Applegate Farms Names New R&D and Marketing Leaders

February 19, 2020

4 Min Read
Applegate Farms Names New R&D and Marketing Leaders
Applegate Farms named several new executives this week. Image courtesy of Applegate Farms

Natural and organic meat and cheese products producer Applegate Farms expanded its C-suite this week with the appointment of Jim Graham as vice president of research & development (R&D) and quality assurance and Joseph O’Connor as vice president of sales and marketing, the Hormel Foods subsidiary announced in a release Tuesday. 

“As we enter a new decade with strong headwinds facing the meat industry, I’m confident Jim and Joe’s expertise will inspire the Applegate team to relentlessly pursue smarter ways to fulfill the Applegate mission: Changing The Meat We Eat,” Applegate President John Ghingo said in a statement. “There’s a huge opportunity to help people understand that meat, raised right, is a vital part of the human experience and a healthy planet, and Jim and Joe will be instrumental in leading our efforts through product innovation, sales, and marketing.”

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Graham most recently served in R&D positions at Mondelez International, including roles in its Coffee, Global Cheese and Dairy, and North America divisions. During his tenure at the company, he worked on a number of prominent Mondelez brands like Oreo, Mac & Cheese, and Oscar Meyer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Manhattan College. 

O’Connor has worked in a variety of sales and sales strategy roles at Hormel Foods. His most recent post was director of sales and manager of the Hormel Foods Consumer Product Sales business in the northeast. The executive has also occupied analytics, management, and category sales positions. He holds a degree in Food Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University. 

Applegate was founded in 1987 and produces hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese, and frozen products.  

Along with the executive changes, Hormel is also introducing new products to suit shifting consumer preferences. In September 2019, the company said it was rolling out a new line of plant-based protein products, Happy Little Plants. In recent years, Hormel also debuted the Applegate Blend Burger, which contains a mix of organic mushrooms and organic meat. 

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