As whole grains arc to mainstream menu status worldwide, industry veteran tapped to lead and steer division’s penetration, influence and growth.
InHarvest, Inc., announced last week the addition of Pete Linder to its executive team as vice president of foodservice sales. Most recently, Linder was vice president of sales for Watsonville, California-based Superior Foods, a global supplier of frozen fruits, vegetables and grains for the foodservice, retail, industrial and club markets.
In his new role, Linder will oversee and support InHarvest’s foodservice sales team while working closely with the marketing and culinary teams to drive performance according to his blueprint for strategic growth in awareness and appreciation of InHarvest’s whole grains, legumes and signature blends among all segments of the industry.
“Given his extensive background and experience working with corporate accounts, distributors, brokers and GPOs, marketing, R&D, financial planning and strategy, we’re pleased Pete has agreed to lead our foodservice division,” says InHarvest’s CEO, Gene Addink. “Particularly in our 40th-anniversary year, when our sights are set on becoming even more relevant and necessary to the industry as whole grains become mainstream on menus nationally and globally, the timing of welcoming Pete to the InHarvest family couldn’t be more ideal.”
Linder’s career spans more than a quarter century in foodservice. Outfitted with an MBA specializing in marketing from Capella University in Minneapolis and a bachelor’s in marketing and business administration with a concentration in management from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minn., Linder launched his professional journey with Schwan’s Food Service based in Marshall, where he held several titles over the years including national marketing manager for the company’s successful Tony’s Pizza brand.
From there he went on to hold several positions with Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Company, including manager of sales planning and strategy and director of corporate accounts. Prior to joining Superior Foods, he served as director of foodservice for Paris Brothers Specialty Foods based in Kansas City.
InHarvest attracted Linder with its decades-long heritage and brand integrity, portfolio of highest-quality whole-grain and legume products and “Culinary First” model of serving customers. His goal is to enhance even further the company’s hard-earned reputation in the foodservice industry.
“I want to continue to broaden the brand to embrace a wider variety of customers and expand our customer base because we’re so on-trend and versatile with our products,” Linder says. “I see great growth potential with the industry’s move toward more chefs and cooking professionals in back of the house. Our ‘Culinary First’ model with our culinary team drives our credibility in the foodservice industry and sets us apart from competitors.
“We don’t merely have chefs who come up with recipes, but who work with culinarians every single day in their operations,” he continues. “InHarvest has some of the best and most talented chefs in the country because they understand the necessary real-world symbiosis between the application side and the business side. We know how to put it on the menu, help it sell and earn our customer repeat business.”
Linder’s appointment is effective immediately. Currently residing in Kansas City, he and his family will relocate to the Twin Cities.