Hormel Foods kicked off the holiday week with two major announcements.
The company sealed an acquisition deal with Justin’s, LLC, owner of the Justin’s® brand that it called “a pioneer in nut butter-based snacking,” with products including:
With that, Hormel added that its Senior Brand Manager and the one responsible for Skippy® peanut butter, Michael J. Guanella, will act as Chief Operating Officer.
“Mike has led the Skippy® brand to a new level of innovation, growth, and market share,” said James M. Splinter, Group Vice President of Grocery Products at Hormel Foods, in a press release. “Congratulations to him on this new role with Justin’s. I am confident that he will be an excellent addition to their talented team of professionals.”
Having led the integration of the Skippy® brand in 2013 and, more recently, the innovation and launch of Skippy® P.B. Bites, Guanella is credited with being responsible for brand strategy, consumer marketing, and product innovation in the U.S. retail market.
Before Hormel Foods, Guanella brought with him experience in a number of leadership roles in data analytics, business development, and product management.
“We are excited to welcome Mike to the Justin’s team,” Peter Burns, President and Chief Executive Officer at Justin’s, stated. “Mike’s expertise in innovation, operations, and product development will be a welcome addition to our mission. We are confident that he will bring new opportunities to the Justin’s family of products.”
The company did not disclose the amount for which Justin’s was acquired, nor an official date for when the deal will close and Guanella will start his new executive position.