June 3, 2023


Travel Anywhere

Consumer Brands Association CEO leaving to lead travel group

Dive Transient:

  • The Purchaser Manufacturers Association reported its president and CEO Geoff Freeman is leaving the trade team after 4 many years to guide the U.S. Vacation Association. He starts off his new position on Sept. 1.
  • Jeff Harmening, board chair at CBA and CEO of Normal Mills, claimed in a statement the trade group “will start the approach of doing the job with Geoff on a transition strategy and pinpointing his successor.”
  • Freeman’s departure will come at a time when the food stuff and beverage sector is grappling with inflation, offer chain issues, labor shortages and problems tied to the ongoing pandemic.

Dive Insight:

In the course of Freeman’s tenure at the CBA, he has performed a key role in stabilizing an business that was struggling mightily right before his arrival. Considering the fact that he took about, CBA adjusted its name from the Grocery Brands Association, centered its priorities and welcomed users to the trade team — which includes some like Campbell Soup who still left a couple of several years earlier right after currently being at odds around the organization’s positions.

Alternatively of concentrating on divisive items these as individual substances and nutritional issues, Freeman reported in a 2019 job interview with Food items Dive that he would as an alternative use the team to consider action on the major difficulties every person could agree on. The group’s priorities grew to become clever regulation, offer chain issues, making and preserving shopper rely on and sustainability.

The shift in approach worked. CBA, which signifies more than 70 CPG corporations masking virtually 2,000 models from throughout market sectors these kinds of as meals and beverage items, cleaning and private treatment, has observed its revenues swell nearly 50% during the past 3 several years, according to Harmening. “Today, our industry is united guiding a powerful plan agenda and speaks with a potent, professional-purchaser voice,” he claimed.

Earlier this month, the CBA welcomed several food items corporations, including meat processor Smithfield Foodstuff, almond producer Blue Diamond Growers, tuna and seafood producer Bumble Bee Foods and J&J Snack Foodstuff. At the time, CBA mentioned two many years following rebranding and overhauling its priorities, it has noticed a 35% increase in membership. 

“Everyone in Washington — and even companies in our have field — was completely ready to proclaim our affiliation lifeless,” Freeman explained in March. “But there was a crystal clear have to have to build an firm that this vital field warrants.”

The CBA will no question be operating to speedily fill Freeman’s part after his departure, which arrives at a fairly inopportune time.

Quite a few of the challenges that are major priorities for CBA, these as sustainability and the source chain, are warm-button difficulties currently for many of its associates in a difficult organization natural environment that is perplexing even the most seasoned CEOs. CBA very likely has management in spot to go on crafting its information and doing work as a liaison with its customers. But shedding Freeman, given his achievement at the group, is a difficult blow for the business.