SECAUCUS, NJ. — On Jan. 9, Freshpet announced that Jay Dahlgren has been appointed to executive vice president of manufacturing, technology and supply chain. According to the pet food company, Dahlgren’s appointment furthers its plan to improve operations.

Dahlgren has more than 30 years of experience in pet food manufacturing, production, procurement, distribution, logistics, supply chain and operations management. Prior to joining Freshpet, he served as vice president of operations at the J.M. Smucker Company and has also worked for Nestlé Purina, Del Monte Foods, Big Heart and Meow Mix.

During the past year, Dahlgren served Freshpet as a consultant.

“The addition of Jay to our management team — with his proven execution and deep expertise in manufacturing, supply chain and operations — will further strengthen Freshpet, improve our operations, and support our plan to drive margin enhancement,” said Billy Cyr, chief executive officer of Freshpet.

Dahlgren’s appointment is part of Freshpet’s operational improvement plan, which the company hopes will lead margin growth, support long-term expansion and optimize profitability. It was developed by the company’s leadership team along with its board in August 2022 and includes a plan to add additional manufacturing and supply chain expertise to its team.

In accordance with its plan, Freshpet has made changes during the past six months, allowing it to boost productivity and profitability and grow its manufacturing network to prepare for 2023. As part of the plan, the company has begun operations at the new Freshpet Kitchen in Ennis, Texas. The facility is currently producing and shipping more than 90% of Freshpet’s offerings.

Freshpet estimates that the Ennis facility will be its largest and most profitable manufacturing site as throughput continues to improve.

“Our team has made significant progress over the past quarter, improving fill rates into the 90s and lowering logistics and disposal costs to healthier levels, which positions us for further improvement in 2023,” Cyr shared.

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.