Industry News

KEURIG DR PEPPER’S 1.5-million-sq.-ft. production facility and distribution center in Allentown, Pa., has been named the 2021 Food Engineering Plant of the Year. CUISINE SOLUTIONS was named winner of the 2021 Sustainable Plant of the Year for its 315,000-sq.-ft. sous vide plant in San Antonio.

NESTLÉ S.A. has reached an agreement to sell its regional spring water brands (Nestlé Waters North America), purified water business and beverage delivery service in the U.S. and Canada to ONE ROCK CAPITAL PARTNERS in partnership with METROPOULOS & CO. for $4.3 billion. The company’s international premium brands including Perrier®, S.Pellegrino® and Acqua Panna® are not a part of the deal. 

ERIEZ completed its expansion to its Wager Road facility, located in Erie, Pa., about 15 miles from the company’s world headquarters. The expanded space will support Eriez’s strategic growth initiatives for global research and development, aftermarket repair and testing, and recycling equipment technology.

COLUMBIA MACHINE INC. PALLETIZER DIVISION and INTEGRA SYSTEMS have executed a license agreement that will allow Integra Systems to produce Columbia palletizers and load transfer solutions in Brazil. This achievement follows a similar agreement announced earlier between Integra Systems and Columbia/Okura LLC.

The OPC FOUNDATION welcomed AMAZON WEB SERVICES INC. as the latest OPC Foundation member.

TENABLE will acquire Active Directory security startup, ALSID. Founded in France in 2016, Alsid has grown quickly after securing €13m in Series A investment in 2019. 

ENDRESS+HAUSER (E+H) announced that flow control specialist ROTORK has joined its Open Integration partner network, brining 13 manufacturers into the E+H partner program. E+H also announced RUST AUTOMATION & CONTROLS as its sales and service representative in the Western U.S.

Boston-based EMERSON BEARING, and sister company ACTION BEARING, which serves the New England market, have established a Robotics/High Tech Division dedicated to a fast-growing customer base, particularly manufacturing and warehouse automation markets.

The KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its nuts business to HORMEL FOODS CORPORATION in a cash transaction for $3.35 billion. The proposed transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory review and approval.

APPHARVEST of Appalachia has now shipped more than one million pounds of tomatoes from its flagship indoor farm in Morehead, Ky.


KRONES will in the future combine all its operations to do with brewery business under a single roof: STEINECKER GMBH. Beginning April 2021, the newly founded company will offer all of the solutions and equipment required in a brewery.

The J.M. SMUCKER CO. announced the closing of the transaction to sell its Natural Balance® premium pet food business to NEXUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LP for $50 million.

KEURIG DR PEPPER has become a signatory in two regional initiatives of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network: the U.S. Plastic Pact and the Canada Plastics Pact. Both Pacts bring together key players from across the local plastic value chain behind a common vision and clear, actionable targets to create a path forward toward a circular economy for plastics.

CONAGRA BRANDS INC. announced the publication of its 2020 Citizenship Report, which shares the company’s progress against key environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives and actions that support each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

DAIRY FARMERS OF CANADA and LACTALIS CANADA announced that Lactalis Canada will begin featuring the iconic Blue Cow logo on yogurt products marketed under the Astro and Stonyfield brands this year.

As the effects of COVID-19 continue to challenge families across the Midwest, MEIJER announced a donation of $1 million in turkeys to 10 food banks within its footprint to help feed those in need.

ANUE WATER has relocated to a larger Atlanta-based headquarters and manufacturing facilities due to record growth, municipal demand for eco-friendly wastewater equipment solutions.

VEGA AMERICAS INC. is expanding its operations and growing its workforce in eight states across the Rocky Mountain West and the Southwest, quadrupling the number of sales and field service personnel in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

BERLIN PACKAGING announced the acquisition of SODIS-UHART and AUDOUBERT, two historic companies offering glass and metal packaging in France.

AMERICAN SUGAR REFINING INC., a member of ASR Group, made a strategic investment in BONUMOSE INC. to produce and commercialize lower cost, plant-based alternative sweeteners tagatose and allulose as part of ASR Group’s strategy to provide a variety of products to meet the wide range of consumer needs.

BUSCH VACUUM SOLUTIONS USA announced the opening of a new service facility in Tampa, Fla.

SUN AUTOMATION GROUP entered into an exclusive strategic partnership agreement with the Italian material handling company, PARA SRL. SUN will be the exclusive representative of all PARA equipment for the U.S., UK and Ireland. 

DEMATIC announced an agreement to supply MERCHANTS DISTRIBUTORS, a wholesale grocery distributor, with an automated mixed-case fulfillment solution for the upcoming renovation and expansion of its primary operations center.

DARING, the creator of 100% plant-based chicken, announced a partnership with Dot Foods, food industry re-distributor that services wholesalers and distributors a broad range of products.

MCCAIN FOODS LIMITED has acquired a significant minority share of New Brunswick-based data science company FIDDLEHEAD TECHNOLOGY. With this investment, McCain and Shawn Carver, co-founder and CEO of Fiddlehead, become the only shareholders in the company.

KPM ANALYTICS INC. has acquired EYEPRO SYSTEM S.R.L., a company headquartered in Trento, Italy, which specializes in vision inspection technology and vision-based process control solutions for the baking and snack industries.

PROMACH acquired SERPA PACKAGING, a provider of cartoning and end of line solutions.

MODERN MEAT INC. has closed its previously announced acquisition of KITSKITCHEN HEALTH FOODS INC.

BATORY FOODS, a national sales and supply chain management solutions provider of commodity and specialty food ingredients, has launched Batory Smartboards, an insight and inspiration microsite for the food and beverage industry.

MHS HOLDINGS INC., a global provider of advanced material handling automation solutions, engineering, equipment and software, is moving forward with plans to open a manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Ky.

DESCARTES SYSTEMS GROUP announced that Berlin-based KORO HANDELS GMBH, an online provider of quality food directly sourced from the producer to the end consumer, is using the Descartes Ecommerce Warehouse Management Solution to scale order fulfillment to meet peak promotions and maintain customer satisfaction.

SMURFIT KAPPA’S planned expansion and modernization of its paper sacks business in the Latin American market continues. Smurfit Kappa is investing $40 million in response to growing market trends and the increasing need for environmentally sustainable paper sacks.

TRICORBRAUN announced its 2020 Supplier Partner Awards, recognizing Mold-Rite Plastics as Domestic Plastic Supplier of the Year. Axium Plastics, CKS Packaging Inc. and Currier Plastics were also honored. In another announcement, TricornBraun will be acquired by ARES MANAGEMENT and the ONTARIO TEACHER’S PENSION PLAN BOARD.

PROAGRICA, part of RELX and a global technology and data business serving the agriculture and animal health markets, has acquired CDMS, a provider of compliance data and solutions to support agronomic recommendations and crop production decisions.

CPI, an independent UK technology innovation center and founding member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, announced its plans to establish a Novel Food, Feed and Nutraceuticals Innovation Centre of Excellence, catalyzed by funding from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority Cabinet. 

People News


Erik Bronander


NCC AUTOMATED SYSTEMS added ERIK BRONANDER to its team to lead business development. While he will be tasked with growing business by identifying new applications and opportunities, Bronander’s main objective will be to develop a new business unit focused around complete nutraceutical packaging lines. He reports directly to Kevin Mauger, president, NCC Automated Systems. Photo: NCC Automated Systems

BURNS & MCDONNELL announced several key leadership promotions to president, senior vice president and vice president after another record year of sales for the 100% employee-owned engineering, construction and architecture firm. MIKE FENSKE has been promoted to president in the Global Facilities Group, which he had led as general manager since 2013. New senior vice presidents include RENITA MOLLMAN, STEVE NALEFSKI and BRECK WASHAM. New vice presidents and members of the Burns & McDonnell officer group include KAREN BRAY, HYUN KIM and MATT OLSON.

POWDER PROCESS-SOLUTIONS, a provider of custom design and manufacturing of sanitary pneumatic conveying and bulk powder handling equipment, announced that SCOTT LODERMEIER will be appointed to the Board of Directors of 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. He has worked for Powder Process-Solutions since 2002, most recently in component sales and support.
People Promotions

MOTION, a distributor of maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts, and a provider of industrial technology solutions, is pleased to announce seven recent promotions to key field management positions: LOGAN CARDEN, Nashville Division vice president; BILL CARROLL, vice president of the new Philadelphia Division; TAMI DEWEESE, vice president of the Pacific Northwest Division; DAN PIKE, St. Louis Division vice president, DAVE PURVIS, Midwest Group Area vice president; STEVE KAMMEYER, area vice president for corporate accounts, West Group; and LISA SOLOMON, area vice president for corporate accounts, Central Group. Photos: Motion


John Sheehy

COPERION K-TRON SALINA welcomed JOHN SHEEHY to the position of global key accounts manager-plant based foods. Sheehy, a 2020 hire to the Coperion K-Tron team, is tasked with addressing the demands of R&D, process engineering and production needs of the fast-growing global plant-based food market. He has over 25 years’ experience in a variety of roles in engineering and process development. Photo: Coperion-K-Tron

EMERSON announced that Chief Executive Officer DAVID N. FARR has retired. LAL KARSANBHAI, who has served as executive president of the company’s Automation Solutions business since 2018, has become the new CEO of Emerson and joins the board of directors. 


Philipp Losinger

MULTIVAC named PHILIPP LOSINGER as vice president of subsidiary operations in the Corporate Sales & Marketing division. In this position he is responsible for the management and strategic development of the subsidiaries in Africa, the Arab Emirates and Oceania. 

NATURIPE announced the promotion of JERRY MORAN, who will now be joining the Executive Team as the vice president of sales. KASEY KELLEY has been promoted to senior director, business development. JOE KLICK has been promoted to director, product management (East).

BIOGILL NORTH AMERICA, a 100% subsidiary of BioGill Environmental Ltd., an Australian company promoting patented nano-ceramic attached growth bioreactor technology for the treatment of high-strength food and beverage wastewater, has named SHELDON SAPOZNIK as vice president to lead North American expansion efforts.


Shane Hanlon

READING BAKERY SYSTEMS, manufacturer of snack production systems, has announced the promotion of SHANE HANLON to manager, project services.


ERIEZ promoted JOHN BLICHA to the position of global senior director of marketing and brand management.

SEEPEX appointed KEITH HAMMER as its manager of sales training and OEM development.

BETTCHER INDUSTRIES INC. announced that KURT MILLER has joined the company as vice president of operations. Miller is responsible for directing and managing all operational activities at the company including planning, scheduling, manufacturing, procurement, product engineering, quality, inventory, warehousing, maintenance and facilities.

SHIRE CITY HERBALS has appointed KIM ALLARDYCE to chief executive officer.

VORTEX has announced several management changes. In addition to his role as CEO, TRAVIS YOUNG has been appointed president to lead the overall direction and strategy of the company. JEFF THOMPSON is stepping down as president and COO, but will retain his position as CFO. BRIAN BURMASTER has been promoted to chief sales & marketing officer, and CORY DOWNING has been promoted to chief operating officer.

SKF announced that FAL DIESO joined the company as vice president of marketing in North America, and AMY SLIWINSKI was promoted to vice president of human resources for SKF in North America.


Blaine Phillips

PHILLIPS PET FOOD & SUPPLIES’ Board of Directors elected BLAINE PHILLIPS as interim CEO. Phillips succeeds Todd Shelton, who served as CEO since 2016.

ANALYTICAL FOOD LABORATORIES announced that COLLEEN VILLANUEVA will take over the role of CEO and president, supported by CHARLOTTE WILBURN as director of operations.

N!CK’s, the Swedish-style light ice-cream company announced that CARLOS ALTSCHUL is its new CEO. TONY DAVIS, founding CEO of N!CK’s USA, will become president and COO and continue to play an active and vital role in the company’s daily operations and growth.

LASSONDE INDUSTRIES INC. announced that GUY BLANCHETTE, executive vice president and chief financial officer is retiring, and ERIC GEMME will become the chief financial officer.

AAK, producer of plant-based oils, appointed GABRIELLA GROTTE as head of investor relations and corporate communications.

SOLVE INDUSTRIAL MOTION GROUP named LISA MITCHELL as its new chief executive officer. After managing Solve’s finances and operations, she will now lead the recently rebranded industrial bearings and power transmission components company in its next chapter of growth and innovation.

CLEAN JUICE promoted DAVE CUFF to the position of chief development officer.

The OPTIMA PACKAGING GROUP appointed DR. STEFAN KOENIG as managing director.

CHOCXO announced that COREY BOWEN will be joining the team as sales director, Eastern Canada; SCOTT SULZ as sales director, Western Canada; and APRIL TROJANOWSKI as sales director, Northeast. The three new hires will be responsible for the strategic expansion of the brand’s presence in retailers in Canada and the U.S.

NORDSON appointed JESUS CRESPO as vice president leading polymer processing systems.

BENSON HILL announced two new appointments to the company’s leadership team and board of directors. DAVID LEE, who has served in leadership positions at Impossible Foods, AppHarvest, Zynga, Del Monte Foods and Best Buy, has joined the Benson Hill board as an independent director and will chair the audit and risk committee. In addition, the company appointed veteran finance executive DEANN BRUNTS as a member of the company’s board and chief financial officer. 

UNFI named DORN WENNINGER its senior vice president of produce where he will oversee the enhancement and execution of UNFI’s produce strategy.

DANIMER SCIENTIFIC announced that sustainable food and beverage packaging expert BRAD RODGERS is joining the company as vice president–technology development R&D.

NESTLÉ has proposed LINDIWE MAJELE SIBANDA—a professor and the director and chairwoman of the African Research Universities Alliance Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Pretoria, South Africa—for election to its board of directors. 

SITKA SALMON SHARES, hired MICHAEL KOHAN as fisheries science and policy director, STEVE RICCI as fisheries and fleet director and LAUREN MITCHELL as Sitka fleet manager.