IRVINE, CALIF. — JustFoodForDogs (JFFD) announced the appointment of Eric Kufel to chairman and chief executive officer on Feb. 20. Kufel succeeds Julian Mack, who will remain with the company as a member of its board of directors.

“We are pleased to have someone with Eric’s proven history in leading high-growth businesses step in as CEO at this point in JFFD’s growth trajectory,” Mack said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past three years, and I thank our talented team for their hard work and dedication to pets and pet parents. Our team is what makes JustFoodForDogs special, and I look forward to spending more time on Unconditional, the senior and special needs dog shelter I co-founded with my wife, Amy, and continuing to support Eric and the team as a member of the company’s board.”

Kufel brings more than 25 years of executive leadership experience to his new role and has previously delivered significant growth for a range of consumer-focused brands. Currently, Kufel is a member of the board of directors at Leslie’s, a direct-to-consumer pool and spa care brand, through which he supported the company during its successful public offering in 2020.

Kufel has served as chief executive officer of several companies under L Catterton’s portfolio including Van’s Natural Foods and Corepower Yoga. He has also held several brand management roles at The Coco-Cola Company, Kellogg’s and Henkel. Just prior to joining JFFD, Kufel served as chief executive officer of Inventure Foods for more than a decade.

L Catterton partnered with JFFD in 2017, providing the fresh, human-grade pet food company with its experience in the pet industry. Through the partnership, L Catterton has helped enhance JFFD’s partnerships with key retailers and expand its distribution.

“As a lifelong dog owner, I admire JFFD’s dedication to improving and extending the lives of our trusted companions through the power of fresh, better-for-you food and am honored to join an organization whose values align so closely with my own,” Kufel said. “My passion for health and wellness has made an instrumental impact on my personal life, and just as I do with myself, I’ve been highly focused on ensuring that my pets receive the proper nutrition.

“I’m pleased to be working with L Catterton in this role and look forward to benefiting from its extensive industry expertise as we work together to harness the opportunities ahead for the brand,” he added. “I can’t wait to get started and do my part to help as many dogs as possible live longer, healthier lives through our scientifically backed, nutritious offering.”

Under Mack’s leadership, JFFD has continued to build out its omnichannel strategy across owned, multi-unit retail, e-commerce and wholesale partners, leading to significant topline growth, according to the company. The company plans to continue this by leveraging additional opportunities under Kufel’s new leadership.

“Eric is a highly strategic and respected leader, with significant multi-channel, multi-unit and brand marketing expertise,” said Matt Lischick, partner at L Catterton. “His successful track record of building best-in-class businesses gives us confidence that he's the right next leader to continue the strong momentum at JFFD.

“We thank Julian for his dedication to the brand and its customers and are pleased that we will continue to benefit from his insights as a member of our board,” he added. “Over the past few years, JFFD has accelerated sales, broadened its product assortment, and deepened relationships with key retailers and other partners. As we continue to see pet adoption increase and pet parents prioritize high-quality, better-for-you fresh ingredients, there are numerous opportunities for us to leverage Eric’s expertise to capitalize on the compelling opportunities ahead.”

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.