BERKELEY, CALIF. — Wendy Behr has been named chief research and development officer at Sovos Brands, parent company of Rao's Homemade, noosa yoghurt and Michael Angelo's frozen entrees.
Ms. Behr brings 30 years R&D experience to her new role. She most recently was a product and supply innovation consultant at Concept to Commercialization Integrated Solutions, a business consultancy focusing on research, product development and supply chain execution. Before that, she was vice president of coffee R&D and packaging innovation at Keurig Dr Pepper and senior vice president of R&D and corporate sustainability at The WhiteWave Foods Co. She also held lead R&D roles at Diageo, Givaudan and Kraft Foods prior to its merger with Heinz.
Ms. Behr holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois as well as a graduate certificate in sustainable agriculture and food systems and a master’s degree in nutrition science and policy from Tufts University.
As Sovos Brands’ first chief R&D officer, she will be tasked with delivering an innovation agenda across seven food categories and driving the company’s acquisitive and organic growth, said Todd Lachman, president and chief executive officer.
“With Wendy's leadership and deep technical expertise, we can further refine our innovation model and continue our successful track record of extending our brands to new categories and usage occasions,” Mr. Lachman said. “Wendy's knowledge and experience in the industry will be key in supporting our growing portfolio of one-of-a-kind brands.”
Since launching four years ago, Sovos Brands has introduced a number of new products, including Rao's soups and frozen entrees, noosa smoothies and noosa Greek yoghurt. The company also recently announced an agreement to acquire pancake and waffle mix brand Birch Benders, which is expected to close by the end of October.