Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, an Elmwood Park-based healthy frozen food brand backed by Vestar Capital Partners, named Steve Polonowski as its new chief customer officer.
In a Dec. 21 announcement, the company welcomed Polonowski, whose background includes working at leading consumer packaged goods companies such as PepsiCo and Glanbia Performance Nutrition, as well as smaller brands such as Amazing Grass and Simple Mills, another Vestar portfolio company.
Most recently, he served as president and chief commercial officer at food tech startup BetterBrand.
Dr. Praeger’s Chief Executive Officer Andy Reichgut praised Polonowski’s “impressive track record of building health-oriented brands through strategic customer partnerships and building strong teams.”
“His diverse experience with better-for-you brands in different categories customers and channels will be a huge asset,” he added.
Polonowski said he is “incredibly excited to join Andy and the Dr. Praeger’s team to accelerate growth of this fantastic brand.”
He added, “We are uniquely positioned to help consumers eat healthier by simply making veggies into great tasting and convenient food.”
The move comes about five months after Reichgut took over as chief executive officer, succeeding Larry Praeger, the son of company co-founder Dr. Peter Praeger, who now serves as special advisor and board member.
Founded in 1994, Dr. Praeger’s is a leader in the all-natural, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and kosher frozen food categories, offering products such as veggie burgers, sustainable seafood, hash browns, puffs and bowls.