NAPERVILLE, Ill., Nov. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Harvest Food Group (HFG), a leading co-packer, supplier and distributor of frozen food products, announced high-growth CPG veteran Amit Pandhi as the new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective November 6, 2023. Harvest Food Group, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in June 2024, was purchased by Industrial Opportunity Partners in May 2023.
Pandhi brings a wealth of expertise to HFG. He most recently served as the CEO of Popchips, one of North America’s premier better-for-you snack brands, where he orchestrated a remarkable transformation and revitalization of the company in partnership with private equity firm VMG Partners. Within a span of just three years, he oversaw the construction of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, devised innovative market strategies, and effectively doubled the business. Popchips achieved a successful sale to a strategic acquirer in Q4 2022 under Amit’s leadership. Prior to his tenure at Popchips, Pandhi served as the President and CEO of Arctic Zero.
“I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Amit Pandhi as our new President and CEO,” said Norman Young, chairman of HFG. “HFG is a rare case study of success in all frozen food categories, including Branded, Private Label, Food Service, Co-Manufacturing, and Ingredients. With Amit’s proven track record of driving growth and innovation in the food space, his guidance will undoubtedly propel HFG to new heights.”
As a leading supplier of frozen ingredients in North America, HFG offers hundreds of top-quality IQF vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes and herbs sourced from all over the globe. Investments from Industrial Opportunity Partners have scaled HFG’s manufacturing capabilities, including vertical and horizontal bagging lines that form, fill and seal; a bulk packing line that converts case sizes; a state-of-the-art bowl line that will fill, seal and carton all types of meals; and a specialized cup line that produces convenient, grab-and-go frozen or refrigerated items. These manufacturing lines produce some of the most flavorful, safe, and high-quality frozen food products in the industry. With Pandhi at the helm, customers can expect even higher standards of quality and service.
“HFG makes incredible products across so many verticals, and I look forward to building upon its long history to grow our private label, food service, contract manufacturing, branded and ingredient businesses. I also look forward to deepening our relationships with existing customers, from the largest retailers and best global food companies, as well as serving the most innovative emerging brands in frozen,” Pandhi said.
“We are proud of the position we have carved out over the past twenty five years as industry leaders,” said Jason Eckert, co-founder of HFG. “Amit will infuse a new source of energy and expand the vision for what HFG can become. His experience in building organizations and maximizing growth and profitability will help position Harvest Food Group to tackle the challenges that our industry faces heading into the future. I can’t wait to see what we are capable of under Amit’s leadership and the support of IOP.” Eckert, who co-founded HFG along with his father in 1999, will transition from President to board member.
About Harvest Food Group
Founded in 1999, Harvest is a value-added co-packer, supplier, and distributor of frozen foods. Harvest specializes in entrees, side dishes, meal kits, blends, and a variety of produces and ingredients. The company is headquartered in Naperville, IL and operates a 184,000 sq. ft. SQF-certified and USDA-inspected manufacturing and distribution facility located in Chicago. For more information, visit www.harvestfoodgroup.com and www.pathoflife.com.