Vegetables & Fruits

Dr. Praeger’s Brings Steve Polonowski Aboard as Chief Customer Officer

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Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, an Elmwood Park, New Jersey, USA-based Vestar Capital Partners company specializing in producing and marketing veggie burgers and other plant-based frozen foods, has named Steve Polonowski as it chief customer officer.

“Steve brings an 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 for the team,” said Dr. Praeger’s CEO Andy Reichgut.

Steve Polonowski

Polonowski has worked at global consumer packaged goods companies including PepsiCo and Glanbia Performance Nutrition, as well as at smaller brands such as Amazing Grass, Simple Mills and BetterBrand. Most recently he served as president and chief commercial officer at BetterBrand. Prior to that, he was the chief sales officer for Simple Mills, another Vestar portfolio company..

“I am incredibly excited to join Andy and the Dr. Praeger’s team to accelerate growth of this fantastic brand,” said Polonowski. “We are uniquely positioned to help consumers eat healthier by simply making veggies into great tasting and convenient food.”

Founded more than 25 years ago by two heart surgeons determined to make healthy food easily accessible, Dr. Praeger’s is a leader in the all-natural, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and kosher frozen food categories. Its wide range of products includes veggie burgers, bowls, cakes, puffs and hash browns, as well as seafood items.

New York City-headquartered Vestar Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. It invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams and private owners to build long-term enterprise value, with a focus on consumer, business and technology services, and healthcare. Since inception in 1988, Vestar funds have invested $11 billion in 90 companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $52 billion.