Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, based in Elmwood Park, appointed Andy Reichgut as chief executive officer, effective immediately.
According to a July 26 announcement, Larry Praeger – the son of company co-founder Dr. Peter Praeger – will now serve as special advisor and remain on the board.
The Praeger and Somberg families will retain their ownership stake in the company—a portfolio brand of Vestar Capital Partners.
Reichgut brings to the position more than 25 years’ experience in the packaged food industry. He was most recently general manager for Violife, a vegan cheese company owned by Upfield, which has its U.S. headquarters in Hackensack. Before that, he was executive vice president at New Classic Cooking. He also worked for Pinnacle Foods, Mars and Reckitt Benckiser.
Reichgut earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.
“Andy is a smart, thoughtful, innovative and resourceful business leader with a deep appreciation for strengthening organizational capability, and a strong track record of building brands and businesses,” Jeffrey Ansell, Dr. Praeger’s chairman and Vestar strategic executive advisor, said in a statement. “I’m excited to work with Andy again, and I’m confident his vast packaged foods experience, including plant-based and better-for-you brands, will set him up for success at Dr. Praeger’s.”
Ansell also thanked Praeger “for his incredible vision and passion for the brand, which experienced transformative growth under his leadership.”
Reichgut said he was honored to join the company, which was founded in 1994 and offers all-natural, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and kosher frozen foods.
“At a time when consumers are searching for healthier and more environmentally friendly foods, Dr. Praeger’s is positioned extraordinarily well to leverage these tailwinds,” he added.
Praeger said, “When my father put his name on a veggie burger 26 years ago, he could not have predicted the plant-based revolution that was to come. … Dr. Praeger’s has truly been able to meet the moment, and I’m confident it will continue to do so in this exciting next chapter.”