Naturipe Foods expands, strengthens executive team

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Naturipe Foods expands, strengthens executive team

Naturipe Foods has announced it has expanded its products globally and strengthened its executive team with the addition of a new Vice President and General Manager. 

In October of last year, the company's owner Hortifrut and frozen produce processor-exporter Alifrut signed an agreement to merge their operations of frozen export products in equal parts.

The purpose of this merger is promoting the international development and growth of innovative products with added value in global markets including the U.S., Europe, Asia and Oceania. The merger was finalized on July 31, 2020, and the new company is called Vitafoods.

The newly formed Vitafoods joins Munger Farms to lead Naturipe Foods into the future with an additional estimated volume of 70 million pounds of available product, making it a very relevant global player in its category in international markets.

“Because of consumers’ overall desire for better nutrition, paired with current consumption trends, which have accelerated intensely due to the pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in sales of frozen foods in global markets,” said Gonzalo Bachelet, General Manager of Vitafoods.

"We believe that this increase in consumption will continue over time, so we expect great growth opportunities for the category of value-added frozen fruits and vegetables in the main markets of the world. Our new partnership uniquely positions us with the increased operational capacity to meet this demand."

The Naturipe Foods Sales and Marketing structure will continue operations as with past ownership.

New Vice President and General Manager for Naturipe Foods

In addition, Naturipe Foods announced the appointment of Jason Bellan as the division’s new Vice President and General Manger. In his role, Bellan will manage and direct the company’s sales of world-class processed fruit products.

This position will initiate, lead, plan and execute against strategic sales and business development plans for the product category of processed berries, fruits, and vegetables to a broad spectrum of market channels.

A 13-year industry veteran, Bellan’s expertise in frozen and fresh foods, strategic planning and cross functional business development made him a clear fit to take on this role.

“Naturipe has a remarkable history, business model and strong core company values. I look forward to playing a key role in the company’s growth,” said Bellan. “The prospect to steward the value-added frozen division is motivating and an excellent challenge.”

“We are excited to have Jason join our senior management team,” said Juan Ignacio Allende, Chairman of the Board of Naturipe Foods. “His depth of business development experience and attention to customer service are significant to the execution of Naturipe Foods’ strategic growth initiatives.”

Prior to joining Naturipe Foods, Bellan served as VP of Customer Development for Fresh Food Group, Walmart National Account Director for Ready Pac, and held several roles with Nestle USA. Bellan is from Cincinnati, OH and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing from Miami University in Oxford, OH.

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