buy online.
  • All commercial infant formulas—name brands and store brands—provide complete nutrition. For most infants, switching from one type of formula (e.g., milk-based) to the same type of formula from a different brand is well tolerated. When considering which store brand formula to try, look for the \”compare to\” statement on the label.
  • Store brand infant formulas are safe. They are manufactured in FDA-inspected facilities in Vermont and Ohio, using dairy ingredients from the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.
  • Do not attempt to make your own formula. Homemade infant formula is dangerous and not recommended by the FDA or the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Do not dilute or stretch infant formula by adding extra water. It is important to follow the manufacturer\’s label instructions to make certain your baby gets what he or she needs to thrive.

If you have questions about feeding your infant, contact your pediatrician.

Perrigo is committed to helping parents and caregivers feed their babies. That\’s why we\’re working with our retail partners to ensure product availability everywhere store brands are sold.

We also realize there are rumors circulating on the web that claim companies are giving away free cases of infant formula. Perrigo is not giving away formula—we are working to make certain store brand infant formula is available for all babies in an equitable fashion in the stores where parents and caregivers buy their formula.

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TreeHouse Foods Dramatically Reorgs

TreeHouse Foods, Inc. today announced a series of organizational changes designed to optimize the business and further create value for customers. Beginning in the first quarter of 2020, TreeHouse will reorganize from three divisions, currently structured according to product category (Baked Goods, Beverages and Meal Solutions), to two divisions, organized according to market dynamics – Snacking & Beverages and Meal Preparation.    

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Steve Oakland, CEO and President of TreeHouse Foods.

\”Following an in-depth review of our categories and strategies, we have decided to organize ourselves in a manner that we believe best serves our customers,\” said Steve Oakland, CEO and President of TreeHouse Foods. \”The retail grocery landscape continues to evolve and be very competitive, and our customers are looking to solve two fundamentally different goals. First, to help demonstrate value to the consumer and improve margins that they can invest to drive consumer traffic; and second, to help introduce uniqueness and innovation, so they can differentiate themselves and be more relevant to their distinct shopper base. Our reorganization not only enables us to align our resources to help our customers achieve their goals, but it also better positions us for growth going forward.\”

Snacking & Beverages

The Snacking & Beverages division will include categories which show greater growth potential in the marketplace, specifically: Bars, Broth, Candy, Cookies & Crackers, Griddle, Pita, Powdered & Liquid Beverages, Pretzels, Tea, and Other Blends. In 2019, the Snacking & Beverages division had revenue of approximately $1.7 billion.

The focus of the division will be on revenue growth, and research, development and commercialization will be geared toward evolving consumer trends. The reorganization of Snacking & Beverages will enable TreeHouse to apply the proper resources to meet its retail customers\’ goals around experience, uniqueness and differentiation in private label.

In a separate press release issued today, the Company announced that Kevin G. Jackson has joined TreeHouse as President, Snacking & Beverages, and will report to Steve Oakland, CEO and President. Mr. Jackson was most recently Senior Vice President, U.S. Retail Sales & North American Away From Home Division, with The J.M. Smucker Company. Moe Alkemade, President of the Beverages division, will be leaving TreeHouse to pursue other opportunities.

The Company noted that Mr. Jackson is currently governed by a non-competition agreement on coffee, and as a result, the Single Serve Coffee business will be managed within the Meal Preparation division at least through the end of 2020.

Meal Preparation

The Meal Preparation division will be comprised of the following categories: Bouillion, Cheese & Pudding, Hot Cereal, Non-Dairy Creamer, Pasta & Dry Dinners, Pickles, Pourable & Spoonable Dressings, Preserves, Red Sauces, Refrigerated Dough, Sauces, Single Serve Coffee, and Syrup. In 2019, the Meal Preparation division had revenue of approximately $2.6 billion.

The focus of the division will be on productivity, efficiency and cash flow. Operational progress will be driven by continuous improvement and value engineering. The reorganization allows TreeHouse to apply resources that better align with customers\’ goals for driving value within the center of the retail grocery store.

Mark Fleming, currently President, Baked Goods, will serve as President, Meal Preparation. Given the division\’s focus on operating efficiency, Mr. Fleming will report to Shay Braun, Chief Operations Officer. Mr. Braun will continue to maintain his current supply chain responsibilities. 

Additional organizational changes

Triona Schmelter, currently President, Meal Solutions, will take on the newly created role of Chief Transformation Officer. She will focus her efforts on how the Company leverages shared resources across the organization, including its approach to distribution and logistics, sourcing and shared business services. In this new role, Ms. Schmelter will work with the functional leaders to build capabilities for the future and capture savings to drive growth.

Transition expenses related to the reorganization will be handled within the Company\’s TreeHouse 2020 restructuring program. As a result, cash restructuring expenses, as well as selling, general and administrative savings have already been contemplated within the Company\’s 2020 guidance issued February 13.

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Perrigo to Buy High Ridge Brands Oral Care

This week High Ridge Brands Co. announced that following a comprehensive sales process and a competitive auction conducted under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, an affiliate of Perrigo Company plc will acquire the Company\’s oral care business and an affiliate of Tengram Capital Partners will acquire the Company\’s hair care and skin cleansing business.

Under the terms of the agreement, the consideration includes a cash payment to High Ridge Brands of $120.5 million and the assumption by the buyers of working capital and substantially all go-forward liabilities of the businesses, as well as certain cure costs associated with the Company\’s existing business arrangements.

\”We are pleased to conclude a successful and competitive auction process,\” said Patricia Lopez, High Ridge Brands\’ Chief Executive Officer and President. \”This outcome maximizes the value of our strong brands and supports the interests of all of our stakeholders. The buyers bring significant resources and experience and have long track records helping acquired brands build on their strong foundations and continue to grow. The transaction will be seamless for both our customers and consumers. As we finalize the sale, we remain focused on continuing the on-time, in-full deliveries of all our hair care, skin cleansing and oral product lines.\” 

At closing, High Ridge Brands and the buyers will enter into a mutual Transition Services Agreement (TSA) in order to provide for a seamless transfer of the oral, skin and hair businesses. The TSA is expected to span at least 12 months.

The transaction is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and certain other closing conditions. A hearing to seek court approval for the transaction is scheduled for Wednesday, February 26, 2020. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

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UNFI Searches for SVP Private Brand

Late last week Providence, R.I. based United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) announced a number of changes within the Company\’s senior management team.  UNFI also disclosed that it has extended the employment agreement of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven L. Spinner through July 31, 2021.

More interesting for our readers, the Company is also creating a new Senior Vice President, Brands role to further build its private brands and oversee UNFI corporate branding initiatives. This position will report to Chris Testa, President and Chief Marketing Officer.

\”Our vision for industry transformation is taking hold as we continue to integrate and provide our customers with scale, services and differentiated distribution alternatives.  Development of our talent and succession planning are part of my and the UNFI Board\’s responsibilities and we are confident the leadership changes being announced will serve as an enabler towards long-term success,\” said Spinner.

Senior management appointments and changes are:

  • John Howard, who has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer since August 2019, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer, effective February 9, 2020;
  • Eric Dorne, who serves as the Company\’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and oversees the Company\’s Integration Office and Canadian Business, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer, effective March 8, 2020;
  • Sean Griffin, currently UNFI\’s Chief Operating Officer, has announced his retirement effective July 31, 2020. Griffin will focus on continuing the Company\’s business transformation as well as supporting other key business initiatives. He will remain with the Company as an advisor until November 2020;
  • Chris Testa, President, and Chief Marketing Officer, will take on additional responsibilities leading UNFI\’s professional services, supplier services, customer care, and the Company\’s Canadian division, and will report directly to Spinner.

Commenting on the leadership changes, Spinner said, \”I am pleased to recognize the contributions of John, Eric, and Chris with these new appointments and expanded responsibilities. John quickly earned the respect of our finance and leadership teams while serving as our Interim CFO and he has a great vision for directional changes he is ready to implement as we continue to strengthen our finance organization. Eric has consistently delivered strong results in his nine years as part of the UNFI team and I have great confidence that he will continue to do so in his new role as COO.  Lastly, since joining UNFI a decade ago, Chris has established a track record of driving sustainable growth and I look for more of this in the future. I am excited to continue working with each of them in their new roles as we continue to position UNFI as the distributor of choice across the United States and Canada.\”   

\”I truly appreciate Sean\’s leadership and dedication during his 10 years at UNFI, and particularly over the past 18 months as we have successfully integrated SUPERVALU at a faster pace than originally anticipated,\” Spinner said. \”Sean agreed to extend his time with UNFI following the acquisition of SUPERVALU and we charted our path forward with his guidance. Sean is a tremendous leader and great friend, and we all wish him all the best in his retirement.\”

The Company also announced additional leadership news:

  • Paul Green, currently UNFI\’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, will take on a new role as President, Fresh, where he will lead the Company\’s meat and produce merchandising teams and will report directly to Spinner. Green will continue serving as Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) until a successor is named.
  • Mike Stigers, currently CUB CEO and Executive Vice President, Fresh, will transition UNFI\’s Fresh teams to Green, once he has completed his move to his new role. Stigers will focus on leading CUB and continuing the sale process for the Minnesota-based grocery retailer and will also report directly to Spinner.
  • The Company has searches underway for a new Chief Information Officer and Chief Supply Chain Officer, both of whom will report to Dorne.
  • The Company is also creating a new Senior Vice President, Brands role to further build its differentiated and exclusive private brands offerings and oversee UNFI corporate branding initiatives. This position will report to Testa.
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Perrigo Announces Leadership Transition

Late last week Perrigo announced the future retirement of Jeff Needham, Executive Vice President and President, Consumer Self-Care Americas (CSCA). Rich Sorota, currently Chief Executive Officer and President of Ranir, will be appointed Executive Vice President and President, Consumer Self-Care Americas, on March 23, 2020, at which point Mr. Needham will step down from his current role and serve in an advisory role until his retirement on September 30, 2020.

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Jeff Needham, EVP and President, Consumer Self-Care Americas, Perrigo

Mr. Needham has had a remarkable career since joining Perrigo in 1984, including leadership roles in marketing, business development, and Perrigo\’s international businesses. In addition to building Perrigo\’s highly successful CSCA business, Mr. Needham has become a highly trusted industry advisor.

\”I am extremely proud and grateful to have had the privilege to be part of the Perrigo team for so many years as we have partnered with our retail and wholesale customers to grow the store brand business to where it is today,\” commented Mr. Needham. \”Perrigo is a great company with a business that brings tremendous value to consumers through our strong customer partnerships. I am confident that Perrigo\’s growth trajectory and the ongoing development of our CSCA business will be well served by Rich\’s leadership.\”

Perrigo President and Chief Executive Officer Murray S. Kessler said, \”I want to express my deep appreciation of Jeff and all that he has accomplished over his storied 36-year tenure with Perrigo. His leadership and dedication are intertwined with the history and success of Perrigo in addition to that of the store brand health and wellness industry. We greatly value Jeff\’s significant contributions to Perrigo and the self-care industry and wish him well in his retirement.\”

Kessler continued, \”Following Perrigo\’s acquisition of Ranir, it became apparent that Rich is an exceptional leader with the skills and experience to execute on Perrigo\’s vision and strategy. I look forward to working with him on expanding our \’national brand better\’ offerings through innovation, executing against our self-care strategy, and driving profitable growth.\”

Mr. Sorota has served as CEO and President of Ranir since July 2015. Mr. Sorota has a long history of experience in sales, marketing, and product development. While at BISSELL Inc., Rich served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for Global Sales and Marketing and then Executive Vice President of Global Commercial Operations. Previous roles included serving as President for HARMAN International, Senior Vice President and General Manager at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, and senior leadership roles in marketing and innovation for Philips Electronics and brand management at Procter & Gamble.

\”I am honored for the opportunity to lead such a great business,\” said Mr. Sorota. \”As I have come to know Perrigo better following the acquisition of Ranir, I am even more excited about the long-term outlook for the company and its consumer self-care strategy. I look forward to working closely with the highly talented CSCA team to foster new innovation and drive profitable growth in this business.\”